IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Xi Zhang

Languages PGCE student Xi sums up his teacher training year at IOE (2019/20).

What is it like to study teacher training?

I feel very well supported in every aspect of my training here at IOE. Tutors are nice and thoughtful, lecturers are passionate and inspirational, and library and administrative teams are very responsive. It feels like this is exactly the right place for me to do my teacher training.

What did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed the Debates in Education series where we discuss the issues in and outside the classrooms, which are pertinent and thought-provoking. I often feel that I am part of the teaching community, not just because I am teaching a particular language.

Equally enjoyable and rewarding was when I could make a small difference in a students’ school life, for example, helping one of my placement school English as an additional language (EAL) students, then seeing changes made to their reading programme; or encouraging reluctant students in class and saw a change of behaviour. 

What is it like to train in a London school?

There are no two schools alike in London. I am glad that I had the opportunity to be trained in two contrasting schools here, where I developed a deeper understanding of what school is for and honed my skills to support students of different backgrounds.

What is your advice to new trainee teachers?

Be open-minded and work hard. Try to listen to other people and keep an open mind for teaching ideas and feedback. Work really hard so that you feel ready when school opens in September.