I graduated from the University of Huddersfield on the 10th of July 2015 in PGCE Post-16 education in Design Technology and Engineering.
Since graduating, I have realised that my passion lies in Post-11 education. I wanted to inspire and nurture the younger students in DT and engineering as I noticed that there wasn’t many students at Post-16 choosing DT and engineering for A levels or Level 3 qualifications.
In order to transit into Post-11 education, I knew that I had to gain experience in secondary schools. So my first role after graduating was at an Academy in London. I quickly gained the sought after experience I needed and I had to learn quickly and adapt what I had learnt on my PGCE Post-16 to younger students.
I soon realised that the behaviour I experienced from Post-11 students was totally different from Post-16. Behaviour management wasn’t really discussed in great detail at Post-16 level. Fortunately the Academy laid on an INSET day on behaviour management and restorative justice. This really helped me develop various behaviour management techniques in managing my classroom.
The main points I have learnt teaching at Post-11 education is that I needed to have exceptional behaviour management, the ability to keep the students focused and interested (shorter activities compare to Post-16), and the ability to break down the topic to bitsize chunks across a wider age range (11-16 compared to 16-19).
I believe I have made the right decision and in addition I have also an opportunity to teach Post-16 students in schools sixth forms.