Completing the PGDE is the best thing I ever did

Yasmin Badat PGDE alumni
Yasmin Badat
Geography teacher
PGDE Geography
Newly qualified teacher, Yasmin, took the plunge from working as a Teaching Assistant to undertake her PGDE. She reflects on the challenge of training to teach during the Covid pandemic, but thanks to the high quality tuition and all the support, she is so proud of her achievements.

I previously held the notion that I was a bit late to the game when it came to completing teacher training as a mature student. However, now I am pleased to say that I could not have been more wrong and completing the PGDE at The University of Sheffield was the best thing I ever did. Having been a Teaching Assistant (TA) for several years, I had always toyed with the idea of teaching but for a long time I was scared to give up the security of being a TA. I was very fortunate to work with some amazingly positive teacher colleagues who supported me fully to apply to The University of Sheffield. Being a Sheffield native, I would walk down the tree-lined streets, looking at the grand university buildings and I always wondered if I would ever have the opportunity to study there. 

For me, the high quality of education and tuition I received underpins the well-deserved global reputation that The University of Sheffield has earned for itself. From the outset, it was clear that the quality and quantity of lectures, seminars and tutorials had been tailored by experts to suit the PGDE cohort to further their teaching practice and I often find myself looking back through my university resources for inspiration even though I am now well into my Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year.

Intriguingly, I chose to start my PGDE in 2019, not knowing about the impending global pandemic which was about to engulf the world and forced us as a society to re-evaluate everything we know.  Learning how to teach, both pre- and post-pandemic, has been something I never imagined I would have to do. However, the support from tutors at The University of Sheffield was immense and they worked incredibly hard to ensure that, as an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) cohort, we were not disadvantaged in any way and could continue to be successful going into our NQT year.

I cannot describe the feeling you get when you get your first NQT post. The elation, relief, and pride you feel is something that is very difficult to put into words. I was very lucky to secure an NQT position in a school that I continue to love to this day. Completing my NQT through further subsequent lockdowns has had its challenges, from adding face masks into behaviour management to bubbles occasionally bursting. My school is on a wonderful journey of improvement and it is phenomenal to see the sheer determination and dedication of colleagues who have had their teaching practice turned upside down for over a year now.

I feel so lucky to be able to say that I am returning to The University of Sheffield in September 2021, to complete my Masters in Applied Professional Studies in Education, as well as continuing to teach at my current wonderful school. My advice to anyone who is undecided about whether to apply for ITT at The University of Sheffield is just go for it, it will be the best thing you ever do!

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