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Catherine McCann

PGDE Secondary Education - History

What made you decide to train as a teacher?

My ambition to become a History teacher was formed when I was very young. I was quite conscious of this fact when I was thinking about applying for university and so I decided against doing an undergraduate degree in Education and History and opted instead to study my two favourite subjects at school: History and English Literature.

During my undergraduate degree, I cast my net a little wider and explored the various opportunities that were available to me as a History student. I worked in the Culture and Tourism Industry and became involved in Events Management and the Museums Sector but found that I was happiest when I was working with young people. I was pleased that by the end of my course that I had found the confirmation that teaching really was for me!

I subsequently applied to train as a History teacher at the University of Strathclyde and have never looked back.

Why did you choose to study at Strathclyde?

My answer to this question is a lot more straightforward than the first!

I chose the University of Strathclyde because its School of Education is the leading provider of Teacher Education in Scotland and is one of the largest in the UK. Strathclyde is highly rated among the teaching community and enables students to dual qualify in subjects such as History and Modern Studies which enhances employment opportunities in the future.

What advice would you give to a prospective student coming to study your course?

I would advise every prospective PGDE student to dive in. Dive into the academic demands of the course; dive into making those teaching friends who will support you throughout the year and dive in to every opportunity that comes your way on your school placement.

 Dive in and keep diving because you will surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

What’s the best thing about studying PGDE at Strathclyde?

The best thing about studying my PGDE was the people that I met. I can honestly say that I have grown closer to the people that I have met during my PGDE than I ever was during my undergraduate degree. The PGDE has a way of knitting people together in a truly unique way. I am confident that I have made lifelong friends whilst studying my PGDE.

How is your course helping to prepare you for your future career?

My PGDE will enable me to become a fully qualified secondary teacher after I was have completed by probationary year. My PGDE would also help me to enter the teaching profession in other parts of the UK and even abroad.

What are your ambitions for the future and how do you think your time at Strathclyde will help you achieve your goals?

My ambition is to equip young people with the skills for learning, life and work which will enable them to better their life chances.

I think my time at Strathclyde will help me achieve this goal because of its forward-looking and skills based programme. Furthermore, I realised whilst on my school placement that identifying yourself with the University of Strathclyde (or Jordanhill as some teachers affectionately call it) carries some weight as the teaching community views Strathclyde as the centre of excellence and innovation. I can think of no better place to help me to achieve my goal of becoming a History teacher.