“Work hard, be prepared to be flexible and don’t be afraid to try something!”

I joined the Centre for Lifelong Learning for a 2+2 Degree in Social Studies in 2013, graduating last summer. Never did I think I would be teaching topics from a degree course I started studying only 5 years ago but now I am close to completing my PGDE training year.

My advice to anyone joining the PGDE course in September is quite simple; “Work hard, be prepared to be flexible and don’t be afraid to try something!” With that in mind, make sure you keep your ears to the ground for opportunities, and you are prepared for job interviews in the future. Even better, tell everyone you are looking for a job on your placement as you never know when an opportunity may pop up. Finally, if anything, smile at the start and end of the day and be happy to laugh (and learn) at your own mistakes.

My placement currently is based at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, where I have taught Health and Social Policy and study skills. Additionally I have taught Leadership and Management on two other programmes run at the college, my day can get quite varied!

Classes tend to last 4 hours for the course I am teaching, with two of these per week, plus an hour of study skills. Occasionally, we may have one to one sessions during these periods or team teaching with my mentor. Because of the length of my classes and the more flexible timetabled style of learning in FE, my teaching hours can be 9.00am-3.00pm some days (such as Monday) and then 9.30am until 1.45pm other days. The earlier finishes are great for preparation for future lessons or starting assignments, though it also means I can fit in some time to do the housework.

My teaching experience has been a great opportunity for networking with colleagues and widening my experience of the sector. We are a small cohort of trainees at Warwick so I’ve never felt lost in a room during my two study days on campus and when you have something to contribute there is always the opportunity to do so in seminars or workshops. This has helped prepare me for when I am the one standing up in the classroom teaching, when you have to take part and there is no escaping.

Ideally, I would like to get into employment in the FE sector. I have enjoyed teaching, but would like to teach those at functional skills level if the opportunity presents itself. If this doesn’t work out as planned, I have built up a wealth of knowledge and experience through working and studying through Warwick. My advice to new trainees? Be flexible and do not be afraid to try something new.

About the Blogger

Sue is a graduate of our 2+2 Degree Pathway, now studying PGDE (FE and Skills) currently with the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

Bursaries are now available for eligible Maths and English teachers. Click here to find out more.

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