Since my last post I have applied for a post-16 and further education PGCE (post-graduate certificate in education) course and been offered an interview for the course. I’ve also done some work shadowing at a local 6th form college where I observed classes, talked to the students and got a feel for college life.
The shadowing was great and I came away from it really enthused about going into teaching. Doing a 1-week placement in a school or college at the level you want to teach at is now a condition of being accepted on a teacher training course in England. And while sometimes newly created conditions and criteria can be annoying or a waste of time to meet, in this case I found it an incredibly valuable experience.
For one thing, it didn’t put me off teaching and for another it has prepared me for what is ahead, should I get on the course and decide to pursue it. If and when I start my placement for the PGCE, I won’t be going into a school/college environment for the first time since I was a student in one myself; so it hopefully won’t be as scary. I also got to see different teaching styles and find out about current expectations of teachers. And crucially I got to talk to teachers about their job, what the day-to-day stresses are and whether they had job satisfaction.
My interview, it turns out, is two days before my PhD viva! So I am prepared for lots of stress over the coming weeks and I am keeping my fingers tightly crossed for two positive outcomes.