As any teacher would say, the PGCE year is notoriously difficult. Juggling teaching for the first time with planning lessons, attending lectures and writing assignments makes it a testing and busy time.
But to help get that vital first foot on the employment ladder, more and more trainee teachers are also undertaking enhancements during that hectic Further Education and Training PGCE year.
One of the many enhancements on offer at Edge Hill University is the Expert Practitioner Series. This is a series of lectures held every week and delivered by expert practitioners in the field of education and who currently work in the Further Education or Lifelong Learning sector.
Cate Leight, Senior Lecturer in Further Education and Training from Edge Hill University said: “It is a reassuring and validating experience for the trainees to speak to expert practitioners and gain approval of their ideas, resources and practices. The pressure of assessment is lifted during these informal sessions, providing the trainees with time and space to fine tune their pedagogical approaches and develop their philosophy of education with the support and guidance of successful and experienced practitioners.”
Among the practitioners providing this opportunity to undertake enhancements are College Managers, Special Educational Needs Specialists, Private Training Providers and Prison Education Trainers. As well as providing a professional networking experience, the trainees are also exposed to lectures focused on contemporary issues pertinent to the sector. The information gained in these lectures is in addition and complementary to the main programme of study, which follows the trajectory of a teacher, from The Developing Teacher in the first module to The Outstanding Teacher in the final module.
The Expert Practitioner Series takes the trainees to beyond outstanding by providing them with additional skills to add to their tool box and ultimately secure the job of their dreams, as it is one of the aspects that enables Edge Hill University trainees to stand out in this competitive market.
Enhancements also come in the form of additional professional practice placements. The additional placements allow the trainees to pursue particular interests, for example, functional skills, teaching learners whom English is not their first language or exploring new and emerging technologies.
Cate added: Many trainees have discovered their passion for teaching learners with Special Educational Needs as a result of the enhancement programme. The enhancements also ensure that the trainees gain a breadth of experience within the sector as trainees who are placed in a traditional further education college may seek an enhancement in a prison or training organisation.
Trainees in a sixth form college often want to experience more challenging settings such as an inner city community setting. These enhancement experiences increase the employability prospects of the trainees and open their eyes to the possibilities within the sector.”
Find out more about the PGCE courses available at Edge Hill University by clicking here.