I have decided to write some small posts about my training to be a maths teacher. At first I thought I will not write anything about it, but it occupies around 80% of my life right now and I believe it will be a good idea for anyone that wants to know how it is. Also, in this way you could share your opinions about teaching mathematics, how it should be done, how it is done and how we can improve ourselves. The posts will not be only for teachers, or future teacher, but for everyone (students, too). Share your opinions and help me improve, help me be a good teacher.
For the first post I have decided to give a small description of the program I am enrolled at the moment. You need to take into consideration that I am living in Scotland, UK and I am doing the PGDE (Professional Graduate Diploma in Education). This is a postgraduate training course for prospective teachers in Scotland. Successful completion of this course allows me to teach in a Scottish state school. All PGDE courses at each University are regulated by the Scottish Government and General Teaching Council for Scotland. I am enrolled in the one full academic year course (but I know there are universities that do this program in part-time mode, too). The one-year course is split into 17 weeks of university lecture, where we do the theoretical parts and the pedagogy theory, and 19 weeks of training (or practicing teaching in different schools). This last period is helping us to put the theory we learn at university into practice. Also, the weeks are mixed into every semester, so for the 1st semester I have 10 weeks of practice and 9 weeks of university work split between August and December.
Another thing I should mention is that the PGDE course can be taken in either Primary Education, which concerns teaching children from ages 3–12 and a PGDE in Secondary Education, which requires the individual to be a subject specialist and involves the teaching of children aged 11–18. You can imagine that I am doing the Secondary part for mathematics.
To apply for this program I had to prepare a file with my undergraduate diploma and grades, a personal statement and a reference letter from a teacher or an employer ( I opted for the teacher). Also, I had to have specific English qualification because (obviously) I will be teaching in English. All this file was then put together and I had to complete an UCAS application and then wait. This happened in December 2014, because the deadline was 15th of January. After my application was considered I got a nice letter telling me I have to prepare for an interview: I had to prepare a small presentation based on some videos and the interviewer asked me questions based on that presentation, but also the basic questions “why do you want to do this?”, “why did you chose to do mathematics?”, “what do you like about maths?”. It should not have been more than 15 minutes, but I stayed in that room for around 40 minutes. After this, I had to wait a couple of weeks until I got the full answer. And I started on 20th August.
There will be more posts on this topic and this one was more technical so that you understand some of the context. If you have any questions leave them in the comment box bellow or if you want to know more about the application process send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I could give you more inside into it.
Thank you for your help and support. You can find me on Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Twitter, Instagram and Lettrs, I will try to post there as often as possible. Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy