Following an undergraduate degree in BSc Geography, James joined Manchester for his teacher training.
On my highlights
Making a difference and an impact on placement for both students in the school and other members of staff throughout the school. By making the effort to become an integral part of the team and being respected by other members of staff.
I completed 2 placements in Macclesfield, one at All Hallows Catholic College, one at The Macclesfield Academy. The PGCE team provided regular updates and support was always available.
On my challenges
Managing new challenges and expectations. Being given a lot of new information all at once takes a lot to process. Taking effective notes and managing the time you have effectively will help overcome these challenges.
On my student experience
Challenging yet rewarding. Be prepared to have good and bad days, and know that you’re not alone. Chances are, if you’re struggling with something, then there will be a number of people who are in the same boat.
The best thing about living and studying in Manchester is the convenience and being close to amenities when in the city. I live at home with parents. The advantages of this are the lower housing payments and being close to family and friends.
I got involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme at one of my placement schools on a Saturday. It was a rewarding experience and lots of fun. It’s great to see the students in a different light.
On my plans after graduation
Teaching Geography in North Lincolnshire. My training has enabled me to become a fully qualified Geography teacher and I hope to make a difference in the school I am working in. Don’t forget that all the skills you learn at university and on placement, you can always apply later.
My top tips for future students
Get involved and get ahead early to make life easier! When I first started, I thought I knew what to expect and how to be organised, I didn’t realise quite how organised you need to be for it to become easier to manage. Listen to the advice of your tutors, mentors, and anyone else in a position to give advice. Start your assignments early and don’t leave it to the last minute. Study and work wherever you feel comfortable, I preferred to work alone at home. I know others preferred to meet with colleagues and peers to work in the same rooms. Don’t worry about getting a job straight away or getting it perfect straight away. You will manage both if you strive for it.
Be prepared to compromise on free-time and manage your time effectively so you can enjoy the free time you get. Get stuck in and don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to.