Visiting Teaching Fellows
In 2017, the School of Physics hosted a visiting teaching fellow for the first time. This has been very successful with the teaching fellow being very actively engaged in producing resources for professional development for teachers to support the new school syllabus. These will be available to teachers in a few months.
A teaching fellow is a current high school physics teacher who works in a secondment position in the school of physics for one year. Physics teachers in both private and public schools are welcome to apply.
The visiting teaching fellow program aims to increase communication and links between schools and universities. The visiting teaching fellow will teach in the first year physics laboratory as well as teaching some first year problem solving workshops and helping out students in drop in sessions.
The school of physics will benefit from learning more about how high school classes are taught and the knowledge basis of our incoming students. We hope that schools will benefit from seeing where some of their students end up and learning about the way we teach students at university.
The visiting teaching fellow will have the opportunity to expand upon and refresh their physics knowledge as well as create useful resources for teachers and schools.
Our teaching fellows:
2019: Troy Garrett
I've really enjoyed the chance to work with higher-level physics teaching the 1st year labs, tutorials and lecturing. It has allowed me to experience, first-hand, what happens at the next level. That, however, has only been a part of my role here. Working in a team to form links between the University and schools to make authentic science research accessible to students from all walks of life, has been the focus of a personal project I have been given the opportunity to develop. Bringing this project into fruition has meant that I have worked to coordinate the efforts of academics from nearly all the schools of science, the DET, NESA, politicians and community groups to make science accessible for all high school students and this has possibly been the most rewarding aspect of my job.
I’ve made friends and professional acquaintances and developed a deep knowledge of how schools and the University are able to work together to increase the learning outcomes for our students.
2018: Jessica Budden
After many years of classroom teaching, it has been a fabulous opportunity to step sideways into the university environment. I have been able to reconnect with the most up-to-date Physics research, learn from world class researchers and see how real-world Physics research is done. It has also been fantastic to teach first year students and to gain a better understanding of what my future Y12 students will go through when they come to university. In addition, I have been able to assist other teachers by developing freely available resources, developing PD courses and managing projects to connect high-school students with the university.
Overall, I have greatly enjoyed my time at UNSW, I feel like I'm making an important contribution and my knowledge of Physics has been extended greatly. I am very much looking forward to bringing the benefits of my experience back to the classroom.
2017: Inaugral teaching fellow, Ingrid Mendes
Ingrid reflects on her time so far: When I found out that a Visiting Teaching Fellowship was being offered in Physics I was both scared and tempted. Luckily, the temptation won out because this has been a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with university level physics and embrace academia for a year, collaborating with academics to develop teaching materials as well as applying teaching strategies in running tutorials and laboratories for first year courses. The things I have learned here and the links I have made with UNSW will enable me to help students master the new syllabus and transition confidently to university.
This year has been an exceptional professional development opportunity as I have had to revisit university level physics as well as master the skills necessary to develop online courses. I am currently preparing for a short stint of lecturing in second semester, and I am determined to make the most of this wonderful experience.