Career change: chemist to teacher

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The Independent Online

Dr David Wilson, who has a degree in Chemistry and a PHD in anti-cancer drugs, was originally a chemist but decided to change careers. He has worked as a teacher at a secondary school in Cambridgeshire for two years.

“I was fed up of making money for other people; my mum was a primary school teacher and my uncle a headteacher so for me it was never a case of if I would get into teaching but when. I took my teacher training course (PGCT) three years ago and found it quite hard. I am a scientist but the course was more about social science so I didn’t find it that easy, but it has paid dividends.



“I am absolutely loving it – it is one of the best jobs in the world. Not the best paid, granted, but the best for job satisfaction, I wanted to work in industry before I started teaching so that I had a wealth of experience that I could bring to the classroom.



“I really recommend teaching. It is the most wonderful experience, but professionals shouldn’t think, ‘I can’t be bothered in my job anymore so I will do teaching,’ because it is difficult. I get up early and stay up late preparing lessons and marking. In industry there are periods of really high stress and then low stress but teaching is a constant medium. If you’re the type of person that feeds off that then you can’t beat it.



“The other day a boy told me that science was his favourite subject – this was a pupil who got in trouble and had been ready to drop out of school. It is so rewarding. It would make my life complete if, in a few years’ time, I was walking down Cambridge high street and a grown-up pupil came up to me and said, ‘Dr Wilson, you were my favourite teacher and now my child loves science too.’ It is all about putting your roots down and becoming part of a community.”

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