RMPS has so many possibilities and can lead on to so many different possible career paths. This series is going to demonstrate the many paths that RMPS can take you on and the wide variety of occupations and career paths that it can help equip you for.
Firstly we will start with Mrs Whyte, the creator of learningrmps.com and RMPS Teacher. You may say that this is an obvious career path for people who take RMPS but this was not always her goal.
Mrs Whyte, RMPS Teacher
What did you Study?
I studied Higher RMPS in 5th Year at school before going on to study Religious Studies, History and Professional Education at the University of Stirling.
Why did you choose to study it?
I initially didn’t choose to study RMPS at Higher. In fact, I initially chose Drama. However, I didn’t get on very well with the teacher and I knew I wouldn’t work well in her class so I went to see my guidance teacher and I was given the option of a few classes that still had space and RMPS was one of them.I really enjoyed the class and the people in it. It was an excellent and inspiring learning environment. So much so that there are 3 people who were in my Higher RMPS class that are all now RMPS teachers! I have always loved learning about different religions, I remember when I was in Primary 5 and the school library got a book in called ‘What I Believe’ and I was so excited to read it! I loved Higher RMPS! I did want to take Advanced Higher RMPS but there was a timetable clash with another subject so I couldn’t. Religion has always fascinated me. I am not particularly religious but I find it amazing that so many people are and the dedication that so many people show to their religion. I also find it amazing that people like Jesus, Mohammed and Siddartha Gautama lived so long ago but yet still have an influence on so many people’s lives. I initially wanted to become an archivist or librarian when I left school, but the careers advice I got at school wasn’t great and so I opted to instead study subjects I enjoyed and so it was a toss-up between Religious Studies and either Politics or History. When I looked into university courses I saw the Religious Studies, History and Professional Education course at the University of Stirling and I thought that’s what I can do! Be an RME teacher!
What is your Occupation?
I am an RMPS and History teacher. I have been a teacher for about 5 years and taught in 4 schools. I have taught a range of RMPS, History and other social subjects. All social subjects overlap and so there are a lot of similarities between RMPS, History, and subjects such as Modern Studies. I have also worked as a guidance teacher which brings about a whole different set of skills.
How did your study of RME (or related subjects) help you?
Firstly the knowledge I gained in Higher still helps me to this day. I still have my old school jotters and sometimes I have looked at them when I have been teaching a certain topic to remember how I was taught it and so how I can teach it to a class. I had excellent RMPS teachers when I was at school and so I use their teaching as an example. My studies at University although were always interesting I remember thinking there is no way I would ever teach this to a class of pupils. However there are so many elements of my university course that I have brought into teaching, for example, I completed a whole unit on different interpretations of the Bible, which we do a lot at National 5 and Higher. For my dissertation I completed research into how RMPS is perceived in Scottish Schools and so this research has helped me shape my teaching practice, knowing that pupils, staff, and parents often misunderstand what RMPS is about.
So many pupils ask me “when am I going to need to know this information” or “I can just Google this” however there are so many situations when you use the skills of RMPS in ‘real life’. For example, being faced with difficult decisions that you know what the right choice should be but also you are unsure about it because it is also a difficult task to make. This is a skill we practice in RMPS when we look at moral issues. The right option isn’t always the easy option. Even when I got married, thinking about the type of service my husband and I were going to have was not a straightforward decision but we weighed up the different religious and non-religious ceremonies before making that decision.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
There are so many pieces of advice and knowledge I would give myself. I mean firstly stick in at school, listen to teachers when they say ‘this is important make sure you know this’ or ‘you need to revise this’. Sometimes I took the support teachers gave me for granted. I think another thing is stick to your gut, take subjects you are going to enjoy and not just because it seems like something you ‘should do’. I struggled through Higher Maths and although I am proud I passed. I feel like perhaps I could have concentrated elsewhere!
If you would like to submit your own story of your progression path from studying RMPS or something similar please contact me or fill in this form.