IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Behzad Tarfiee

Behzad completed his PGCE in 2018, on the Mathematics and Numeracy pathway.

Thanks for joining us, Behzad!

What did you do prior to starting your teacher training programme?

I have had a varied career that includes retail, industry and teaching. However, most of working life has been spent in the oil industry and as a teaching professional. I am CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) qualified and most my previous teaching career was in the English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) sector.

What motivates you to teach?

While teaching is a challenging profession it is an immensely rewarding job. It is a great way of helping to shape the future of our communities by helping learners, particularly in my sector where many learners are looking for second chances, to refocus their efforts and achieve their potentials. It is also one of a few professions where you can truly work towards and practice equality and diversity.

Keeping learners focused is an extremely challenging task but seeing them achieve and improve their life prospects is highly exhilarating."

Has there been an element of the PGCE that has been particularly valuable?

The most impressive part of the course was the manner in which everything was presented; from induction to the final days of course completion, the trainers practiced what they preached throughout the course. In their training sessions they demonstrated what is expected in the profession and prepared us accordingly. Everything and every topic was themed and contextualised, diversity and equality were practiced throughout and every trainee was treated with the utmost respect and attention. Standards were set very high and there were equally high expectations. At the same time, trainers were responsive to learner needs and circumstances, and were accommodating.

People using computers inside the IOE library

What is it like to train to teach in London?

London is the most cosmopolitan part of the UK, which means it is probably the best centre for learning and preparing to teach in profession that has learners from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds with an equally varied range of language and specialist subject needs. London probably provides the best preparation grounds than any other teacher training venue.

How have you found your school/college experience?

The selection process and interview for the course was challenging but not intimidating. It provided a glimpse of what is to come and what would be expected of a would-be trainee. It was precise and yet friendly.

How has the programme helped with your career plans and what do you plan to do next? 

The programme invited members of the profession involved in recruiting teachers to provide helpful contextualised, activity-based recruitment tips. This greatly helped me gain teaching employment almost immediately. I am now a fulltime GCSE and Functional Skills mathematics lecturer/teacher at New City College London. 

Is there anything else you would like to add about your teacher training year?

IOE is a great place to learn. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it was probably the best career move and investment I have ever made. I am proud to have been trained by the world’s number one teacher trainers.