PGDE Secondary Education - Business EducationLynsey McDougall, UK

Tell us a bit about your background…
I’m from Rutherglen. I completed my HND in Management, and graduated in 2005. I have been doing union work since then. In 2016 I had my daughter and I decided that was enough and I wanted to get my teaching qualification. I completed third year at the University of West of Scotland, and graduated from there in 2018.

What inspired you to be a teacher?
In high school I always wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to help people, and after high school I decided that I would pursue my teaching career.

Did you have a favourite teacher when you were younger?
Mrs Watts, my German teacher and also my guidance teacher. Mr Stuart too – everybody thought he was so cool, he was very laid back and ran the talent contest. He’s a religious education teacher and was ordained, so was actually able to legally marry two of the teachers in the school.

Why did you choose to study PGDE Business at the University of Strathclyde?
I always knew that Jordanhill was the best for teaching. Even better now that the school has moved to the city centre!

What has been your highlight from your time at Strathclyde so far?
My favourite part of the course has to be placement. Seeing how things have and haven’t changed since I was at school, in terms of behaviour and attitudes. I was in high school myself once so I can certainly relate to the different behaviours shown and I'm learning how best to interact with the pupils individually.

What would be your advice for people considering taking the PGDE course at Strathclyde?
There is a lot of work but if you plan it right, you can do it. I am a single mum, but I have sorted my routine so that I can get through the workload. It is definitely manageable! If I had come to university when I was 22, I don’t think it would have been the same experience for me. I’ve been sharing my advice with other parents on the course, to help make it better for them and likewise them with me. I don’t leave things to the last minute, I couldn’t cope that way.

What have been your main challenges at university/in placement, and how did you overcome them?
Some of the challenges include the amount of information that is given to you, especially in the first few weeks. Being able to ask for support from fellow students and tutors is great. My course (PGDE Business Education) has its own Facebook group and it’s a great way to get advice specific to your course and circumstances.

What did you think of the support available during your course?
It is really good. I’ve had support from disability service, getting books online through my RNIB account is perfect and means I don’t have to carry heavy books around.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to specialise in assisted supported needs teaching. If there are kids that are struggling behaviourally, I want to be able to help them.