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Why I Trained to be a Teacher at St Mary’s

Completing an undergraduate degree in English and Media Arts at St Mary’s University gave me some of the best years of my life. I met life-long friends and developed my knowledge and skills in my area of study. With help from my expert lecturers – and a lot of hard work – I graduated with a First Class degree. It only made sense to come back for another year!

I knew a career in teaching was for me because I wanted to help others to love learning as much as I do. For me the combination of university-based sessions and school placements offered the best chance to develop my teaching skills both independently and while being supported by a team of experienced practitioners. It was also great to share the experience with everyone else taking the course, knowing that we could learn together and share practice with each other.

School placements gave me the chance to learn from experienced teachers, while also moulding my own teaching style. The right balance of observation and teaching meant I could build up my confidence and knowledge to ensure I was giving my students the best education I could. Don’t get me wrong – I made mistakes – but I had a whole team of people around me to help me improve. The placements really throw you into the deep end (in my opinion, the best way to learn is on your feet) but I always knew my lectures and seminars had given me the tools to handle what lay ahead.

Being a St Mary’s student made me feel proud and I was confident that I was being given the best route into teaching. Whatever school I visited, when I mentioned the name ‘St Mary’s’ it was greeted with the same response; the University is held in very high regard within the teaching profession. Before I had even finished the PGCE course I was offered a job teaching at the Infant school where I was completing my final placement.

Every one of my lecturers at St Mary’s was passionate about teaching. They inspired me to be a better teacher and to never stop building on my own skills. My lecturers were always there if I needed a chat; when I got my job offer at the end of my PGCE, my maths lecturer was the first person I called!

The St Mary’s PGCE course includes Masters modules and now I have graduated I am able to carry those credits on to complete a Masters in Education at St Mary’s. This is an opportunity I am looking forward to undertaking as I move towards the next step in my educational career. 

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