PGCE Training at The University of Manchester – A Retrospective
Well – that came quickly!
If you talk to any PGCE student over the next couple of weeks, you’ll probably get the same response. Even though it feels like only yesterday that we started the course, it’s almost over already. I’ve got just two weeks left as I write this blog. The first such week will be spent in university, learning some final key skills to take into teaching including the role of a head of department, Oxbridge training and even some first aid! And then in the final week of my PGCE, I will travel down to the school I have a job in from September, for an induction.
In the short space of 10 months, I’ve completed 3 terms worth of placements, 3 masters level university assignments, countless observations, lessons plans and somehow managed to fit in the chance to see Manchester, and spent countless nights in its fantastic variety of theatres, bars, cafes and cinemas.
One of the highlights of the course for me has been the ability to focus on areas of teaching I have been really passionate about. As part of my second university assignment, which focused on equality and diversity in the classroom, I looked at how an LGBT inclusive curriculum can be delivered in 2022. Off the back of this, I was able to write a blog on my findings for the university website. I then had several students and even lecturers contact me to say how much they had enjoyed reading it, and that it would influence their practice. This was an amazing moment for me, and I felt so proud to be making a difference, even in a small way.
I’ve tried to consider what has not gone well this year, but its difficult to think of many negative experiences on the PGCE. Of course, the early starts have been an adjustment, but luckily all of my placement schools have had plenty of coffee in the staff room to help with that! And of course, development has been central to my experience this year. Constructive feedback from mentors after my lessons has meant that my teaching is now worlds apart from what I was delivering at the start of the year. My number one advice to future PGCE students would be don’t fear this feedback – it’s part of making you a better teacher!
This 10 months has changed my life in countless ways, it’s almost impossible to put into words. But I think these from my favourite TV show The Good Place just about do it:
“ If there was an answer I could give you to how the universe works, it wouldn’t be special. But since nothing seems to make sense, when you find something that does, its euphoria”
I was always sceptical of people who talked of so called ‘dream jobs.’ I never really believed I would find a career where I would genuinely feel happy to walk into work in the morning. However, that’s all changed now! Through the PGCE I have been able to find a career that I truly love. And when your 6am alarm goes off, that first coffee of the morning tastes a lot better with a big smile on your face 🙂