Jack Forrest studied BSc (Honours) Science with Education and QTS. He is now Head of Science at Stocksbridge High School in Sheffield, managing a department of seven teachers and two technicians.
'I was fortunate enough to have passionate, charismatic and dedicated science teachers at school. They inspired me to not only become a teacher myself but reinforced the spark I’ve always had with science.
'The teaching courses at Hallam are designed by people with real hands-on teaching experience and the course structures have the primary aim of producing good quality teachers. The course truly enables students to be the best newly qualified teachers they can be by the end of it.
'Chemistry is cool. There is so much for students to engage with and the benefits of studying the subject know no limits. There is always something new to teach, or a new way of teaching it and when you teach chemistry chances are you’ll end up teaching plenty of biology and physics as well. Since teaching I’ve found new interests in astronomy and now every winter we spend a night with some dedicated students using the school’s telescopes in our astronomy club.
'I always felt as though the advice you were given was genuine and practical. When it came to applying for your first real teaching post at the end of the placement year you were never on your own. Tutors aided all students to reach their goals by providing interview practise, references, moral support and dropping those little hints and tips they’d acquired from knowing almost every school in the county.
'In order to be a committed, enthusiastic and capable teacher you do have to work beyond standard daily hours. It does get easier over time but you feel you owe it to the students to try as hard as you possibly can. There is nothing worse than the feeling of letting a student down. I never miss a GCSE results day – the individual success stories are more than worthy of celebration.
'Plus the scope for development is massive. From starting out as a classroom teacher there are multiple directions your career can take without having to abandon the best part of the job – teaching.'