We all get in to teaching for the gratitude. Oh yes. Happy students bounding to your door thanking you for your teaching; parents clogging the school switchboard begging to speak to you so they can effuse about the long evenings spent marking an planning; politicians, officials and regulators all falling over themselves to… oh, you get the idea: people don’t say thank you that often.

He doesn’t like to mention it

So we are celebrating this month: our very own Thomas WP receiving one of the IOP’s Teacher Awards. This is so well-deserved. Thomas is a passionate physics teacher who believes deeply in the subject and its ability to transform students thinking, and so their futures. He maintains a wonderful mix of wonder and open-mindedness for how to teach the Big Ideas, alongside a steely determination not to be drawn away from the subject he loves (unlike some dilettantes who head off to become a Head of 6th Form or something.)

This is Robin writing the notes by the way: he will hate this and want me to remove it. Not a chance. Please also ensure that if you contact Thomas about anything, you refer at least once to him being “the award-winning Thomas WP”.

Book 1

This week we talk Shed Loads of Practice (SLOP) with another stalwart of physics, friend of the podcast and Lego Physics Guy, Lewis Matheson. Lewis tells us about his new book, and how Amazon is potentially democratising the publishing process.

Lewis’s book is based on the principle that the ability to tackle physics problems is a skill akin to learning an instrument: it takes practice (preferably daily) to become expert and be confident in tackling new challenges.

Practice may not make perfect, but it does make you better… we explore some of the educational labels that encompass SLOP: mastery, retrieval practice, automaticity and describe how SLOP might be a useful addition to help students learn.

See the links section for some of the resources we discuss.

We finish by musing on the perfect textbook. I certainly haven’t seen it yet: what would you like to see in there? Do let us know.


Join in!

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: .  You can also message us via our website contact form at, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember), you could even email us an autio file if you are feeling really keen.


The music is used under the Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License