Taiwanese student, Peng-Yu Su, worked in a Scottish Secondary School as part of her Masters programme. She enjoyed it so much that she decided to complete the PGDE and become a Mandarin teacher.
What made you decide to train as a teacher?
I worked in a secondary school in Scotland as my internship credit for my master programme. I never realised how rewarding it is to be a secondary teacher—the Mandarin teacher I worked with started a new language in that school, started an exchange contract with a junior high school in Taiwan, and his first group of pupils have now achieved National 5.
Why did you choose to study at Strathclyde?
Strathclyde has always been famous for teacher training, and I know some great teachers completed their training at Strathclyde.
What advice would you give to a prospective student coming to study your course?
Expect the unexpected. Children are unpredictable. In most cases, they are not there to prove how great a teacher you can be, but to prove how many things you could have done better.
What’s the best thing about studying PGDE at Strathclyde?
The support from our tutors throughout the course. They literally deal with everything. Teaching is not always about children. The tutors are there to help us with any possible questions—lesson planning, special circumstances of pupils, relationship with other staff, everything.
How is your course helping to prepare you for your future career?
The placements are very helpful—we basically experience what it is like to be a teacher, but with a safety net. If there is anything we cannot deal with, either a school staff or our tutor would wave in to help us. We are provided with the chance to actually run a class, and learn from our experience.
What are your ambitions for the future and how do you think your time at Strathclyde will help you achieve your goals?
I want to put everything I’ve learnt and everything I am going to learnt into use. I want to teach Mandarin. I want to start teaching Mandarin in a school that haven’t had Mandarin class before. I want to start building up an exchange programme. I want to help young people go further than they thought they could.