Thinking about getting into teaching? A PGCE Secondary course is more than just a teaching qualification. It can be hugely worthwhile personally and professionally for those who embark on the journey towards becoming a teacher.
Our 'Professional Studies Programme', as part of the PGCE courses here at the University of Worcester will have something for the interests of everyone. The programme also allows you to develop your knowledge, skills and behaviours for the profession.
So, what type of trainee teacher might you naturally be and what might you bring to the course? Our descriptions below might help you decide.
The ‘Class teacher’
These trainee teachers love, above all else, being in the classroom with their pupils (they also seem to love stationery!) These trainees tend to feel guilty for being away from their groups when attending sessions back here at university. But be reassured, these trainee teachers love our sessions run by current expert teachers on classroom-related topics such as Behaviour Management and Adaptive Teaching. You see them scribbling pages and pages of notes with practical strategies that they can use in the classroom as soon as they are back in school.
These trainee teachers are naturally career minded. They progress through the course with intention and focus (you can imagine the theme tune from the BBC’s The Apprentice playing in the background). These trainees are open to constructive feedback from tutors on how to be the best teacher that they can be, they like to make a good impression and can often be found at the front of our very popular Headteachers’ Question Time.
These trainee teachers are like sponges. They are the first to read the programme’s associated books, articles, and blogs. They value and respect the wide range of knowledge and opinions among their peers, tutors, mentors and colleagues in school, keen to learn from everyone.
These trainees enjoy assignments about how pupils learn and Professional Studies sessions on the teenage brain, cognitive science and neurodiversity. These provide trainees with the context and vocabulary needed to deepen their understanding and further their reading with confidence.
Often trainee teachers start the course having taken a gap from their undergraduate studies. Trainee teachers who have travelled the world, experienced different cultures or worked in a wide range of areas before embarking on their teacher training, often benefit from the values and opinions that they have picked up along the way. These trainees particularly enjoy the chance to discuss and debate topics with their peers and tutors in a safe and professional environment. They bring insight to our Professional Studies sessions around Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and our wider curriculum areas such as Social, Moral, Spiritual & Cultural (SMSC) and Personal, Social, Health & Economic education (PSHE).
Many people decide to become qualified teachers having worked in education, schools or with young people in different remits. Trainee teachers who have previously been teaching assistants, cover supervisors or school administration staff, tend to start the course with a wider awareness of how classroom teachers’ roles fit into the overall aims of a school. They may have been introduced to many government guidelines and statutory requirements before and they appreciate their importance, helping to inform peers who are learning about professional responsibilities for the first time. They know that every experience is a learning experience and are acutely aware that there is a bigger picture to the role of a teacher.
All trainee teachers are class teachers, apprentices, students, philosophers and professionals but some fit into one category more than others! Our Professional Studies Programme equips everyone with the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for teaching, while celebrating the diversity among our cohort. Hopefully this short blog has prompted you to reflect on what you can bring to teaching and our Professional Studies sessions.
Find out more about getting into teaching.