We caught up with PGCE student, Benn Whitehead. Benn is coming to the end of his course and is finishing his placement in the Performing Arts department of Middlesbrough College.
Benn first joined Middlesbrough College in 2014 on the Level 3 Performing Arts (Acting) course, and now, on his PGCE course, he has been passing on his knowledge to students on the very same course he was on almost 10 years ago!
He said, “It’s been a really great experience working within the Visual and Performing Arts department. It’s very interesting to see the course from the other side of the classroom.
“My mentor whilst on placement, Steve Pollard, also used to teach me when I was a Level 3 student. He, along with some other great teachers I have had the pleasure of being taught by, have inspired me to go into teaching. It felt a bit strange at first working alongside those that used to teach me, but it very quickly started to feel natural as we had already built a rapport and there was a mutual respect there.
“I originally came to this College as a school leaver because it was such a friendly and welcoming place. I immediately felt at home here and the transition from school to College was made easier because of the supportive members of staff. I knew going into teaching that I wanted to teach at College level and I couldn’t think of anywhere better than to return to Middlesbrough College to complete my training.
“The teaching on my PGCE course has been second to none. My tutor, Sandy, has a wealth of knowledge. The course covers everything to know about teaching, I found the workload easy to manage and adapt to alongside my placement. It can feel quite scary coming into teacher training with no prior experience, but I was put at ease straight away. I’ve gained a real insight into professional teaching through this course, and the support I’ve received has been amazing.
“A personal highlight for me is definitely the grades I have managed to achieve. As someone who is dyslexic, I have always struggled with my written work, and it has never been a strength of mine, but I’m proud to say that I have achieved a first in some of my written assignments!
“I’m now looking forwarded to stepping into my first professional teaching role in a local secondary school.”
Course: PGCE (Professional Graduate Certificate in Education and Training)