Read on to find out more about Jaanai’s experience studying for a PGCE Secondary English at The University of Manchester.
On choosing my course
Before coming to Manchester, I worked as Cover Supervisor with a Teaching Agency. I was sold on the course speaking to the tutor that interviewed me who ensured the support I would receive.
On my placement experience
I organised my own primary school placement and the other two schools I was placed in by my tutor. The PGCE team supported me if any issues arose before or during my placement. I had a total of 45 university sessions in the year and I had 3 placement schools where I spent 2 months in at a time.
On my highlights and challenges
The university sessions were extremely helpful, but I enjoyed having some autonomy in my placements and using what I learned from those sessions. Planning lessons were harder than I initially anticipated and staying organised.
It was great getting to know the other people on my course and sharing war stories about challenging students from our placement schools.
On my experience studying in Manchester
Manchester is a great place to live, people are friendly, living is cheaper than most cities and the diversity of people is celebrated in Manchester. Everything that you may need would be in the city centre and the transport links are great. The architecture of buildings are fascinating as no two buildings look the same.
I live in student accommodation that is not affiliated with the university. Student halls takes away the stress of utility bills, as everything is included, and you make payments as your student finance loans come through.
My top tips for future students
The biggest tip I could give would be to take advantage of every piece of support available. I was overwhelmed when I first started and with the help of my tutors it became so much more manageable. Always go to Fresher’s Fairs as it is a great opportunity to see all the things the university has to offer and to get involved in different societies.
There are different buildings that offer study spaces and that can facilitate all of your needs. John Ryland’s library is amazing! As much as it is important to be a well organised and focused student, it is also important to find some moments of fun for your own wellbeing and there are plenty of things to do in Manchester.
If you have a passion for teaching or inspiring younger generations then this is a well-supported course to be on. They will help build those skills that you may already possess, and you always have someone you can turn to if you need help. Don’t give up! No matter how hard it gets, the reward of getting through it is worth it.
On my plans after graduation
I plan on completing my ECT training in Manchester before pursuing a TEFL to travel and teach abroad for a while. The positive experiences I gained from the course and the city will stay with me for years to come.