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15/04/20222022/04/15

PGCE alumni story: It was a journey that made me proud, far exceeded my expectations and was incredibly rewardingPGCE校友分享:这是让我自豪、收获惊人且远超预期的旅程

PGCE alumni story: It was a journey that made me proud, far exceeded my expectations and was incredibly rewarding

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education, commonly known as the PGCE, is one of the most popular academic qualifications for teaching, and also is the most popular way for teachers to enter teaching. With over 1,300 teachers and school leaders studying there in any one year, the School of Education at the University of Buckingham has become one of Britain’s leading providers of teacher training and professional development. In 2020, through partnering with Buckingham International School of Education(BISE), the University started to provide PGCE programmes specifically designed for teachers working in China at international and bilingual schools.

Recently, we had an interview with Mr Ezzat Ali, PE teacher at Beijing Royal School’s Middle School, who graduated from the University of Buckingham's PGCE programme last year and is studying for his MA degree in Education (Leading Sports in School) also at the University of Buckingham. Let us hear his unique views about this programme, and how taking the PGCE teacher training course has brought his career to the next level!

 

PGCE was my dream and goal from the very beginning

BISE: Could you introduce yourself, your career so far and why you wanted to study a PGCE programme? 

Ezzat: About myself, I am from Egypt, North Africa. I spend my whole life there in Egypt with my family and went to the University of Helwan, one of the reputable universities in Cairo, Egypt. I studied for my bachelor's degree in physical education for four years and managed to graduate with a very good grade, an overall around 80% and I was in top class rank while graduating. Then I started my career teaching in Egypt for five years. My first school was a British school where I spent two years learning about key stage one and key stage two and I had my first teaching experience there. And then I moved to another International School, taught for another three years and successfully completed my contract. After five years, I moved abroad, and my first overseas experience was in Kyrgyzstan, in Central Asia and near China and Kazakhstan. I worked there for one year as a PE teacher and Athletics Director, which was my first leadership position. Then I moved to Beijing and started with Beijing Royal School’s Middle School. 

Throughout my life as especially since I started my career as a teacher I have always been seeking career development opportunities. To be honest, I didn’t have enough money to support myself with this and to be provided with courses such as PGCE or doing a Master's. Having the opportunity of teaching abroad and getting a better salary helped me a lot to keep improving myself and my teaching style. Back to my first experience, I learned about the British curriculum. And then I kept searching and I was emailing some of the British mainstream schools in the UK and they were so kind to answer me that “you need to get PGCE and QTS in order to teach in the UK or just to learn to teach”. And when I searched about PGCE and QTS, I found many things and many information. So it was my dream and my goal from the very beginning with the first year of experience. And then I kept waiting until I got the money and it was the right time. 

 

 

A school-based and practice-oriented real PGCE programme

BISE: What made you choose to study the programme at the University of Buckingham?

Ezzat: during my second year in Beijing, I started the PGCE course at the University of Buckingham, which was a big step for me. There are other universities like Sunderland or Nottingham offering a similar programme. But the most remarkable thing is that the University of Buckingham makes it a real PGCE while some of the other PGCE programmes are more about theory, and are completely online. The practical side is really weak, almost nothing. 

Also, I was looking for University close to me here in China and the University of Buckingham already got an office, via BISE. They provided everything to be honest, when I just started to email them asking in general about the course and they provided me with all the details and everything. And all the information was really helpful from the team at the beginning, and they guided me on how to do many things. It was during COVID and I had many problems with getting my IELTS exam, which was one of the requirements. I tried my best but also the people at the University of Buckingham provided me with an alternative test, called the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE). It is an Equivalent Test for IELTS but can be taken online. After I passed it, I got all the materials needed for my application. 

And I kept inquiring about the programme itself. And I was told that this is a real PGCE, not an IPGCE or merely an online PGCE. While the main part of the course is online, you still have to practice and you have mentors and tutors to come and visit you. The staff members shared the overview of the programme and I really liked it. 

 

A journey that I am proud of and a deeper transformation than expected

BISE: What's been the biggest challenge in the programme so far? 

