Case study

PGCE Secondary English student — Jessica Cross

Jessica is studying for a PGCE at the University of Cumbria and has ambitions to be a head of department and teach abroad after graduating

Why did you choose this institution and course?

I chose to study at the University of Cumbria because it was close to home, so attending classes when required wouldn't be a problem.

I've always wanted to be a teacher so that was my main inspiration for studying for my PGCE, and what's more I'd already earned a BA (Hons) in English and really wanted to share my passion for the subject with others.

What does the programme involve?

The one-year course began with understanding the theory behind teaching, such as the needs of individual learners and how to implement key teaching strategies. It then became much more practical as we started to work with small groups of pupils in schools, which gradually evolved into teaching whole classes in the second semester.

What I liked most about my PGCE course was the support from the tutors and having the opportunity to work in schools to gain hands-on experience. I also loved meeting and working with fellow trainees at the University of Cumbria. We could share ideas, learn lots and also have a good laugh too along the way.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation I plan to teach English in a secondary school and develop a love of learning in my students. My current career ambitions are to pass my NQT (newly qualified teacher) but in the future I would like to experience being a head or second of a particular department. I would also love to teach abroad once I have more experience under my belt.

What advice would you give to those considering the programme?

It provides a fantastic platform for going into what I believe is such a satisfying job. The best parts for me are when a topic suddenly clicks in the student's mind, especially when they've worked so hard, and when students show appreciation for my lessons by thanking me as they leave the classroom.

Coming to study my PGCE at the University of Cumbria changed my life because it gave me more independence and continued to fuel my love of learning. It has helped me gain the best qualifications for my dream job of teaching English in a secondary school.

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