At the moment there are three of us, me, Dr. Christine Creagh (the person with the Fellowship), Associate Prof. Rob Phillips (critical friend and consultant on matters of education and the internet) and Allan Boyd (web dude extraordinaire). We have a few other regular contributors lined up for when we get into full swing and as they join us I will ask them to introduce themselves and I am sure Rob and Allan will put up a post about themselves soon. So to me...
I started my undergraduate physics degree in 1991 when I was around 36years old. Prior to that I had enjoyed physics in high school and then became a Diagnostic Radiographer after 3 short years studying at Curtin University (then WAIT). It was a good job, good pay but on-call for emergencies was a bit stressful. Anyway I worked with the Med Dep long enough to get pro-rata long service leave when I left. My next serious job was as a high-school lab assistant which I found to be a very constructive and creative experience. Basically I had access to all the toys! After that there was about 10years as a stay-at-home mum in various cities around the world.
Back to 1991. I wanted to become a librarian but you need a degree in something else to do that. So I chose a passion from long ago as the starting degree, Physics, and somehow never managed to get back to the library. I blame my undergraduate degree choice on Mr. Nuffield and his physics course which was running in my high school in the late 1960s. It was inspiring! Anyway as you have already surmised I got through undergrad, honours and eventually did a PhD in physics. Right back at the start of my undergrad studies though I thought it might be interesting to do the concurrent Grad. Dip. Ed. that Murdoch Uni was offering and this is where I picked up my passion for teaching and engaging in it as a reflective practitioner.
I have been lucky/unlucky enough to teach first year physics to a mixed discipline group of students since the start of my academic career. Lucky in that it has always posed challenges which have kept me searching for ways to engage students in their studies. Unlucky for the same reasons in that this continuous quest takes time, and time is a limited resource, so something else in an academic’s life suffers as a consequence. However I am now playing the end game, looking towards retirement and I would like to tidy up all the loose ends of the things I have been doing, give away what I can, encourage where I can, and of course the ultimate goal, leave the place a slightly better place than I found it.
So I hope you find what we will create here useful. I hope it brings people who teach physics together so that they can support each other. For we are a widely scattered community across the institutions of the world where the academic sitting next to you may not understand the language of physics education.