First impressions - from a staff point of view
December 13th 2016
Science teacher, Miss Choudhary, who joined us in September, takes some time to answer some questions on what brought her to Hockerill and looking back on her first term here.
1) What is it you love about science?
Science is a fascinating subject. The story is never over, and is always evolving. Science is in everything we do, and everything can be linked back to it. The questions are endless and it is just incredible.
2) Why did you go into teaching?
I absolutely love teaching. There are few other professions where you can say that every day is a different adventure. You meet extraordinary people in both staff and students. I feel very honoured to know that I get to help shape the next generation, and there is no other feeling like that ‘light bulb’ moment when you see the face of a student change as they finally understand what it is you are trying to explain!
3) What sort of schools have you taught in before?
I’ve been lucky enough to have had different responsibilities in a variety of different schools, and in a variety of different locations. Ranging from state school to private school, boarding schools to normal day school, in London, Yorkshire and Dubai! I have discovered so much at each place and as a teacher you should never stop learning and evolving yourself.
4) What made you apply to Hockerill?
Before Hockerill I was working in Dubai, and was wanting to return to the UK. I was looking for a school with a good reputation and one that taught the IB. So I was very lucky that a position for a Science teacher came up here! I also asked my friends and family for their opinion, and they had many positive things to say about the school.
5) What did you think when you came for interview?
I was immediately impressed by the behaviour of the students and the way they carried themselves, it put a massive smile on my face. I also thought it was brilliant that a lot of tours/open days etc took place during normal working days, so what you see is what you get. No false impressions, no hype, just honesty.
6) What are your responsibilities here?
I teach all the Sciences to students in years 7-9, and then specialise in Biology at GCSE. I am very fortunate to have been given responsibility for teaching both year 12 and year 13 higher level IBDP Biology, something I have never done before and have been wanting to do for a long time! The faith the department have in me is an honour! I am also the 12P2 form tutor, and my form are fantastic, they make me laugh every day and have made me feel at ease as a new member of staff.
7) Has it been as you expected?
Yes and no. I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the incredible people I work with in the Science department. They make my job easier every day and have already become a second family. Everybody in the Science department works incredibly hard, and everybody also fits together socially. We have the perfect mix. I work to the best of my ability every day because I never want to let them, or the students, down.
8) What’s been the same/ what’s been different?
Having never taught at an IB school before I was quite nervous about teaching a new syllabus and not having as in-depth knowledge as I would have liked. However, I love a challenge and I love teaching, so was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to teach IBDP Biology. I absolutely love it, and my students are fantastic. I have always been lucky in that I have been surrounded by like-minded, hard-working people in my department so it was lovely to join that sort of environment in the Science department at Hockerill. Praise has to be given to the students too, they make our jobs easier every day, and I think we are all incredibly lucky.
9) What’s do you like about teaching here?
That you can just teach! You walk into a classroom and students want to learn, they ask questions, they want to stretch themselves. Behaviour isn’t an issue so valuable teaching time isn’t wasted dealing with such issues. Staff get to focus on the students, and tailor their teaching to individual student needs. It’s a huge positive about teaching at Hockerill.
10) What would you perhaps like to change?
I think it’s important that as an IB school we correctly teach the students the values and standards needed to become well-rounded individuals by the time they leave us. Whilst there are numerous events and activities to allow this to happen, it is difficult to find free time to participate in these as a teacher, and to get to know the students more in a pastoral sense. I would also be very interested to see how lessons are taught across the school in different faculties, so think it would be useful if something could be set up to allow that to happen easily.
11) How easy has it been to settle in/ do you feel totally settled now or are you still learning new things about the College?
I honestly feel as though I have been working with the Science department for years already. Everybody just gels, everybody helps each other, and we work as a team. In particular I have to say a massive thank you to Miss Brocchi, Miss Swann and Miss Brown who have taken me under their wings; you definitely hit the ground running at Hockerill, and as well as showing me the ropes they have continued to work tirelessly for the students. Also let’s not forget our fabulous lab technicians who have to put up with all of us crazy scientists on a daily basis! I am learning things on a daily basis and I think it will all seem a little new to me until I have completed my first academic year here.
12) How would you like to see things develop for yourself at HAEC?
I love teaching. I love being in the classroom, that’s where my passion is. However, Science never stops, learning never stops, even as adults we learn things every day. And so I also enjoy being involved with initiatives and roles that might help students to develop themselves and progress even further. I have previously been involved in the running of the department, in writing the schemes of work, etc, so in the future I would like to take a role similar to that if one becomes available. Having said that, the Science staff involved with these at Hockerill are incredibly dedicated and talented at their jobs, so I would have very large shoes to fill if a position ever did come up!
Posted at 15:22 on 12th Dec 2016