Naomi Rittey

Naomi is studying PGCE Secondary Modern Languages. She discusses her experience of The University of Manchester so far.

Naomi Rittey

Having enjoyed studying languages so much at school, I always thought I’d want to pass on this enjoyment through teaching. My year abroad working as a language assistant in Jaén, Spain, confirmed this passion and my enjoyment of working with, and teaching, young people.

I’m looking forward to having my own classes and making each of these unique to me, my teaching style and the individual needs of my pupils. I’m looking forward to being a large part of my pupils’ lives, both in the languages classroom and in the wider school environment.

I chose the PGCE route into teaching because I wanted a balance between learning and putting learning into practice. The PGCE has offered the perfect balance. You feel more than prepared through what you learn in university with your tutors and guest speakers and then feel comfortable and supported enough on placements to put all this into practice.

I chose to study at The University of Manchester because I thought training in a city like Manchester would offer me many different experiences, chances, and types of school. You get a wide range of experience to broaden your knowledge, skills, and opportunities.

The tutors are super dedicated to teaching us all that they know; they all come with their own experiences, stories, and advice. Our tutors share this with us to help us develop as teachers ourselves. They are always there if you need anything and have answers and advice for whatever you need. It has been a big part of the PGCE having such support and input.

The university tutors are still there for you even when you are on placement. I always felt as though I could contact mine with anything I needed and she was very supportive throughout. The subject and professional mentors at school often mean that you don’t need to contact university tutors as they are generally so supportive, but it is reassuring to know we have our tutors there for us as well.

I have completed my first placement and absolutely loved it. All the staff, students, and fellow trainees were so welcoming, supportive and friendly. My subject mentor and professional mentor were willing to help out whenever I needed them and it was clear that they were dedicated to helping us to become the best teachers we could be. I enjoyed taking over the classes I was teaching and having much more responsibility and input than I had imagined we’d have. I developed a bond with my classes and wanted them to do well, and was pleased with how well they also wanted to do. The learning environments at the school were motivational and supportive and it was great to be a part of the team involved in this.

The highlight of the PGCE so far has to be the many moments experienced whilst on placements. What feel like massive steps to begin with, soon become second nature. One highlight was towards the end of my first placement when I looked back and saw how far I had come. I am excited to return back to this school for my third placement and see what a difference and progression we have all made since we started out.

The early mornings and long days are challenging; they take some getting used to, and it can look like there’s no end to planning and marking. However, the more practice you get, the more on top of it you feel and I am actually starting to leave school at a reasonable time with work-free evenings every so often.

I always thought I would enjoy teaching, but even my first term of the PGCE has confirmed this more than I had imagined. You get so much more responsibility than you imagine, the classes become yours and you become the teacher, a role I didn’t think would be fully achievable until the NQT year. It’s hard work, but it is extremely rewarding and at Manchester, we are lucky to receive such high-quality training and support.