PGDE Secondary Education - Home EconomicsLaura Jayne Nevin, UK

Tell us a bit about your background…
I graduated in 2013 with a degree in fashion from Edinburgh College of Art. Following on from this I worked in industry and also ran my own haberdashery where I taught a selection of craft workshops. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my pupil’s satisfaction when they learned something new. Alongside my experience in the textile industry, I also have experience in catering which is why I was drawn to teaching home economics.

What inspired you to be a teacher?
My biggest inspiration to teach was one of my own secondary teachers. Her encouragement and enthusiasm for her subject had a great impact on my life. Not only did she give me the practical skills to excel in my field, but she also gave me the confidence and drive to succeed. Having now gained life experience I too would like to utilise my knowledge and expertise to make a positive contribution to young people and their future.

Did you have a favourite teacher when you were younger?
My favourite teacher was my art teacher. She was truly remarkable and I can only hope I will be as good a teacher as her.

Why did you choose to study PGDE at the University of Strathclyde?
The course was the biggest in Scotland and had a great reputation. The course also offered the option to gain masters credits during your PGDE year.

Did you seek any support during the application process?
Prior to applying for my course, I completed 3 placements and received guidance from my favourite teacher and a family friend who was also a teacher. I really recommend getting some expereince in a school prior to starting the course.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde?
My highlight is being able to share my experience with the friends I made. We were told on the first day you will make friends for life and this has definitely been the case.

Tell us about your experience on placement…
I have been extremely fortunate to have had two excellent placements. My mentors were so supportive which made all the difference. It is daunting going onto placement at first but the pupils make it worthwhile.

What would be your advice for people considering taking the PGDE course at Strathclyde?
Be organised, stay on top of your work and keep doing the things you love. It's easy to get overwhelmed, however, your own wellbeing needs to be a priority. Balance is key.

What have been your main challenges at university/in placement, and how have you overcome them?
There are points in the course where you will get stressed and I think it’s great practice to talk it through with your teacher friends over some tea and cake because chances are they are feeling exactly the same.

What do you think of the support available during your course?
I cannot recommend the home economics tutors enough. They have given us so much support and encouragement throughout the year. As a group, we use one word to describe them “legends”.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I would like to complete the masters in education since I have achieved some credits. I recently completed a professional specialism in health and wellbeing and would like to use the masters to explore this in more detail.