Meet Our Staff: Miss Bowen, Geography
Why did you decide to start teaching at the UTC?
I was one of the first teachers at the UTC and I started before it opened. I was excited about the challenge of a new school and having the opportunity to have an input right from the beginning. During my interview, I had to teach Rolls-Royce apprentices, which showed me how much the UTC valued employer links. I think having good connections with employers is important, because it helps students to gain an insight into the real world of work. When I first looked around the UTC building, I could just see the opportunity that it was going to offer to students and staff.
What is it that interests you about your subject/area?
The study of Geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. It helps young people make sense of the world in which they live, as it explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, the way people and their environment interact and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. Students can build upon their own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.
How did you get into teaching?
Both of my parents were teachers, so they encouraged me to follow a similar career pathway. I could see how passionate they were about teaching students and helping them to learn new skills, so I decided this career would be perfect for me.
What have you noticed since working at the UTC?
Since I started at the UTC, I have noticed just how passionate the students and staff are about learning. The UTC has changed over time and I’m looking forward to even more positive changes, as we make links with employers across the Sheffield City Region after joining The Sheffield UTC Academy Trust.
What kind of projects do the students work on in your subject?
We look at physical environments, from rainforests to deserts, places from Rio de Janeiro to Pride Park, hazards from earthquakes to hurricanes and real-life issues such as climate change and the North / South divide in the UK. Geography is also about experiencing the world around you. One of our projects is a river study in the Peak District, which is a very different environment to Derby city centre.
What has been your highlight of working at the UTC?
My highlight has been working with students from lots of different schools and being able to work at the UTC right from the start. I hope to continue making a difference to the students’ lives, by teaching them new valuable skills that they can use in the future.
What do you think are the strengths of a UTC?
From a Geography perspective, the strengths are the links with engineering and industry. For example, when studying topics such as earthquake-proof buildings or rivers and coastal areas, engineering students can see links with what they have been taught in Engineering. The UTC also has strong employer links, for example, when studying sustainable industry, the students work alongside Toyota to help with their learning.
Why should students come to the UTC?
Students should come to the UTC as it offers them the chance to experience something different from other schools. The staff care about the students succeeding and want to help them achieve their goals.