- Dux of Sydney Technical High Physics 2018
- Medicine Student at UNSW
For me, my passion for science grew from my childhood interest in one particular area of interest – astronomy. But initially this fascination over the study of space, and later the physics that governed it, wasn’t because I immediately fell in love with how a star fuses hydrogen atoms together under the immense pressure of its own mass, or that gravity can literally bend light. Instead it was a simple instance of wonder and curiosity that struck every time I would see the stars in the night sky above the small town of my childhood home. It was this simple curiosity, and a powerful drive to learn more, that led me to a lifelong interest in the field of physics.
But interest alone wasn’t all that I needed to get the results I needed, and ultimately achieved, in my preliminary and HSC years. What I needed was guidance and it came in the form of my year 11 physics teacher. No, he wasn’t an expert physicist with a Ph.D. under his belt. And he never needed to be. All he needed to know was what to teach and how to teach it. And yes, he really knew how to teach. In my 12 years of schooling, he was one of the only two teachers that ever stood out to me as being a great teacher. He created such an environment and a bond with his students that everyone felt welcomed, and encouraged to learn regardless of their level. He had the ability to explain physics concepts and theories based on student’s abilities – whatever they may be.
For myself, my lifelong interest in physics allowed me to easily understand the theory. My teacher however taught me the crucial skills without which I could never have achieved a band 6. To get the marks, you don’t just need to know the answer. You need to know how to answer the question in the exam and to write the best response that checks all the criteria. He not only inspired me to continue to learn more and strive for excellence, but to also teach others in the way teaching could and should be done – the way he did every day.
The bond between a teacher and students is critical. This idea is even emphasised by my medical tutors at university regarding the relationship between a doctor and their patients. It’s not just about being comfortable and making the experience more bearable. A truly good bond and rapport yields better results for both parties.
In short, my reason for tutoring physics is simple, really. I was simply curious about the pretty stars in the sky and I was taught by someone who simply knew how to teach. And that is what I aim to do – to simply teach.