Ezzat: For PGCE, the biggest challenge was to get my knowledge from theory into practice and implement what I have read and learned theoretically into my teaching. So if I'm reading about growth mindset if I'm reading about special needs or students of learning needs or different topics or any points related to teaching or students' life, my biggest challenge was how to implement this and how to get my interpretation right and use it while teaching. I'm reading well and understand everything but the biggest challenge was how to implement the information and knowledge in my class.

The other challenge for me was how to balance my life as a father of a four-year-old, a husband, a foreign teacher not working in my home country, studying PGCE or master's degree, and at the same time working full time in school. It's not easy at all. I'm not saying that I'm the hero, but it was really tough to find my own time. The pandemic has been a tough time for me and my family, we appreciate everything that has been provided to us. And we're feeling thankful for all opportunities, whether it's learning or working, so we're trying to do our best.

BISE: What was your favourite part or the highlight experience of the programme? 

Ezzat:  For PGCE, I didn't expect that my school mentor David Mandell, and the university’s tutors David Mansfield and Stephen Cook, really expected high from me.  To be honest, they expected higher than I expect for myself. That ended up with me meeting the outstanding standards for the teacher standards, according to the Department for Education in the UK. I hit all the A standards, and the final one was outstanding, and I was so happy and so proud of that. And this is one of the biggest achievements maybe in my whole teaching experience, being an outstanding teacher to hit the standards of outstanding. 

The thing that I most enjoyed in the PGCE programme was this routine of reading, and following up with my mentor session on a weekly basis. Every week, I have a lesson observation from my mentor and a meeting with him for reflection and everything else. I had to read different topics and answer different questions during these sessions and I really enjoyed this. That was my favourite because that was already continuous learning. It's not like squeezing myself up during the week to finish a few evidences or to write my assignments. No, it was like every weekend I needed to do that. In the beginning. It was really hard because it was so quick and I couldn't manage many things. But later on, especially during Christmas time, it was amazing. It felt like I was learning every week, by the end of the week, there was always something new, and I'm adding new knowledge to myself. 

This was wonderful! I told Steve that this was not what I expected. I thought it was going to be just a course and a certificate that I will need to have for my career, but it ended up with like, a bigger knowledge, something deeper than I expected and I'm so happy that I was on this journey. 

 

The programme brought beautiful changes to the entire school

BISE: How has your study helped your career? and what is your plan after graduation? 

Ezzat: Before the programme, with eight years of experience, I thought of myself as a really strong teacher? After joining the programme, I'm doing my best, but I'm still not aware of almost 80% of the programme. For example, I wasn't aware of all of those topics that we discussed about behaviours. I thought I had good classroom management, but I now realised that no way, I don't have that yet and I need to improve a lot. The best thing about this programme was its reflective teaching. Now I got this habit of seeing myself from outside me. It's like a kind of recording to myself, seeing what I've done, my strengths, my weaknesses, and how to work on things that I need to do. And if I need help I can always ask for help from my mentor and tutor. So my whole teaching style changed, especially working with different students. I managed to differentiate my lesson plan and my teaching, and also adapt everything like the equipment as a PE teacher. I got the chance to change almost 70-80% of my teaching style, and I feel much better afterwards. My experience is getting better, and my teaching is getting smoother. This is how I can describe it. It was really tough at the beginning, but now with the knowledge, we can set the expectations and objectives for myself and my students. So everything looks clear, obvious, and that was a big achievement.

My main target was to be a good teacher, and now I want to be a good leader too. By the end of this contract with my school here in 2023, I'll be 10 years of experience, finishing my master's degree, and then I will be looking for a leadership opportunity. So with the master's degree, plus PGCE and hopefully QTS, I am looking for a British School that I can fit in and a more senior role that matches my expectations. 

BISE: What tips would you give to teachers who are also exploring training opportunities? Who else do you think should take either of the programmes? 

