a centenary
of Learning

  • 97
  • by Emily Commander
  • graduated 2012
  • studied PGCE Modern Foreign Languages
  • from UK

Career change = Life change

After graduating with a degree in French from Exeter University in 1998 I worked for over ten years at the BBC in London and Bristol but decided on a career change. I decided I wanted to become a teacher and chose to study for a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages at the University of Bristol because of its excellent reputation and because I live in Bristol with my family.

I had an extremely enjoyable year. I found the PGCE really rewarding. The course tutors all offered inspiration, support and sound advice. I met some wonderful people, both on the course and on school placements and I enjoyed the mix of academic life (long afternoons in a quiet library – bliss!) and teaching practice. The end-of-course activities with course friends were really fun – I laughed so hard on lots of occasions. The lectures and seminars were very relevant and helpful. I also really enjoyed being surrounded by languages after some time not using my French.

After graduating from the PGCE I secured a one year contract at The Castle School in Thornbury. This has now been made permanent and I am moving, with my family, to be closer to school. My proudest achievement since leaving the University of Bristol has been meeting new classes, particularly KS4 classes, and making a difference to their perception and enjoyment of languages. The PGCE at Bristol enabled me to completely change my career and I have never looked back.