Yaseen Choudhury

Yaseen has just finished his PGCE Secondary Economics and Business Education and accepted a role as BTEC and Business Teacher at a Manchester sixth form college, Xaverian College.

On why I chose my PGCE at Manchester

Yaseen Choudhury

A PGCE has always been my aspirational academic outcome.

Training, guiding, and supporting young students who are just like I was, will be my way of contributing back what society and the educational environment has provided for me.

I chose The University of Manchester as it is a Russell Group university and has 'Outstanding' Ofsted status.

On Manchester as a place to study

Manchester is a vibrant and energetic place to study.

The multicultural city is filled with affordable and exciting places to eat, stay and enjoy your leisure time in.

Being in Manchester, you can enjoy everything the city has to offer - not only that, the people of Manchester are kind and friendly which just makes you feel much more comfortable to enjoy your PGCE.

On the highlights and challenges of my PGCE

One of the greatest highlights of the PGCE was the support network that comes the academia. From fellow peers, to tutors and mentors, and the students themselves has shown that I am in the right profession, and we are all one team. Throughout the vast changes and unexpectedness of the year ahead due to the pandemic and lockdowns, having a community behind you who are all going through similar experiences strengthen my ability to strive for my best in what I learn and provide.

In addition, I have been lucky enough to advance in development in the BTEC business curriculum, the same course which drew myself towards having a passion for business. Understanding the needs of, and stigma towards, the course, has been both a highlight and a challenge. I’ve been challenged to be able to provide a structured yet creative approach for students. Similarly, this correlates with one of the key challenges faced this year. Lockdown learning has challenged yet equipped me as teacher and a postgraduate to think on my feet, to become more creative, and to apply theory throughout my own learning and development in my day-to-day tasks.

On my school placements

During my Business Education PGCE course, I have had the great pleasure of being able to go into schools and colleges during the pandemic. My placements have been very accommodating and provided me with the resilience and high expectations needed to fulfil my role as a classroom and online teacher.

My first placement at Manchester Enterprise Academy saw me find my own teaching styles through trial and error. It provided me with great scope to be able to understand the intricacies and the wider context of what was required as a teacher in training, whilst also taking advice and using my own reflections for future development. My record of achievement and development which was provided by the university helped with organisation in the first instance and later to record all my resources and evaluations during my placement.

My second and third placement at Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College saw me further acquire and adapt my skills and training, which then was reciprocated through the adjustment of online teaching during lockdown. One of the key challenges of teaching online was ensuring that student engagement was up and students received as much revision and exam techniques needed for key exams and assessments. Through collaboration with the college business team and university sessions, we overcame the challenges of teaching online by sharing engagement tools and resources.

On my current role

The leadership skills and the character-building has influenced and deepened my understanding of what it means to be a successful teacher. After applying during the Easter break and searching for vacancies in local schools and colleges, I was successful in getting the role of a BTEC and Business Teacher at Xaverian College. I am looking forward to recognising and establishing the role with my own students and classroom, to experiment and thrive through the creativity of delivering the curriculum, whilst understanding the new Early Career Teacher programme as a qualified teacher. I hope to be more involved and integrated with the college in their values and more importantly enjoy my role and career in teaching.

On my advice to future PGCE students

My advice for future PGCE students is to be open.

The worst thing you can do is not be open and not take the risk to develop your education.

From applying, I was hesitant about not being accepted at a Russell Group university, but my advice is to do it - have less self-doubt.

You can be surprised by the outcome, especially if you know you’re capable and motivated enough to pursue your career.