Ezzat: In my reviews, I mentioned that teachers at different levels need this kind of course because I had eight years and I thought I knew everything about teaching, after experiencing many situations with students at different schools, in different languages. This is not at all the case. It was more than professional development. With the concentration of this course, I think most of the teachers, at any level, need this kind of programme, even if they have 20 years of experience, they still need to study the basics. Because whatever I studied at my university was very different from what I studied in PGCE. And what I felt while I'm studying the PGCE is that it's I don't know how to describe it, but it's touching the real life of being a teacher. It's getting into all the details that I'm facing every day as a teacher in school, or even outside of school. So it's highly recommended, not only for newly graduated teachers but also for teachers with experience who want to enhance their teaching skills and abilities. 

While I'm studying the PGCE programme, it was really good to see that programme didn’t just affect my teaching style, it also has a big impact on the whole school afterwards. Because I was reaching out for this programme, my mentor also learned a lot by being my mentor and discussing all different topics throughout our meetings. And also my department was much better after this course. Soon, other departments started to do the same and there were many, many things changed in the school, so the programme not only affected me but also affected almost the whole school at the end of the year. And this is the beautiful thing that happened to our school.

教师资格研究生证书,通常被称为PGCE,是最受欢迎的教师学术资格认证之一,也是教师进入教学领域最普遍的方式之一。白金汉大学教育学院是英国领先的教师培训和专业发展机构之一,每年培训超过1300名学校教师和领导。2020,通过和白金汉国际教育学院(BISE)的合作,白金汉大学首次开始为在中国国际和双语学校工作的教师提供特别设计的PGCE在线课程。

最近,我们访问了北京王府学校的体育教师伊扎特·阿里,他去年从白金汉大学的PGCE课程毕业,目前正在白金汉大学学习进修他的教育硕士(学校体育领导力)。让我们来听听他是如何评价白金汉大学PGCE课程,以及参加PGCE教师培训课程是如何助他在职业道路上更上一层楼的吧!

 

PGCE一直是我的梦想和目标

BISE:请介绍一下你自己,你到目前为止的职业生涯,以及为什么会选择PGCE课程?

艾扎特:我来自北非的埃及。之前基本和家人在埃及度过,并在埃及的哈勒旺大学学习,这是埃及开罗的一所声誉卓著的大学。在那里,我攻读了四年的体育教育学位,并以非常优异的成绩毕业,总分80%左右,在整个大学名列前茅。然后我开始了我的教师职业生涯,在埃及教了五年的书。我的第一所学校是一所英国学校,在那里我花了两年时间学习第一和第二关键阶段的知识,首次积累了教学经验。然后我转到另一所国际学校,又教了三年,成功完成了我的合同。在授课五年后,我移居国外。我的第一次海外经历是在吉尔吉斯坦,靠近中国和哈萨克斯坦的中亚国家。我在那里工作了一年,担任体育老师和运动主管,这是我的第一个领导职位。之后我搬到了北京,开始在北京王府学校的中学工作。

一直以来,特别是当我开始教师生涯后,我一直在寻求职业发展机会。坦率地说,之前我没有足够的钱来支持这样的机会,也没有足够的钱去学习PGCE或硕士类的课程。有机会在国外教书并获得更高的薪水,对我不断提升自己和我的教学风格有很大帮助。在我第一段工作经历时,我了解到了英国学校的教学体系。然后我不断搜索,给英国的一些主流学校发邮件询问,他们非常友好地回答我,告诉我:“想要在英国教书,或者只是学会教书,都需要获得PGCE和QTS”。当我开始搜索PGCE和QTS的时候,我发现了很多课程和信息。因此,从第一年的教书开始,这就是我的梦想和目标。然后我一直在等待,直到我有了积蓄,时机也更成熟的时候。

 

一个基于校本实践的真正的PGCE课程

BISE:是什么让你选择在白金汉大学学习?

