Rachael Turbatu

Rachel, PGCE Secondary English alumna from 2006, shares her experience since graduating from The University of Manchester.

On my experience before studying for a PGCE

Rachael Turbatu

After leaving college I spent 6 months teaching English at a combined Primary/Secondary school in Romania. After returning to England, I completed my degree in English Literature and, during my final year, also worked part time as a teaching assistant. Whilst there, I was approached by the school to begin what was then known as the ‘GTP’ route into the profession. I decided to apply for the PGCE course at the University of Manchester instead, as I wanted to access as much training and support as possible. I also wanted the option of teaching at A-Level.

On my study experience

I knew that the University had an excellent reputation; this is why I wanted to train there. The rigour and academic requirements of the PGCE, combined with the exceptional teaching, prepared me thoroughly for the many demands of my career to date.

On my career so far

The demands of the PGCE were so intense and challenging it meant that my first year of teaching felt manageable. The focus on not only the skills required in the classroom, but also the skills required to manage the paperwork and professional relationships was vital in ensuring I was equipped for the demands of the role.

Shortly after I qualified, I was appointed as 2nd in department at a comprehensive school in Tameside. 3 years later I accepted a Head of Department role at a different school; this is where I have worked for the past 13 years.

On my most surprising takeaway from the course

The most surprising takeaway from my course is that I am currently working as an Associate Tutor on the English PGCE, 17 years after completing my own training there! I have also thoroughly enjoyed maintaining my links with the PGCE course by mentoring English trainees.

My advice for future students

Be resilient. Know that all of the challenges you will face are worthwhile because you are making a positive difference to the lives of young people.

I am indebted to the University. Undoubtedly the training I received there directly contributed to the career path I am on today.

Furthermore, I was given the opportunity to complete a master’s in Education after qualifying and so continued to study for this in the early years of my career. This is something I would highly recommend, as it enabled me to continue completing action research in the classroom.