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Q&A with Bandini Shah

Bandini completed her Post-Compulsory PGCE in English (Literacy and ESOL pathway) through part-time study.

What are your motivations for training to teach?
To be able to work with adults who want to improve their English and working with these students to enable them achieve their personal learning goals. I also wanted to acquire the practical skills needed to teach adults literacy, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Has there been an element of your programme that has impressed you or been particularly valuable?
The ability to understand how adults learn in order to catalyse the process for each individual student. The programme was very practical; the lectures provided hands-on techniques which I could use in my everyday teaching, I learnt techniques to support and stretch each student in a mixed ability group, and the assignments enabled me to understand better the techniques and processes which are essential in order to become a proficient teacher.

What is it like to train to teach in London and how do you think it has benefited your studies?
Teaching in London is really dynamic, I was exposed to a diverse range of students, with differing cultural and educational backgrounds. I thoroughly enjoyed all of my four teaching placements; each one provided different teaching opportunities which I feel greatly benefited my learning.

What did you do prior to starting your teacher training programme at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)?
I was a contact centre consultant and trainer working with companies such as Abbey and Expedia. My main role was to drive productivity and sales within EU operations. 

How have you found your school/college experience?  What helped you to prepare for your time in the classroom?
The PGCE maximises learning by combining theory and practice. It was a great combination of attending lectures, which addressed theory and teaching placements where I was then able to incorporate my learning in a practical setting. The course enabled me to experiment with what I had learnt, I was able to plan lessons better and implement high impact teaching activities.

I benefitted greatly from working alongside experienced mentors within my teaching placements, their advice and input enabled me to develop better teaching techniques. At the heart of this PGCE, I learnt to become more reflective in my teaching - a life-long skill essential for every teaching practitioner. 

How has the programme helped with your career plans and what do you plan to do next?
My teaching placements were in local further education colleges, which is where I wanted to teach long term. Once I completed my PGCE I applied for a job within one of these colleges and was taken into the team. The IOE lecturers and administrative staff have always helped and supported me in gaining beneficial teaching placements, which made gaining employment much easier.

Is there anything else you would like to say about your teacher training year at the IOE?
I feel the IOE was a great place to do my PGCE. The lecturers are highly experienced, supportive and made the learning process fun. The lectures were very interactive, which maximised the learning by putting it into a practical context.

All four of my teaching placements were a great environment to learn practical teaching techniques. I made some excellent friendships, which has also widened my network now that I am a qualified teacher. 

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