May 27, 2014, by educationguestblog
PGCEi – How I learned to stop stressing and love the PGCEi
When I first decided to continue my studies back in 2011 I didn’t really have any idea how I wanted to do it. What to study, where to study it, and for how long? I had been teaching at a language school in Thailand for a little over a year and a half and one thing I was certain of was I didn’t want to stop. I had considered going back to university to study full time, but I really didn’t want to interrupt a good thing. I already had a career, I just wanted to be better at it. So I turned to Google and some colleagues and eventually decided on The University of Nottingham’s PGCEi course, which ended up being one of the best experiences I’ve had as a student.
The PGCEi course is specifically tailored to suit teachers, like me, who already have teaching experience but want to further their careers by getting a higher qualification. The course is very well paced and can be completed relatively easily while working full time. It takes into account that you are a busy, badgered teacher and gives you the opportunity to base a substantial portion of the coursework on whatever it is you are currently teaching. There is, of course, a lot of research and reading involved, but this is made a lot less daunting by the great mentors, peer review, and the fact that almost everything you work on can be tied back into your classroom.
The greatest thing about the PGCEi though, is that it helps create an active network of teachers and gives you the chance to engage with this diverse collection of people at any time. Whether it be through the introductory event, the online learning environment, or peer review tasks. You are always encouraged to interact, critique, discuss, and share your ideas about teaching and how we understand learning. This can be inspiring, enlightening, and a little frustrating at times but really forces you to see the way you teach in a new light.
For me, this was what really made all the difference. Being encouraged to take a good look at my approach, to see it from multiple viewpoints, helped me realise just how much potential there is in any given teaching environment. Now two years on, a few teaching positions, and a lot of sticky children later, I can honestly say that I am totally confident in my abilities and have a great network of friends and fellow teachers who I can count on for support.
All thanks to a few ‘all nighters’ and the truly incredible mentors that run The University of Nottingham’s PGCEi program.
Lisa George, PGCEi Bangkok 5 cohort