The only full-time physics teacher at an Aberdeenshire secondary has urged others to consider a profession in teaching.
Duncan Barclay, 25, recently began working at Inverurie Academy after abandoning his engineering dreams for the whiteboard.
He initially studied engineering at the Robert Gordon University before deciding to do his teacher training at Aberdeen University.
There have been well publicised problems attracting teachers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects – particularly in more rural areas.
Traditionally high wages in the oil and gas industry had led to a high cost of living in the region-putting off public sector workers from living here.
But Mr Barclay said that, with the oil and gas downturn, the profession was becoming increasingly attractive to the more technically minded.
He said: “I qualified in 2017 so this is my second year out of probation, so every year my pay scale goes up.
“I initially had wanted to work in Formula One and looked at other opportunities in the energy industry when I was at university.
“Teaching was never something I had really thought about before.
“But I decided it would be a better opportunity to actually look at teaching and that’s what I ended up settling on.”
Mr Barclay said he likes the security of the profession – but most importantly, likes seeing the impact he has on the youngsters he is teaching.
“I knew it would be more secure, unlike the oil and gas industry where a lot of people lost their jobs, as you don’t have to worry about the market crashing as there will always be a need for teachers.
“I think traditionally people have seen teaching in a very different light, they think you need to be strict and are concerned about working with young people.
“But when I started learning and then being in the classroom I just knew it was something I loved and wanted to do.
“I really enjoy the impact I have on my pupil’s lives and teaching them the kind of skills they can use into the future.
“Plus it’s a great social life at the school – even though I’m the only full-time physics teacher I still speak to people in the staff room.”