PGCE Questions (1)

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Interview Questions

1. Why do you want to teach?

Greatly enjoyed the child development and language acquisition modules at university

I followed this up with the Student associate scheme, 2 solid weeks in a primary school and continued with one day a week in a local primary school once I decided it was primary I wanted to teach and I had started to work- gave me insight into the career of a teacher. The SAS especially allowed me dive deeper into what goes into be a teacher.

Some very inspirational teachers, made the lessons extremely fun, I was amazed by their enthusiasm and the effect it on the children learning. The children had so much respect for the teacher and the teacher constantly had the childrens development, enjoyment and well being at heart.

I want to make the learning environment a fun one like she did, I know personally when I revise I retain information much more effectively if I make it fun.

I feel I have the creativity and ability to do this, I really enjoy working with children and seeing the scene of achievement they gain from learning new things.

I am extremely organised and enthusiastic for the subjects I care about.

2. What experience do you have in schools? What did you gain from doing the Student Associate Scheme/experience in the classroom? What did you learn?

Since university I part took in the Student Associate Scheme for 3 weeks in a secondary school, following that 2 weeks solid in a primary school and since then I have been in school one day a week.

Had experience in every year group from early years to year 10

All experience- Observed good and bad teaching practise and the effect this has on the childrens learning

SAS- Gained a better understanding of teaching and learning in the classroom through the completion of tasks

SAS- Allowed me to support learning in the classroom, develop some simple resources and deliver some aspects of a lesson

E.g. One task was to observe how teachers gave constructive feedback successfully and then put this into practise- I worked with year 9 children in food tech, I started a pupil lead discussion on how they thought they could level up there final specifications. The teacher then allowed me to complete the feedback sheet for the children I worked with, praising for good work and behaviour and suggesting ideas prompting more breadth.

E.g. I planned 3 lessons and taught one, a year 7 lesson on textiles finial product evaluation and with the help of the teacher taught part of it (SEE RESOURCE)

3. Why do you enjoy working with children? What did you enjoy about your work experience?

Extremely rewarding, you are a very important and influential role model

Get buzz from knowing you have successfully taught them new knowledge, and even bigger satisfaction when you witness the child using the knowledge you have taught them independently

Im a big kid at heart, I love playing games and watching children enjoy themselves especially when it is through my influence

Almost all children are excited and willing to learning, its a refreshing environment to be in- being in a childs world is much more fun then being in a adults world, adults are less enthusiastic and inquisitive

4. What do you enjoy about working in a school?

I enjoy the liveliness and enthusiasm, openness and kindness children have- its refreshing

I like the chance to inspire and motivate children

I enjoy working In a fun and colourful environment

5. Why primary? Why key stage 2?

I am lucky enough to have had experience in foundation, primary and secondary schools.

Even luckier to have had experience in two very different primary schools, a inner city catholic school in Liverpool and a Cofe school in a well off area in Nottingham

Although my first choice for the SAS was primary, I was placed in secondary due to my A level in textiles, this was a blessing in disguise, I showed me I defiantly prefer primary.

I prefer:

Teaching across the whole curriculum, a variety of subjects, secondary is just one subject- prefer a variety

Like the fact you get to build a relationship with one particular class for a year- I like to get to know each child properly, I feel this is more beneficial to the children too as I get to learn their abilities in more depth

The children at primary usually have much more enthusiasm to learn the children in secondary, I find it inspiring and refreshing.

I feel more confident working with children in the key stage 2 age range

I prefer planning and implementing acitivies where the children are learning more advanced knowledge e.g. science experiments

I also like the fact older children are a little more independent and self sufficient then KS1 or foundation- they are more developed in their sense of humour too which I can relate to more

I do find however the whole Primary age range extremely rewarding and fun to work with

6. Describe a situation when have you had to use your initiative.

The teacher was called out of the class room in an emergency situation at the end of the day during pack away leaving me in charge of the class with the support of another teacher being next door if I needed her

I was thrown into the position of taking control so I split the class into two halfs and started a game of hang man

The children responded well as I instated my authority immediately and provided them with a fun activity to direct their attention to.

7. What would be your ideal classroom environment?

It would be complete learning environment- children walk in and know it is a place for learning and respect

I would also want it to be a fun, colourful and enjoyable place to be

I would chose a theme per term and plan the curriculum around it, ensure the displays followed the theme,

Childrens work would be displayed on the walls along side prompts, reminders and examples of each level

Books, globes and computers would be readily available

It would not be cramped but spacious with a quite area for reading

All the desks would face towards the smartboard to avoid the children getting distracted

Ideally there would be a class hamster and plants to teach the children how to look after another living thing

8. What do you look for the first time you enter a school and why?

I think the school should be a welcoming place with a strong sense of school community:

Childrens work displayed on the walls

Colourful displays

Photos of all the staff with the class the teach

Year photos of the children

A welcoming reception

A bulletin board displaying news and upcoming events

Posters promoting healthy eating etc

Signs pointing to different places, teacher and class name on classroom doors eg hall, library (Allows flow of school to continue, wont disturb classes)

Happy children and staff, the sound of fun learning and liveliness- If the children are enjoying themselves whilst learning there would be smiles and the sound of laughter all over the school

9. Can you think of a time you helped a child in the classroom? Why was it memorable?

I worked with a year 7 student with social, emotional and behavioural problems in designing a logo for his textiles bag.

To make the pupil feel more at ease I engage in conversation about his out of school activities and asked him what he liked and disliked about school.

Once I had gained his trust and I could tell he had relaxed I then started to suggest we incorporated the things he enjoyed into his logo.

With the one on one attention away from the rest of the class the pupils behaviour was much more calm and the rest of the class proceeded without disruption.

It was memorable because the boy seemed quite shocked I had taken the time sit and talk to him about the issues he was experiencing with school, he explained the other teachers just saw him as trouble so he didnt see the point in behaving- self fulfilling prophecy

10. Why are you applying to this particular teaching course?

I chose the PGCE over Scitt or GTP as the balance of lectures and school experience appealed to me. I believe as important as hands on school experience is, so is having a good academic and theory basis.

Leicester University is close to my home, ideally I wanted to avoid moving away as I feel being settled in one place will contribute greatly to my success on the course.

Leicester uni has a good reputation and is 23 in the Complete university guide rankings

11. What were the qualities of a teacher you admired?

One teacher in particular at the school I frequently visited was brilliant, the children loved her and you could tell she cared deeply about the well-being and development of every child in her class.

She is very enthusiastic and believes that enjoyment is key to children learning successfully,

She had the ability to demand and sustain the attention of the class without shouting even, as in one circumstance, when two classes were combined,

In every lesson I observed, where possible, she made a game often using visual, aduial and kinaesthetic methods.

For example in a year 5 English class on how to level up a piece of descriptive writing she assigned points, phrases and hand actions to different features such as describing how, why and punctuation. The class as a whole then competed against each other to remember the features first for points every child was enthusiastically joining in and motivated to win! The teachers theo