This week, was the first week of my English PGCE. Before I started, I felt all sorts of different things. Firstly, I was excited that I was finally here. I first applied for a PGCE during my final year of my degree in December 2010. It had been my intention since school, that I would do an undergrad, and then afterwards, a PGCE, but I hadn't really researched into it, and ended up submitting a rushed application minutes before the deadline. Obviously, I didn't get on, and I was devastated, but it gave me a year to work, and a year to get some more in school experience, and redo my application to a better standard when the system reopened in September.
I applied the second time in
again, December, in 2012. I did, I admit, put it off again and again,
but I didn't leave it till quite the last minute this time, almost, but not quite. It took me so long to pluck up the nerve to email by Uni personal tutor for a reference, again,
but she provided me with one, and I applied, this time to Primary and
Secondary courses. My experience in schools had been in Primary, but
I'd volunteered at a Youth camp for 12-16 year olds for the last two
years, and I really enjoyed working with that age group. Again, I
wasn't successful, something I mostly put down to my application being
sent late in the cycle, and the fact that I didn't decide on one age
group, instead applying to both, an approach so ad-hoc, that my personal
statement probably didn't make much sense. I got a response from
University stating that I wasn't offered an interview because I didn't
have an 'A' in English Literature at A Level, which I did think was
unfair, seeing as since then, I'd achieved a BA in the same subject, but
I suppose when hundreds of people apply to the same course, it's a way
of making placing them easier.
I did get
offered an interview at Liverpool Hope, for a Primary PGCE with French,
but my French was actually so rusty since A Level, that I didn't even go
to that interview.
Last year, in August, one of my
Supervisors in work left, and I applied for his position. I had no
intention of applying for a PGCE again, having tried without any sort of
success for the past two years. I decided I'd try to get that role at
work, and then maybe try and work my way up that career path instead. I
was never a hundred percent certain about it, and I remember once I'd
applied, thinking secretly I'd hate it if I had to work 40 hours a week
in a shop for the rest of my life. During my degree, I remember feeling
disheartened one day when we were studying a poem, really dissecting
it, verse by verse, stanza by stanza. I remember thinking 'who does
this help? And what affect does doing this have on anyone's life?'
When I applied for that job, I remember thinking the same, but I told
myself that if I got the job, I'd do it for a year, get myself enough
money to live off, maybe move out, and then assess my prospects.
I didn't get the job.
feel I was very qualified to do that job. I'd been there for five
years, in various roles. I still do. I don't know why they decided not
to appoint me, but as soon as I found out, I went home, and I went
online to find out when the PGCE cycle started again. I waited, and I
weighed up my options. I decided I was going to apply to Leeds as my
first choice, because I knew people there, and they'd never rejected me
before. Plus, I was 22 and had never lived on my own before As soon as
the cycle opened, I applied, switching my top two choices at the last
minute, I don't know why. Gut instinct?
By Christmas, I
had an interview at my current Uni. I studied so hard for that
interview. My Mum's friend has a daughter who was on her PGCE that
year, so I asked her for possible interview questions I could prepare
myself for, I found out what to look at, I joined the TES website, I
read and re-read the National Curriculum, I got myself a volunteer
placement in my old secondary school.
At my interview,
there were only six of us, I thought it was pretty funny because bar
one, we were all twentysomething blonde girls. I remember feeling so
nervous listening to the other girls' stories of their experiences, but I
was confident that I'd done just as much, if not more than them. The
part that scared me most, was that the girls' degrees were all at least
2:1, or they were predicted a 2:1, and my 2:2 hung around my neck. I
was prepared to explain myself to the interviewer, but when I asked if
there were anything from my personal statement he had an issue with, and
wanted to discuss, he said no, he liked my personal statement and
that's why I'd been invited to interview. We were told as a benchmark,
we'd find out around the 8th February.
I found out I had a place in January.
now, I'm here, and so far, so good. I know it's going to be the most
difficult year I've had, and I know I'll not be able to go out much, and
that I'll have no money, and I'll probably have a nervous breakdown in
I know my grammar needs to be better, and I
need to make sure I don't swear in the classroom, or use too many
colloquiallism. I know I need to be firm, and that I can't let the
students walk all over me, and I need to get myself a 'teacher stare'
and not laugh when the students say inappropriate things, no matter how
funny I find them.
I know it'll be hard, but I can't wait to face this year. Let me have it.