5 questions to…

…Henny Fosnes, who will have completed her studies to become a high school teacher in physics and mathematics by the summer

Why did you decide to study to become a teacher?
That wasn’t my original plan actually. Straight out of high school I started studying physics but quit rather soon after because I felt I needed a break from studying. I started working instead, and was given the opportunity to teach my workmates about coffee. That teaching people could be so much fun and so rewarding really surprised me! After that, the Secondary Teacher Education Programme felt like the obvious choice. Physics and mathematics also felt like the obvious subjects because I loved them. Now I am on my last semester and I’ve never doubted my choices for a second.

You plan to take both a Bachelor’s degree and a Degree of Master of Science in Secondary Education. How did that come about?
It started with knowing that the Secondary Teacher Education Programme and the Physics Programme included the same or similar courses, so I wondered if it was possible to do a degree project and get a double degree. The opportunity was there, and after that it was just plain sailing. I liked the idea of having the opportunity to take a Master’s degree in physics at some point in my life and I think it’s pretty cheeky too. I think physics and mathematics are just about the coolest things we have. So if there is an easy opportunity to broaden your knowledge in these subjects – why not do it then? That is just so game!

What is the best thing about physics?
(Laughs) I mean is there anything that’s less good about it? Because everything about physics is the best, yeah? No, but all jokes aside. The absolute best thing about physics is that there is always more to discover and understand. I mean it’s with the help of physics that we understand the world. How and why it works the way it does. From the smallest components of the world to the whole universe. Isn’t that just so cool?

All you have to do is ask yourself the question: why? And then there is physics there like a dependable old friend who can give you the answer to the question. I think that people who work with science are the magicians of our world. Do you think Gandalf or Dumbledore would have been so great at magic without knowledge? They sure wouldn’t. Knowledge of the world gives us the opportunity to grow and develop.

What do you think your future job opportunities will be like?
Job opportunities exist. There is such a terrible lack of physics – and maths – teachers, which means that there are jobs. I am really looking forward to getting a job. Even though I love the life of a student, it will be so incredibly exciting to start teaching.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about starting to study at the University of Gothenburg?
Don’t be afraid of trying things out. If you have an area you are interested in and could consider working in, then go for it! The worst thing that can happen is quitting if you don’t like it. And that’s okay. It’s okay to quit. It’s okay to not pass an exam. It’s all about what YOU like. You don’t have to be absolutely sure beyond a shadow of a doubt about the area you choose. Just because you choose an area, it doesn’t mean that you then have to work in that area for the rest of your life. Life changes, you change, but as long as you’re enjoying yourself, it’s all good. You’ve done something right. So my tip is: Dare to try things out, dare to fail.