10 Questions with a Teacher: Niruththan Sivanathan

Niruththan Sivanathan teaches Physics at a secondary school in East London and has been a valued member of their school community for a year. Although he's relatively new to the school life, he has nearly a decade of teaching experience from tutoring students whilst completing his university education, and whilst working a corporate job after graduating. Last year, he finally made the decision to commit to what he really enjoys - teaching. Niruththan shares his experience in the teaching world and gives us a full insight into a typical day at school.

1. Use three words to describe your job

Gratifying, Challenging, Fun

2. What is a book or movie that inspires you?

The Pursuit of Happyness

3. What was your first job?

A trading platform delivery engineer

4. Who inspires you?

My dad

5. Which has been more valuable in your career, your education or your experience?

After graduation, I started working at a Fintech firm, whilst working there I realised that I wasn't really enjoying my job. Around this time, I realised that I enjoyed tutoring, which I have been doing part-time for the last 9 years, over my actual job. I guess, by working for a corporate firm, I learnt that I prefer teaching.

6. What drew you to this field?

I have always been interested in sharing my understanding with my peers. When I was studying at school I used to often help out my friends, this led me to get a tutoring job when I started university. I enjoy working with people and sharing my knowledge. The gratification I get when I help a student understand a concept or solve a complex problem is incomparable! This is why I pursued teaching.

7. What skills/education have you found vital to your job?

Communication, interpersonal and organisation

8. Would you do anything differently if you could go back in time?

I love the path I have taken, I feel all the different experiences have shaped me into who I am now. So no, I will not change anything.

9. What does a typical day at work look like?

6:30 Wake up and get ready for work

8:00 Get into work, make sure you are organised for the first two lessons of the day.

8:35 Attend staff briefing

8:45 Tutor duty

9:00 Deliver the first two lessons of the day

11:00 Break - Monitor students, mark work and prepare for the next lesson

11:20 Deliver two lessons

13:20 Lunch - Mark and get ready for the last lesson of the day

14:10 Deliver the last lesson of the day

15:10 Tutor and form duty

15:25 Mark and prepare for next day, data entry, run after school clubs and meetings until

17:00 or 18:00.

The marking and lesson preparation can often overrun into weekends.

10. What advice do you have for someone who wants to enter the industry?

Volunteer at different schools to gather different perspectives, speak to different teachers and hear about their experiences.


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