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I’ve always loved taking things apart. I remember being about 6 years old and re-wiring the bike shed with wires swinging from overhead – luckily there was no electricity applied! Later in my teens I took apart my dad’s PC and unfortunately couldn’t remember the order in which I had dismantled it. I always remember that my dad didn’t seem to mind too much and in fact commented that he had done exactly the same with my grandmothers TV when he was younger. I guess tinkering has been in my blood since birth. Maybe be that’s where my love of Physics came from. With Physics you can take apart the universe and have a look at how it works, and so far without breaking it!
I’m very lucky that I have a job that I enjoy rather than endure. I’m not saying that teaching doesn’t come with its grinds, it can be frustrating at times but when you have all your students around you in the laboratory and you are demonstrating something exciting, the “oohs” and “arrrs” come out. You can see the students “getting it” and the light bulbs in their minds are switching on. It’s a very privileged position to be the first person to show someone how something works. I’m lucky that here in Africa I am teaching in a school that understands the importance of practical laboratory time. I have seen so many schools here that do not have a laboratory or even any real practical equipment. No simulation or reading from a textbook can beat actual tangible experience of experiments. An educational sales rep came to the school the other day to try to sell a 3D projector to us. She commented that “with this there would be no further use for the laboratory and that we would save so much money from not having to buy chemicals”. I love ICT in the classroom, it saves me a whole lot of time but replacing experiments it will never do!