Case study

Health and social care teacher — Mercy Opeoluwa Adegboyega

Five years after completing a BA in Health and Social Care, Mercy completed a PGCE in Further Education, and is now teaching health and social care at a sixth form college

What degree did you study?

I studied for a BA Health and Social Care at the University of Greenwich and graduated in 2018 with a 2:1. I then went onto study a PGCE at Greenwich and graduated in 2019.

How relevant is your degree?

Health and social care is a great way to gain a good understanding and foundation to go into other areas such as health or education. Everything I learned in my degree comes into my teaching role, so I'd say it's very relevant.

What's a typical working day like?

I work 9am-5pm but I don't teach all the time. I'm either teaching, marking, leading tutorials, planning ahead for teaching or attending meetings. I'm also part of the mentoring programme and teach on a work experience unit through which I've had the opportunity to take students to visit different universities to get a feel for the courses.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I find interacting with students very rewarding - helping them, supporting them and teaching them new things. Teaching them to understand keywords and concepts, how to do things and supporting with coursework. Hearing students say 'thankyou Miss' is great.

What are the challenges?

There are lots of challenges. I think one of the biggest is having to work at home outside of designated working hours. I feel guilty for working at home but quite often it's difficult to get it all done on-site.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

I'm hoping to return to the University of Greenwich to start my Masters in Education and eventually I hope to run my own careers centre for young people. I want to establish this so that the service is accessible across the UK and to develop connections with professionals in all areas. As part of this, I want to complete instructor courses in First Aid and Infection Control, so that I can support young people to gain training, skills, employability knowledge and provide careers advice. The centre will support young people to embark on the correct careers choices. I feel that young people need somewhere where they feel comfortable and confident to ask questions. They want somewhere they can relax and get support at the same time.

How essential is a Masters to getting your chosen job?

In my chosen Masters there are different specialisms and one of them is youth and community, which will be relevant to the work I want to go into. I would like my service to work in partnership with schools and colleges, providing support in common areas where students can come and get advice and plan their future in between classes, so knowledge of education will be important.

What advice can you give to others?

  • Always be on top of your assignments. Make sure you know what assignments are coming up so you can plan ahead.
  • Make good use of your lecturers. My dissertation supervisor was amazing and she's head of the course now. She also inspired me to be a good teacher because she goes above and beyond for her students.
  • Have a plan for after graduation. If you don't know what you want to do, get in touch with your careers service.

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