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Claire Hyland

PGDE Secondary Education: Technological Education

Reasons for deciding to start the PGDE, and why did you decide to study at the University of Strathclyde

Secondary teaching offered me the opportunity to work with young people and at the same time expand my subject skills and knowledge. It is an interesting career that offers the chance to develop in the future and learn new skills and, most importantly, inspire young people in my subject.

What do you like about your course?

I liked the variety of activities from lectures and practical workshops to placement, and really finding out what the job is like.

Graham has made a friendly atmosphere and this has brought the student group together.

What specialist knowledge/ professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?

I have learned how to keep people engaged and break down learning into small steps. I have also learned a wide variety of skills, both communication skills and technical knowledge about graphic communication, design and woodwork/metalwork skills.

How does the course prepare you to be a teacher?

In a variety of ways. The best preparation has been our CCL days where we were learning in a variety of ways as a class doing group work and practical work in the workshop.

How have your placements been?

Both placements have been a great experience and  have given me the chance to learn in a supportive environment. The teachers I met genuinely enjoy their jobs and have been a real inspiration. It was good to notice the progress I made comparing placement 1 to 4. Helped prepare me for next year.

What’s been your best moment so far in the classroom?

The feeling of bonding with a class and that you know the learners – I got a round of applause from one of the most challenging classes on my last day teaching them, and seeing them genuinely enjoy a class that I had put a lot of preparation into.

What are your ambitions for the future?

At the moment my ambitions are to get a permanent contract and learn as much as I can about my subject area. In the future I would like to be involved in pupil support, however I don’t want to completely leave my subject. I would like to start a school club.

What have been the main challenges of completing the PGDE?

The general feel of a lack of organisation. The fear of knowing/ realising how much you don’t know that you have to learn in order to teach (but also the pleasure in learning it!).