PGDE Secondary Education - Religious Moral EducationHercules Ioannidis, Greece

Tell us a bit about your background…
I was born in a suburb south of Athens (Greece) called Vari. I went to Vari High School and Lyceum. I then studied at the University of Athens Communication and Media Studies. I pursued a Masters in Communication Science at Illinois State University and then went back to Greece to do my military service. After completing this requirement I was employed by L’Oreal Greece and then in a few years I was promoted and landed in the L’Oreal HQ in Paris. After 2 years in L’Oreal Paris and 6 years in L’Oreal working in Marketing I decided to work as a Communications Coordinator for Europe in Nissan Motors. In 2013 I decided to go back to school to pursue a PhD in Philosophy were I ended up in Glasgow.

What inspired you to be a teacher?
Working in Marketing and the corporate world did not provide me with a meaningful life. It was then that I started reflecting and realised that what I really like is to think philosophically about life and transmit this knowledge to others. This was evident in the way I was training or teaching new comers in the companies that I was working. I felt that helping others acquire skills which they needed in order to succeed was meaningful. I felt like being their teacher. From that, it was not difficult to make the decision to embark on the journey of becoming a teacher.

Did you have a favourite teacher when you were younger?
My favourite teacher was our philologist who taught us Ancient Greek. I loved how she would take the time to come up with innovative ways for us to learn to read and write in Ancient Greek. Her approach was what we would call today inclusive. She was not only interested in making sure that all pupils were on board with their learning but she also made sure to provide pastoral care where required. She was a true inspiration.

Why did you choose to study PGDE at the University of Strathclyde?
After deciding to pursue the PGDE, I started discussing with various academics about the options I had and they all pointed to the direction of Strathclyde.

Did you seek any support during the application process? Please tell us about this.
I did not seek any support as the application process was crystal clear. I did however ask for advice from my PhD supervisors concerning some points of the application process.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde?
First of all Dr. Ennis who is my tutor in the core course of the PGDE. He has been so supportive that I cannot put to words. Second highlight is the placement. What a delight! What an experience!

Tell us about your experience on placement…
I would not like to spoil the experience of the placement. I shall only say that the placement is where you realise if you really want to become a teacher or not. For me it has been the most fulfilling experience even if the challenges are really challenges!

What would be your advice for people considering taking the PGDE course at Strathclyde?
Do it! If you are considering it then you are already at the door. Just open and enter into the world of becoming a teacher!

What have been your main challenges at university/in placement, and how have you overcome them?
There is a lot of information that needs to be organised in order to succeed. Sometimes it is challenging as there is so many things that you need to do. But the support is there. One needs just to ask.

What do you think of the support available during your course?
Overall it has been great. I have not had any difficulties when it came to asking for help. And it came promptly!

What are your ambitions for the future?
Getting my own class and decorating it so I can welcome the pupils!