Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What I learned at each step...PGCE

Writing and re-writing CVs - coupled with completing multiple application forms and being in front of interview panels - makes you think about your career. The historian in me has just realised that it's exactly 25 years since I attended the interview for my PGCE course...

6 things I learnt during my PGCE (1986 - 1987)
  1. Teaching was going to involve not being in control sometimes... I escaped from several placement lessons well aware that the students could easily have 'turned' and made it well nigh impossible for me to teach
  2. Energy & enthusiasm would take me a long way but sometimes it was determination coupled with a sense of vocation that made me stick at it.
  3. I really enjoyed - and was good at - creating teaching and learning resources...multi-coloured banda, overlay OHPs and even duplicated notes (photocopying banned by placement school - too expensive!) Was most proud of a lesson on the Factory Acts of the 1830s with primary source testimony culled from the reports of parliamentary committees that I found in Brunel University Library.
  4. Preparation was more important than panache when it came to impressing my tutor, Peter Keelan
  5. I had a lot to learn and learnt most from my PGCE tutor at the Institute of Education - the afore mentioned Peter Keelan was a Head of History seconded from a school in Brent...and so I became convinced of the value of PGCE tutors having recent, real classroom experience.
  6. I hated marking and wasn't very good at it... but knew I had to improve!

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Anonymous Debbie Inglis said...

Hi Steve

I trained around the same time as you (BEd Hons '84 -'88) and enjoyed reading about your learnings. I remember OHPs and, sad to say, may still have some lurking around somewhere! Here are a few of my learnings ...

Firstly, I learnt to expect tutors to drop in unannounced during teaching practice. I'm thinking particularly about a tutor who oversaw all the 1st year students during TP, so wasn't my usual tutor. Apparently, the initial reaction when he walked through the door was for my chin to hit the floor. But I quickly regained composure and continued the maths lesson with the Y3/4 class. The tutor was very kind in his comments during our post-lesson de-brief, but chose to refer to the incident during a lecture not long after! He has now gone on to bigger and better things (Mick Waters).

Secondly, I learnt how to type! There were no laptops and PCs readily to hand in those days, so I did my assignments on a type-writer. I also learnt to do without sleep around the same time :-(

Thirdly, I also learnt that I enjoyed making resources, especially "workcards" as we'd call them then, and activities / challenges for pupils to do when they'd finished their main task.

You'll notice that there's no mention of 'learning how to teach'! I think that came when I had my first 'real' class ... although I must have picked up a few things along the way :-).

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


11 April 2011 at 16:42  

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