Parsa is training to teach mathematics and spoke to us about going at 100 miles per hour - metaphorically of course.
Can you share your motivations for training to teach with us?
After completing my four year maths degree I realised I had a deep, genuine passion for maths as a subject. I also enjoy interacting with people and making an impact on lives so teaching maths seemed like the perfect career choice. Whilst studying my undergraduate degree I also had the chance to work with students who were revising for their GCSEs. I really enjoyed the experience and realised I had a natural gift for teaching maths in a way that students were easily able to understand.
And why did you choose the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)?
Whilst studying my undergraduate degree at Brunel, most of my teachers and friends recommended the IOE as the best place to train to become a teacher in London. When I looked into the IOE and discovered it was ranked as the best in the world for education, I knew that was where I wanted to train.
How are you finding the experience overall and has there been an element of your programme that has impressed you or been particularly valuable?
So far I am really enjoying the programme and have made some great friends. The tutors and lecturers have been extremely supportive. During the seminars the tutors really encourage us to think deeper about maths as a subject and to be creative with the various ways it can be taught in order to bring out the best in students who don’t particularly enjoy maths or struggle with it. We are reminded that ‘one size does not fit all’ and the range of strategies that I am learning has equipped me to make a real impact in the classroom. I am really excited about applying what I have learnt on this PGCE.
Were there any challenges and how have you overcome them?
I have found the workload to be the most challenging part of the PGCE. I have overcome this by making sure that manage my time more efficiently and being as organised as I can be.
“What impact do you think your time at the IOE will have on your future career?
I think my time at the IOE has helped me to become the best possible maths teacher. Attention to detail has been really helpful. The IOE has really set me up to teach at a high level which means the students I teach will also be learning at a higher level."
Tell us about the lecturers on your programme.
The lecturers have been very helpful and have provided great feedback throughout the programme which has helped to develop my subject knowledge. Also, as the teachers at the IOE are some of the best in the world, I feel very confident that I am going to hit the ground running when I start my teaching career. I was particularly impressed to discover that one of my lecturers was a world renowned author of one of our key reading text books.
What is it like to train in a London school and how do you think it has benefited you?
London schools are very multicultural and I found it very interesting to meet with students from such a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. I think this diversity helped to make the experience even more enjoyable and I hope to be able to work in a multicultural school when I start teaching.
How has the programme helped you to prepare for your time in the classroom?
The structure of the programme has been great. We were at IOE for a few weeks, then went on a one-day visit to a school in groups initially so we weren’t thrown in the deep end on our own. Once you are assigned a placement the integration is very slow so I felt very prepared. The first few days are spent observing the classroom until more recently where I have been taking full lessons."
If you could give advice to someone about to start teacher training at the IOE, what would it be?
If I could give any advice it would be:
- Get plenty of rest before starting the course as once you start you feel as though you are going 100 miles per hour at times! As the course is only one year, you are able to cover so much ground in such a short space of time. If you enjoy maths, the course will be very enjoyable.
- Be confident in the classroom. Know your lesson plans inside out so you can adapt easily. Make lessons harder or easier as required.
Is there anything else you would like to say about your teacher training experience at the IOE?
It has been really enjoyable but workload is intense! I enjoyed it because I enjoy the subject and helping younger people.