Teach Physics: Aston Dawsmith
Aston Dawsmith shares his Teach Physics thoughts and experience with us and tells schools and undergraduates to go for it!
Published: 11 December 2023
Aston Dawsmith was a Teach Physics intern in 2016. He is now a physics teacher at Alexandra Park School (APS), mentoring their annual intake of Teach Physics interns. He has shared his thoughts and experience with us and tells schools and undergraduates to go for it!
I carried out my Ogden Teach physics placement in 2016 at a school in Watford. The placement gave me the opportunity to see first-hand what it was like to work as a teacher in a school. I was given opportunities to take lessons and go out on school trips, and the internship definitely had a positive influence on my decision to go on and become a teacher.
To any undergraduates thinking about applying for a Teach Physics internship, I would say – go for it! The internships provide a space for you to discover if teaching is for you. It is not forcing you to become a teacher, but it is encouraging you to give it a go; you might, like me, find you really enjoy it.
Learn from experience
I have been a mentor of Ogden interns for the past three years now and have loved every minute of it. At times, I find myself reflecting on my own internship, thinking about how far I have come as a teacher and how I can ensure that the interns I now mentor have the same amazing experience that I did.
I know what it is like to be in their shoes, coming to a school environment no longer as a student but as a member of the staff. As a mentor, I now see the importance of giving interns the whole teacher experience and not just a snapshot – a lot of the interns don’t realise the full extent of what a teacher does!
The interns also give us insight and perspective – having been more recently in education they provide a different outlook on topics and can provide valuable ideas about how to overcome barriers and challenges in the classroom. They help in and out of lessons with the development of resources and give our Year 12 students an opportunity to talk to someone more similar in age to them about the UCAS process and what university is like.
One of our interns from two years ago has now completed teacher training – they did their teaching placement at APS and have now been employed by our school as a full-time physics teacher. Another of the students I mentored has also taken a job teaching physics in another state school.
So, my message to schools thinking about taking on an Ogden Teach Physics intern would also be – go for it! This is an amazing opportunity for both your school and the interns who will come to you. There are not many opportunities to encourage people into teaching and this is by far the best I have come across. You and the interns will get so much out of the programme.