Josh – Middle School Maths and Science Teacher

Who are you?

Hey, I’m Josh Bruton and I currently work as a Maths and Science teacher with the Department of Education in Victoria.

How did you get into this job?

A university degree with a Bachelor of Health Science, then a second degree moving onto a Masters Of Teaching (Middle and Secondary).

My initial major qualification is with PDHPE, and Maths and Science as my minor fields.

But as I had more time to experience the learning and Science that came with the Health Science degree in areas of Biology, Anatomy and Physiology etc, I seemed to find my passion hidden inside something else.

What do you actually do?

So as a teacher my job seems pretty obvious to anyone.

I guess the things that people may not be aware of is that whilst teaching seems simple on paper, my day is filled with trying to make every Science and Mathematics topic easier to understand, but also more interesting and creative at every opportunity to create memorable, fun and creatively unique learning experiences.

What type of building (or otherwise) do you work in?

A MASSIVE property in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Currently the property has roughly 2500 students in a Kinder to Year 9 school setting with our first year 10’s beginning in 2018.

So this unique setting creates some amazing learning opportunities and some obvious dilemma’s at the same time due to student population, classes and space limitation.

What STEM disciplines are involved with your work?

So as a Science and Mathematics Teacher to the Middle School age group I teach a broad General Science knowledge such as the fundamental areas of Biology, Physics and Chemistry and Mathematics topics of Algebra, Pythagoras’ Theorem and Financial Mathematics that we all know, love and use in our everyday lives.

What other STEM People do you work with?

As a teacher I have the amazing opportunity to communicate with many experts from various fields. Many teachers have often come from previous fields prior to their teaching, many from STEM/STEAM fields.

In my current location I have in my company teacher with experience in Medical backgrounds in DNA and Reproduction, a Geologist, Dialysis Nurse among many others I am still yet to uncover.

However being in the presence of lifelong educators in a STEM field is impressive and a great learning experience in itself.

What does a typical day for you look like?

As a teacher I believe there is no “typical day”, every day brings unique challenges into the classroom from students having a bad day, my lesson plan not going as smoothly as expected, a specific resource not being available, a YouTube link dropping out or buffering when it was a key element to the lesson or simply the weather changing my students mood.

Teacher’s do not have typical day’s because you have about 25 individuals in their classroom with their own lives, issues and learning styles that all require your best efforts EVERY day!

What do you like best about your work?

There is NO job like it.

A different challenge every day.

Lots of colleagues to collaborate, learn and communicate with.

A job that can be transferred to anywhere in the world and a career that can last a lifetime.

Many opportunities for future growth and career expansion.

Amazing personal skills that can develop you into a person with a range of skills that can make you a strong asset to any future workplace if teaching is not for you in the long game?

Holidays are pretty good too!

What do you like least about your work?

Long hours are a must, to become the best this a requirement of any job though. Research, communication with your peers, administration work (lots of marking), emails, contact with students and parents.

The job is not just at the front of the classroom but require these and various more often hidden aspects.

But it is all worth it, because in your classroom you shape the future of humanity with potential Scientists, Doctors, Engineers and other currently unknown careers and experts.

What advice would you have for a high school student considering a career in the STEM field?

As stated above, the job is incredibly unique. You are required to portray multiple careers all in a day from Teacher, Psychologist, Philosopher, Parent, Judge, Social Worker and Social Commentator amongst others.

But all these create a better you to help change the world for many students who may need a good person in their lives. You have the opportunity as a teacher to change the lives of hundreds of students lives in your career.

My advice is do what you love, be good to yourself and your students.

A passion is required and like any job, not all days will be the best, but over time you will learn from your mistakes and tomorrow gives you the opportunity to come back again and improve with new and better ideas.

Just be your best for those around you!