From PGCE to NQT – Karishma Raja

Relevant to

I moved to China straight after graduating and taught abroad for two years before applying for my PGCE course at UCL Institute of Education (IoE). I chose this course because I enjoy the academic side as opposed to going through another route. I’m now looking forward to starting my NQT year.

Interview tips

  • Make sure you brush up on your subject knowledge, they will test you. You should bring in your own experiences of what happened at school and what inspired you.
  • Usually the university will give you tips and a brief of what you need to know and bring, but going the extra mile - showing how much you care, and how you are willing to learn - will help you nail the interview.
  • In addition to this, it is important to be calm and relaxed, and enjoy the interview. You will get to meet new people on the day, so talk to them, and get to know about their experiences.

Teacher training tips

  • You usually get one day of seminars and the rest in a school. This was the way I wanted it as you are supported and you get to understand the pedagogy side of it. We have had some of the best talks given to us at university and this had provided invaluable information to us.
  • Remember if you choose this route to expect a multitude of lectures and seminars, these are all very engaging. At UCL IoE, we had voice trainers where we were all singing in our lecture, in addition to this, we have had professors that have come from around the world and all over the UK and have had them give us advice and opinions. I also set up a twitter account @MissEconomics for the student body to keep updated with work, and also pointing them to the right articles.
  • Talk to the people you meet on your course (if you choose a PGCE course) and pool your resources together. In addition to this, plan your lessons with someone else, and see what ideas you may come up - don’t be stingy about it! Remember, this profession does entail sharing.
  • What I learnt was to make your resources from scratch, although it may be tempting to use what has been produced. It works out a lot better to build your own as you’ll be able to cut down the time you spend planning.
  • In class, keep things current and up to date - talk about the new Ed Sheeran album and keep students interested, bring your life into it. I certainly did with my travels and discussed the pollution I faced when I was working in China. I brought in real life examples as much as I could with the cars in China and how they are regulated on number plates, then relating it to government policy and how that affects China as a society and their quality of life.

Karishma


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