I am Head of Geography at The King’s School, Gloucester, a post I have held since 2010. As a school student myself Geography was always my favourite subject: I looked forward to the lessons and relished the process of discovery. Becoming a teacher took me by surprise as it was certainly not what I had envisaged! After graduating from the University of Bristol I spent a year travelling the world and then went to London to begin a nine to five office job. That experience showed me what I did and didn’t want out of a career: with teaching every day is different, there is no clock watching and you get to interact with funny, challenging and fascinating characters on a daily basis. I also love the feeling of learning with my pupils. After undertaking a PGCE at the Institute of Education I took my first job at Eltham College in London where I spent four years. I took a break for more travel and returned to take up the post as HoD in Gloucester.
For me, one of the best things about being a geography teacher is encouraging students to develop a genuine curiosity about the world. Introducing them to themes that are directly relevant to their lives enables young people to form opinions and to question what they encounter day to day. Learning is a two-way process in the geography class room and I am always thrilled when a student shares an obscure fact or tells me about a great documentary they have watched. It is also gratifying when a parent tells you how their son/daughter taught them all about glaciation while they were on holiday in the Lake District!
At the moment, like other geography teachers, I’m starting to look ahead to the changes to AS and A Level: I await the various specifications with interest and I see planning for the new courses as the biggest challenge. I understand that mathematical content will become more significant and there will be a minimum field work provision requirement – I shall be brushing up on the former and start preparing to fight for calendar space where the latter is concerned…
Check back regularly to hear more from Rebecca.