The teacher who found her ‘calling’ in STEM at a young age

Posted: April 5, 2022

Sports and science programme manager, Huda Sheikh Shahid, first identified her passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics(STEM) subjects when she was a young girl.

Having moved from Germany to the UK when she was eight years old, Huda found it difficult to settle in at school but found that maths was the subject that allowed her to develop academically as it was the only ‘language’ she understood in the classroom.

A passion for maths
Huda said: “As time went on, my passion for the sciences was almost as great as it was for maths and resulted in me pursuing a course in STEM at university.

“I felt my studies, especially in science subjects, grounded me and helped me communicate better, as it combined both written and verbal communication really well.”

She went on to study chemical engineering at the University of Hull before completing a
PGCE in lifelong learning at the University of Huddersfield.

Choosing a career path
After completing her PGCE, she applied for a teaching position at Leeds City College as a maths teacher, later transitioning into a more hybrid role teaching maths, science and engineering during the 2020/21 academic year. During this period, she applied for and became a programme manager in the sport and science department.

“I have learnt so much in my various roles so far and one key saying that resonates and motivates me on a daily basis is, ‘the more knowledge the better’. It has pushed me to do better and be better, especially when it comes to delivering quality lessons to my learners.

Huda, who used to complete a range of GCSE Maths papers in her personal time to see what it was like from a learner’s point of view, said that she found it helped her develop as a teacher.

“Completing past papers helped me gain a wider perspective of the ways a student might answer questions and also gave me insight and understanding of how students’ learning styles differ and how I could adapt lessons to suit a particular learner, or group of learners.”

Working in STEM
On working in a STEM-related field, Huda encouraged other people looking to pursue a career in any one of those areas, to take a leap of faith.

“It opens up a diverse range of opportunities, not only academically but also professionally. Going into a STEM-based career will definitely always keep you challenged and engaged.

“There is nothing that has brought me more satisfaction than seeing my students thrive at the end of the academic year or even at the end of a STEM session knowing that I have played a part in their progress. Their achievements feel like my achievements and every one of them makes me feel so proud to be their teacher.”

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