Learning to teach is the best decision I made

Student spotlight | Fay Longley, PGCE Early Years (3-7) with recommendation for QTS


Fay Longley

Fay Longley, currently studying PGCE Early Years (3-7) at Leeds Beckett University, shares with us why she decided to pursue a career in teaching, and what she’s enjoyed most about her course so far.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to PGCE Early Years?

Having left university from my undergraduate degree and coming back to my home city of Leeds, I worked part-time for a few years in retail, often considering teaching as an option. Without having much success, I decided to apply for a few jobs in schools as support staff. In the end, I ended up working full-time in a school nursery for two years and decided it was time to throw myself into teacher training. It seemed like the most logical step for progression into a career for which I already had so much passion and drive for. I haven’t looked back since. I absolutely adore working with children and it provides a sense of fulfilment which isn’t like any other job out there.

What made you choose Leeds Beckett?

I chose Leeds Beckett as I have had several friends who have done UG courses there, and they’d been really complimentary about their experience. I found the university to have a substantial course offering. I remember visiting and being completely blown away by the campus in Headingley and what it had to offer.

How have you found the course and was it what you expected?

It’s been a crazy year for learning for many students studying remotely through the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for those of us who have been doing practical courses. I was apprehensive at first, I won’t lie. But the flexibility of being able to access pre-recorded lectures has helped me massively when I’ve had other commitments. Teacher training is tough, yet the quality of what’s been on offer has been amazing. The course leaders have always been open to constructive feedback from the students and have tried to keep the same level of ‘walk ins’ as they would if they were in the offices on campus. I’m amazed they have any time to themselves!

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett? 

My favourite thing about studying at Leeds Beckett so far has been having such a supportive team of staff around me. My tutors have really made me feel valued. I would also say that meeting with others from the course digitally and physically (pre-Covid) has been a bit of a highlight. Leeds is a fantastic city and with Leeds Beckett being such a diverse university, I’ve been able to connect with people I’d never even expected to!

 What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course? 

Thinking of studying to teach? Be prepared. I won’t sugar-coat it, it’s really hard if you’re not motivated enough to do it. You have to want it because you adore the idea of instilling knowledge into the next generation, otherwise, it won’t work out. If you do want to do it, then there’s no time like today. You get tons of support from both the university and the placement schools you will work in. With a thirst for knowledge and a good work ethic, you’ll do well.

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