The PGDE prepared me comprehensively for life as a teacher and it also fostered my skills as a practitioner researcher
I undertook the University of Sheffield’s PGDE in 2018-19 after making a fairly last-minute decision to apply for a teacher training course. The University of Sheffield’s PGDE was the only course that I applied to and meeting Mick (who became one of my tutors) finalised my decision to apply due to the way that he spoke about teaching and the inherent values of the course.
I am hugely thankful that I did apply to the University of Sheffield because of the quality of training that I received and the subsequent opportunities and experiences that the course created for me. Three years after finishing my PGDE, I am still teaching English at the school that I trained at for my first teaching placement. Not long after arriving at the school, it was clear to me that the department was one that I would be happy working as part of and I was immediately made to feel welcome.
The best thing about the course was definitely the support that I received – both from Mick and Kathryn as PGDE tutors within university and from my mentors and host teachers within my two school placements. Whether at university or in school, I always knew that there were people around me who wanted to guide and support me in becoming the best teacher that I could be. I massively enjoyed the sessions in university throughout the entirety of the course and learnt a huge amount from them that still benefits me in my teaching practice.
One of the main reasons that I applied to the University of Sheffield specifically was the number of masters credits that the diploma grants students and I genuinely enjoyed and learnt a lot from each of the assignments that we were given. During my NQT year, I also completed the MA APSE which I found hugely beneficial for further developing my research skills; undertaking the MA APSE also led to an adapted version of my dissertation being published nationally online and in print in NATE’s Teaching English magazine – something that I doubt I would have achieved without the University of Sheffield and the support of my tutors!
To anyone thinking about applying for a PGDE at the University of Sheffield, I would recommend it wholeheartedly. It prepares you comprehensively for life as a teacher and it also fostered my skills as practitioner researcher too!
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