Mehreen Kayani, Primary teacher

I graduated with a degree in Early Years & Childhood Studies and then went on to the PGCE Primary course at Manchester Met.

What attracted you to the PGCE course?

Whilst studying early years and childhood studies and having the opportunity to go on placement I realised that teaching came naturally and it was a very rewarding career.

Best bits about the PGCE course

There have been opportunities to train in different key stages and in a special needs school. We had lectures and sessions which provided us with subject knowledge and ideas that we could use. The course prepared me well so I don’t feel overwhelmed preparing in the summer ready for September.

Hardest bits about the course

PGCE and teaching itself is very challenging. Staying on top of and collecting paperwork to file is very important and it easy to get behind with the amount there is to do.

Have you managed to secure a job for after the PGCE course?

Yes, I have a full time job at a school nearby my house.

How do you see your career progressing?

I intend to progress myself as a good teacher and I would love to be involved as part of the safeguarding team.

How did you degree prepare you for this postgrad course in terms of knowledge, skills or experience gained?

I was able to see early child development from a young age, theories behind learning and development and gain experience with children on placement. I also felt at more of an advantage on the PGCE coming from an early years background as a lot of the units directly tie into teaching and learning with early years and primary.

Top tips for future Early Years graduates for getting on to the PGCE and tips for doing well when on it.

To get onto the PGCE, make sure you have had experience within a range of ages in a primary school and also to be confident that this is the correct career choice for you. Reflect on the experiences you have had so in your interview you can discuss what you learnt from it and how it has influenced you as a teacher. Inclusion, behaviour management and differentiation is a big part of teaching so background reading will benefit you. Whilst you have time, background reading for the PGCE essential books will come in handy.

Tips for the PGCE – Whilst in the classroom remain confident. Set high expectations to begin with as it is harder to become firmer if need be. Have a notebook for a “to do” list as you will have a long checklist. Don’t worry about ticking everything off because you will add to it daily so prioritise the most important things and the things which can wait. Set time limits to get work and deadlines done to be sure you have time for yourself. Keep on top of filing and always have time to spend with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to get things wrong even the most experienced teachers get things wrong; it’s the best way of reflecting on your practice.