Where the STEM jobs are
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"You go into a class and suddenly you’ve got 30 faces looking at you, all hoping to learn something exciting."
A self-proclaimed ‘geek’, Tarik has always been passionate about computing. It’s a professional outlet that helped him develop a “fabulously varied and exciting” career, which included travelling the world. But during this time he felt that something was missing, and the pull towards teaching became harder to resist.
“In teaching, instead of working for a CEO, you’re working for the kids,” says the School Direct (salaried) trainee at Poole Grammar School. “This is what drives you to put in the hours and the effort. The reward you’re getting at the end of it is the kids actually learning and creating things independently.”
As a career changer, Tarik says the School Direct (salaried) course has been an excellent fit for him: “The great thing about the training is the amount of time I’ve been able to spend with the class and the amount of control I’ve had. I’ve been able to make my own decisions and see where that takes me. Being in charge of a class allows you to be really hands-on.”
He’s also enjoyed the opportunity to learn alongside his students and keep up-to-date with industry developments. On top of this, the new computing curriculum is helping to make the subject even more exciting to teach.
“When I started teaching I was introduced to new tools that I’d never encountered before in my computing career,” Tarik enthuses. “Scratch is a fantastic example of a program which explores the fundamentals of programming and provides a visual means to learn programming. Seeing some of the things it inspires the class to create is mind-blowing.”
He continues: “The best thing about teaching, and computing in particular, is being able to have the satisfaction of a totally quiet class, when everyone is content to work away. All of a sudden you hear a student go ‘Yes!’ as their program starts working. There’s the excitement and the joy of when they finally figure something out and they have a program which they can be proud of.”
The rewards aren’t only when the ‘light-bulb’ moments arise – teaching has also refreshed Tarik’s sense of perspective and purpose: “You go into a class and suddenly you’ve got 30 faces looking at you, all hoping to learn something exciting. It really changes your view from ‘Let’s see what we can do to satisfy the customer’ to ‘Let’s see what we can do to inspire’.”