Celebrating
a centenary
of Learning

  • 66
  • by Charlotte Benton
  • graduated
  • studied PGCE Citizenship
  • from UK

It’s an enormous responsibility but obviously it’s a great feeling for you to be able to influence somebody’s life and really change it for the better hopefully.

I always wanted to be a teacher and when I first left university I decided to take a year out and temped to earn the money to travel, but I always wanted to be a teacher. I was told the PGCE course was a lot more secure than other teaching courses and if I wanted to take it out of the UK I could, so that is what lead me to the PGCE other than any other teacher training route.

I did my degree in social studies and really enjoy sociology and psychology and cultural issues and Citizenship embodied all of that for me. It’s a bit of everything I absolutely loved and in my own personal life I like the issues that we talk about in Citizenship. I’m very much an environmentalist and I like the idea of equal opportunities and equal rights and responsibilities and I really advocate that in my everyday life anyway. So being able to teach that - Citizenship put all my loves together.

It doesn’t feel like a city for me. It’s got everything you want in a city but because I’m only use to London, or even when I went travelling even these bigger cities, Bristol is quite small but it’s compact. So it’s fantastic, it’s got everything that you need and you’ve got lovely countryside as well.

The University has given me the subject knowledge I need to then be able to go into the classroom and have the enthusiasm and therefore that transfers to the pupils and they get enthusiastic about the subject as well. Because our subject is so broad it is hard sometimes to know everything about it. With the course, it very much sets you up to be professional and to be the best practitioner you can be. So it’s taking away with you that teaching isn’t just about stepping into a classroom and telling people your knowledge it’s about a lot more than that. You have to know the academic side of your subject and you have to know how to teach children. I think that is something I’m going to take away that it’s about putting hard work and effort in and just about being professional in your life. That is something the University has been really good in teaching you how to do that. But also having that balance of working life because I think, especially as teachers, it’s quite hard to find that.

This year has been so intense, in a really good way because we have to learn all that stuff, but it has been a very hard year, it is very intense and I really want to go to a school that is really going to push me and challenge me. So I have purposefully gone to somewhere that I know is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I’m really looking forward to that.

It’s an enormous responsibility but obviously it’s a great feeling for you to be able to influence somebody’s life and really change it for the better hopefully.