I’ve been pretty busy since the New Year, working on my masterplan to study for my PGCE in September. I’ve been volunteering at my local Primary school, getting to grips with KS2 and the differences in the older children, along with the increased complexity of their lessons (if I was ever taught what a ‘relative clause’ is I’d forgotten it – and I have an A-Level in English Lit and Lang!).
I’ve also been cracking on with my UCAS application, which has been no easy task. My first problem was lost GCSE certificates (prospective Primary teachers need to prove that they have a GCSE in Maths, English and Science). As I sat my GCSE’s almost 30 years ago, my certificates are long gone, therefore cue a 2 month search for replacements, emailing my Secondary school and old school friends and parting with £86 for copies (which the examining board had stored on microfiche as they’re so old!).
Next I needed to transfer my CV, with 20 years of work experience and 2 plus years of volunteering, onto UCAS’s rather dodgy system. This prompted me to contact my referees, whereas most PGCE students would use their university lecturers, I’ve not seen mine for 25 years so that wasn’t going to work for me. Luckily both the referees I contacted (old bosses from my Accountancy days) were happy to provide a reference and said some nice things about my plans.
However, without doubt, the toughest part of the application was the dreaded ‘personal statement’, my chance to shine, to really sell myself, showing not only why I want to teach but also why I’d be a fantastic teacher. Oh gosh, that doesn’t sound like a very British thing to do does it?! Luckily I had the help of a mentor, an ex-teacher employed by the Department of Education to help with the application and interview stage, but nevertheless the experience was still excruciating. Thankfully my mentor didn’t want me to make any chances to my Personal Statement and, as I visited the last of my university choices last night, I should be good to press go on my application this week.
Once my application has been submitted to UCAS I need to start on my interview prep., as well as the usual interview questions I have been advised to have a strong awareness of issues in teaching today, prepare a presentation or a mini-teach exercise and swot up on my KS2 Maths and English for some university skills tests. Eek.
Wish me luck!