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Science Teacher

Jeff Stanger is a Science Teacher with the NSW Department of Education and Traning

In which area or areas of science do you work? When did you first become interested in this career? What education and training do you have to have for your job?
How long did it take to get the necessary qualifications?   What are the tasks that you do in a typical day?
What skills do you use in your job? What do you enjoy most about your job?  
  What are some alternative jobs that you would be qualified for? What are some of the advantages of working in this field?
What are some of the disadvantages of working in this field? How has your work contributed to science? How has your work benefited society?
Where do you see yourself in five years time?    

In which area or areas of science do you work?

Science teaching - in a public high school but also for the general public as Astronomy Educator at the Powerhouse Museum at Sydney Observatory and Observatory and Planetarium at Macquarie University Observatory

When did you first become interested in this career?

I realised in year 10 that I would enjoy teaching science. I thought it would bring together many of my interests and would be challenging. People encouraged me to become a scientist or engineer so I took a scholarship with BHP. Illness forced me to take a break and start again so I went and began studying to be a science teacher. When I graduated my physical chemistry degree and DipEd qualified me to teach science, senior physics and senior chemistry. When I finished uni I took a temporary job teaching science and computing. At the time I was on the waiting list as a targeted graduate with the NSW DET. I was soon offered a position at one of the schools I listed I was willing to teach in. I had already been working at one observatory for a year and soon started at another. I have chosen to specialise in astronomy education both at school and with the general public.


What education and training do you have to have for your job?

I have completed my Bachelor of Science then Diploma of Education followed by a Graduate Certificate in Science (Astronomy)


How long did it take you to get the necessary qualifications?

Bachelor of Science = 3 years
Diploma of Education = 1 year
Graduate Certificate in Science = 1 year
So a total of five years

 

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What are the tasks that you do in a typical day?

Classroom teaching is the main daily activity but there is also marking, lesson preparation, staff meetings, meetings with parents, professional development activities

 
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What skills do you use in your job?

Science teaching is a very demanding and multi-faceted job. Your subject matter is constantly evolving. Teaching methodologies and the classroom environment / resources are also in constant flux. I call teaching the "bottomless job" because there is always something you could be doing.
Some of the skills I use daily are communication, teamwork, time management, computing, mathematics, logical argument, critical evaluation, negotiation, public speaking, stress management, problem solving, data analysis, research, conflict resolution, organisation, scientific investigation, management and observation. Some of the skills that people might not initially think a teacher uses regularly are entertainment, creativity, motivation, ingenuity, manual labour, public relations, marketing, artistic expression, networking and debating.

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What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love all the great things teaching has done for me, the interesting places it has taken me and the great students I have known

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What are some alternative jobs that you would be qualified for?

I could work in many science and education related jobs like educational resource development, corporate IT education, laboratory analysis, astronomical observatory operator, public outreach, educational management, syllabus development, science writing and technical writing. Basically teachers become good communicators and have to manage their time well. They can be employed in many sectors where their skills will be an asset.

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I'm not sure. I have been asking myself whether I would like to move into a related role or stay strictly in the classroom. This is still a work in progress. Maybe I'll be a head science teacher in another school?

Find out more about Remote Sensing

If you wish to ask Jeff for additional information, you can email UniServe Science and we will contact Stuart for you. Make sure you include Stuart's name and occupation in the Subject line.

Jeff's Web site


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