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Why go into teaching?

By IOE Blog Editor, on 5 May 2023

A teacher sitting on a desk with a laptop and books. They are reading a student's notebook.

Image credit: Angelov via Adobe Stock.

By Johnny Farrar-Bell, History PGCE, class of 2023.

There was an article in a well-known magazine last September that, just for a moment, made me panic. ‘Why I’ve quit teaching’ was the headline. Not great timing. I’d just resigned from my secure civil service job in the Department of Transport to start a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in secondary level History at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. My thoughts raced. Have I made a serious blunder? What if I’m not cut out for this teaching gig after all? Will I end up an emotional wreck and go crawling back to Whitehall? (more…)

PGCE Music – The Covid Cohort

By IOE Digital, on 13 August 2020

PGCE Music - Think About Things

By Rebecca Appleby

It is a steep learning curve for everyone when lessons move so abruptly to the virtual world. It took my year 12s longer than you might think to realise that I, another person on a video call, could see them texting each other, even though you would think they would do me the courtesy of trying to be subtle. It also took my year 10s at least three lessons to realise that the trick of joining a call, turning your video off, and then going back to sleep doesn’t work so well when you forget to leave the call at the end of the lesson. I see it as reassuring, however, that my students adapted so well to online teaching that they behaved in their normal, creatively disruptive ways.

We are taught during our PGCE year that our skills in thinking on our feet when a lesson does not go according to plan will be honed throughout the years, but not all years contain the challenges that 2020 has brought. This year has been a masterclass in adaptability; teachers and students all over the country have had to adjust to the school closures, making use of technology, and working to keep young people engaged in their education despite cancelled exams. As trainees, we had to adapt to our placements abruptly ending, and the disparities in subsequent training and department involvement.

(more…)