Case study

Primary school teacher — Dan Berryman

After completing a BSc in Sport Coaching and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Dan secured a job as a class teacher in a primary school

How did you get your job as a primary school teacher?

After graduating from Solent University, I travelled in America before getting a job as a full-time sports coach, teaching PE in local primary schools. After that, I completed my Primary PGCE at Bath Spa University.

The mixture of academic study and practical experience I had completed is what enabled me to get my teaching job. It gave me the knowledge, experience and confidence I needed to be a good candidate for teaching jobs.

What's a typical day like as a primary school teacher?

A typical working day involves a mixture of teaching my Year 1 class across the curriculum, planning lessons and marking, and working with the other year groups in the school within a forest school or PE setting.

What did you enjoy the most about the PGCE?

What I enjoyed most about the PGCE was the amount of experience of teaching I was able to gain, along with the pedagogical knowledge input at university. I was lucky to have two very supportive mentors in my placements that allowed me to progress throughout the course.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I particularly enjoy working with people, and being responsible for my own class and getting even more valuable experience in teaching.

What parts of your job are the most challenging?

Maintaining a healthy balance between my work and social life can be a challenge. There is a lot to juggle with all the lesson planning and marking, and ensuring I'm meeting the required teaching standards.

However, being organised helps me manage my workload as best I can.

How relevant is your degree?

My sport coaching degree is extremely relevant. My teaching job is a mixture of classroom teaching and PE, therefore many of the skills I gained at Solent are transferable to this role.

What are your career ambitions?

I hope to remain in teaching, gain more experience and ideally become the PE coordinator of the school I currently work at.

What advice can you give to others?

Try to get as much voluntary experience as you can in a variety of different fields. Be organised, demonstrate good time management and most of all, do what you enjoy.