My career as a science technician

by dontregartha April 28, 2017

Q1. Challenges

In my career, as a technician I have been fortunate that only one teacher (Head of Department) has tried to make my life difficult and undermine the role of the science technician. In this instance, it was not just the technician that was targeted, six other members of the department were made to feel inadequate, their work was below par etc. We were in the fortunate position that the school senior management team were very receptive to our concerns and the Head of Department was dismissed after one term.

Q2. Poor Working Relationship

Lack of communication between teacher and technician, if in doubt ask until the request is clear and you have tried out the practical to foresee any potential hazards or problems.

Lack of department resources, that the teaching staff are sometimes unaware of, the limits of supplying (x) number of classes teaching the same topic.

Don’t assume that you understand the lesson plan and at which point that the practical will be utilised, as many times I have had prepared experiments not used during the requested lesson. Don’t get annoyed as things do not always go to plan.

Q3. Impact

A poor working teacher/technician relationship can have a catastrophic effect on science lessons with poor risk assessments not carried out, leaving a teacher to be poorly prepared with a lack of health and safety awareness, putting themselves, students and the school at risk. Students finding the practical aspect of science lessons boring and uninspiring, the practical dimension of the science lesson not complimenting the science theory leading to a confused science lesson.

Q4. Good Working Relationship

As a technician one of my main functions is to make the teachers life as easy as possible so that they can just concentrate on their main job of teaching. To provide the practical aspect of the science curriculum to the fullest and best of my ability. i.e. finding new and exciting ways of delivering different practical experiments. I enjoy taking on new responsibilities so that the technical support team in science is a full and supportive department within a department.

Q5. Top Tips

Always be prepared for last minute requests, where possible be flexible, ability to multi-task.

Organisation, organisation, organisation, have the prep room laid out in an efficient a manner as possible. Have solutions, solid chemicals safely stored but easily to hand.

It is not the end of the world if the practical you spent a long time preparing is not used in the actual lesson it is requested for, it will be utilised eventually.

Personal View

 

I have worked as a school technician for seventeen years in total and it is a very diverse and rewarding position, with far more opportunities and training now than when I first started in the profession in 1980 at Northfield Academy, Aberdeen

Working in an overseas school presents different challenges e.g. getting equipment delivered, chemicals sourced etc. we have to be very inventive in finding suppliers and adapting.  In Repton School we have a diverse range of nationalities, with different approaches to the teaching profession and different standards of safety, part of my job involves the training of new recruits to the standards required for teaching science in Repton school.