My name is Keith.
I am a Physics teacher and I offer affordable online tuition to GCSE and A Level Physics students.
I did my GCSEs and A Levels, as most young people do, and then decided to study Physics at University.
After graduating with my MPhys (Hons) Physics with Photonics degree, I did three years of work towards a PhD (two separate PhD projects). After three years of post-graduate study, I decided to apply for teacher training. Unfortunately, the course did not start for 11 months, and as this was 2008 during a recession, I was forced to take any job I could in order to keep paying the mortgage. So, I ended up at a fast food restaurant.
That was a humbling experience. I completed my PGCE in Secondary Science (Physics) and worked over the Summer for the University of Manchester teaching A Level Physics to students from Saudi Arabia. Then in September 2011 I started working at Altincham Grammar School for Boys. After two years working there, and 11 years in the North West, it was time for me to return home to Essex.
So I now work in one of the top Grammar Schools in the country. I am the Head of Physics here, leading a very successful department. I am an AQA A Level Physics Examiner, picking up valuable experience about exam board idosyncracies, which I use to support my teaching.
Teaching is the best job in the world! In what other job would I get to use my Physics degree whilst dressed as a robot or a fairy or a genie or Shrek (or whatever else I end up dressed as)?
I was fortunate to work with a remarkable colleague, called Dr Machacek. He is the finest Physics teacher I have ever met. He is involved with a project called Isaac Physics. He invited me to collaborate with him, and since then I have co-authored the GCSE Isaac Physics book and helped to run countless bootcamps, workshops and masterclasses for GCSE and A Level Physics.
And then Covid-19 happened.
In March 2020, many of my teacher friends and colleagues were posting on social media, saying that they will help people who need it. Many would copy-paste something like this:
“While you are home-schooling/remotely/digitally educating your children, if you need assistance with understanding something that has been assigned for your child, or if you need more resources, just give me a shout.
“I’m a [subject] teacher.
“I’ll be happy to answer questions and if I can’t help I’m sure I know someone who can!”
I decided to do something a little bit more involved. Inspired by Joe Wicks, I set up Physics With Keith.
Since then, Physics With Keith has continued to grow in popularity. I ran a six-week GCSE Summer School, and continued to offer weekly tuition sessions for free.
On 15 June 2022 the Physics With Keith YouTube Channel finally hit 1000 subscribers, but paradoxically participation started to decline. This was partly due to the exam season drawing to a close, but also some other explanations were put forward by a colleague of mine.
Firstly, students often conflate value with price. Something that is free will often be overlooked, but if someone makes a financial commitment, however small, they are more likely to commit more fully. Secondly, it was possible that GCSE students were intimidated by the A Level students who participated, and felt out of their depth.
To address these two possibilities, at the end of the Summer term in 2022 I took the difficult decision to start charging a small fee to participate fully with the tuition sessions. Any students in financial hardship who could not afford that fee would still be able to participate fully if they contacted me and asked. I also decided to offer separate GCSE and A Level sessions, and to ensure that students who were A Level students would not participate and intimidate the GCSE students, the two levels would involve two separate subscription tiers.
More about me
I enjoy camping, playing music (I play the piano and the ukulele), singing, and kayaking.
I have a wonderfully patient wife and an intelligent, thoughtful daughter.
I am a Buddhist, and have been practising since 2008.