My NQT year is going really well…I am currently teaching at a creative college in the East Midlands, which I started in January. I had worked and taught in schools (primary and secondary) previously before starting the PGDE and my only regret is not considering going into FE sooner!
Reflecting on Warwick…
I regularly reflect on how incredibly grateful I am to have successfully completed my PGDE at Warwick, and have a job in an organisation that is conducive with my laid back and humorous personality. From an organisational perspective, my colleagues have been really welcoming, and my line manager and head of the curriculum have been really supportive. This has helped me settle into the role smoothly, despite some of the challenges that come with being an NQT and new tutor.
No day is the same! This can be both a great thing in terms of not having a mundane, ‘here we go again’ experience, but not so great in terms of having to rearrange your marking or lunchtime during teaching gaps when unpredictable things happen.
There are elements that I expected such as; having fun teaching and engaging with students, dealing with minor behavioural issues, having to revert to back up plans on the odd occasions when equipment has malfunctioned etc. However, I did not expect there to be as much admin to the role, which is often related to the unexpected.
In some respects, our placements were similar to what it would be like teaching in my current role, however, I have found a difference in how each organisation runs its courses and the sizes of the organisation can also make a difference. During my placement, I only taught one class of 16-17 students. I now teach three separate classes, so that took some getting used too!
There were moments on the PGDE I felt like giving up, (although I would not have), just because at times there was so much to do, and I struggled with balancing studies with other commitments. But successfully finishing the PGDE felt amazing and I am confident I made the right choice with choosing Warwick over other providers.
Tips for PGDE students:
- Try to learn students names as soon as possible (I used the register and other methods to help with this)
- Develop ‘the look’ – this can be enough
- Talk to students directly when challenging behaviours as opposed to talking across the room
- Move around the room often, sometimes without saying anything to encourage students to remain on task
- Use a mixture of electronic and tangible resources in lessons to ensure variety
- Find creative ways to develop resources that are visually engaging
About the Blogger
Denise is a graduate of our PGDE (FE and Skills) A Teachers Training course for those wishing to work in the for Further Education and Skills sector, which we run at the Centre for Lifelong Learning.
Read her blog from her PGDE year, “I am even considering working abroad”.