PGDE Secondary Education - Modern Languages (French & Spanish) Sarah McKenna, UK

Tell us a bit about your background…
I studied French and Spanish at Glasgow University for 5 years and decided to do my PGDE after my undergraduate degree. I am from Wishaw in North Lanarkshire and was a pupil at Saint Aidan’s High School.

What inspired you to be a teacher?
My mum has been a huge inspiration to me. She is a Modern Languages teacher and has always been very passionate about her work. I also like helping people and working with young people and so I thought this career would be an ideal one for me.

Did you have a favourite teacher when you were younger?
Miss Gill, my Modern Languages teacher was my favourite teacher at school. If I can be half as good as her, or my mum, I will be happy with that!

Why did you choose to study PGDE at the University of Strathclyde?
I knew some people who had completed their PGDE here and they had recommended the programme to me. When I came to Strathclyde for my interview, I knew it was the place for me.

Did you seek any support during the application process?
I asked people who had done the course previously for advice on the interview process and what to expect. This was very beneficial for me and helped me a lot.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde?
Placement has been my highlight of the course. I have also enjoyed making new friends and I have been fortunate to have had very supportive tutors.

Tell us about your experience on placement…
I have really enjoyed placement and have learned a lot during the process. My confidence in the classroom has grown as placement has progressed and I feel much more comfortable in the classroom. As a result I have started to really enjoy teaching.

What would be your advice for people considering taking the PGDE course at Strathclyde?
I would definitely recommend the course to people considering the PDGE course at Strathclyde. It has been a very interesting and worthwhile course and I have always felt well supported by my tutors.

What have been your main challenges at university/in placement, and how have you overcome them?
The volume of work required can be quite challenging but the course is very interesting and enjoyable at the same time. The workload becomes more manageable and easier as the course progresses. Confidence for me was a challenge at the start of the course, however I do feel much more confident in the classroom now.

What do you think of the support available during your course?
The support has been excellent at Strathclyde. The tutors are always willing to help and support you through the course in any way that they can. My tutors have made me feel like they really care about everyone in the class and are extremely enthusiastic about the subject they are teaching, which is amazing to see.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I would like to have a successful teaching career and I am looking forward to getting started in August. I am not sure about what I would like to do in the future, pastoral care is something that I am very interested in and I hope to get involved in this in years to come.

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