艾扎特:在北京工作第二年的时候,我开始了白金汉大学的PGCE课程,这对我来说是向前迈了一大步。其他大学如桑德兰大学或诺丁汉大学也提供类似的课程。但最难得的是,白金汉大学在中国提供的PGCE,是作为真正的PGCE进行教学,而其他一些PGCE课程更多的是关于理论,而且完全在线上的,而在实践方面的内容非常薄弱,几乎没有。

另外,当时我在寻找从中国学习更近的学校,而白金汉大学通过BISE已经在中国有了一个办公室。说实话,BISE提供了我需要的一切,当我刚开始给他们发邮件询问关于课程的大概情况时,他们向我提供了所有的细节和一切信息。从一开始,我就获得了来自团队非常有帮助的信息,他们指导我如何做很多事情。在COVID期间,我在参加雅思考试时遇到了很多困难,而这也是申请要求之一。在我尽力的同时,白金汉大学的老师也为我提供了一个替代测试方案,叫做培生学术英语测试(PTE)。这是一个相当于雅思考试的测试,但可以在网上进行。在我通过考试后,我终于准备齐了申请所需的所有材料。

在这个过程中,我也一直在询问关于课程本身的信息。工作人员告诉我,这是一个真正的PGCE,而不是IPGCE或仅仅是一个在线PGCE。虽然课程的主要授课是在网上进行的,但你仍然要进行大量实践,而且有导师和辅导员来进行访问指导。在工作人员详细分享了课程概况后,我非常喜欢这一课程。

 

一段让我自豪的旅程,超出期望的深刻改变

BISE:你在课程中最大的挑战是什么?     

艾扎特:对于PGCE来说,最大的挑战是如何将我的知识从理论转化为实践,并将我在理论上读到的东西落实到教学中。所以如果我读到成长心态,如果我读到特殊需要或有学习困难的学生,或与教学及学生生活有关的不同主题或任何要点,我最大的挑战是如何落实这些,如何正确理解诠释并在教学中使用这些知识。我阅读学习很好,也能理解所有的内容,但最大的挑战是如何在我的课堂中,实践这些信息和知识。

对我来说,另一个挑战是如何平衡我作为一个四岁孩子的父亲和一个丈夫,以及一个不在本国工作的外国教师的生活,既学习PGCE或硕士学位,同时又在学校全职工作。这非常不容易。我并不想夸大说自己是了不起的英雄,但要找到我自己的时间真的很困难。新冠全球疫情对我和我的家人来说是一个艰难的时期,我们感谢这里为我们提供的一切,也对所有的机会都心怀感激,无论是学习还是工作,我们也正在努力做到最好。

BISE:课程中你最喜欢的部分或者最为亮点的经历是什么?

艾扎特:对于PGCE课程,我没有想到我的校内导师大卫•曼德儿,以及白金汉大学的导师大卫•曼斯菲尔德,还有史蒂夫•库克,真的对我有很高的期望。实话实说,他们的期望比我对自己的期望还要高。最终,根据英国教育部的要求,我实现了教师标准的优秀标准。我达到了所有的A级标准,而最后一项考核更是达到杰出的标准。我对这个成绩非常高兴,也非常自豪。这也许是我教师生涯中最大的成就之一,达到了优秀的标准,并成为一名优秀的教师。 

在PGCE课程中,我最喜欢的是例行的阅读,随后进行每周我的导师课程。每周,我都有导师对我进行的观摩课,并和他见面进行回顾反思及其他讨论。在这些会面上,我必须阅读不同的主题,回答不同的问题,这是我非常享受的课程环节。我之所以最喜欢这部分,因为这是一种持续的学习。不是集中在一周内挤时间完成学习记录或作业。不,每个周末我都要进行这一学习。刚开始的时候真的很困难,因为节奏实在太快,我无法同时管理许多事情。但后来,特别是在圣诞节期间,学习效果是惊人的。我感觉我每周都在学习,到了周末总是有新的收获,而我也在为自己增加新的知识。

这样的学习实在太棒了!我告诉史蒂夫,这和我最初预想的大不相同。我以为这只是为了我的职业生涯需要的一门课程和一个证书,但它最终是我完全没想到的更为宏大的知识,和非常深刻的改变,我很高兴自己完成了这个旅程。

 

课程给整个学校带来了美好的变化

BISE: 你的学习对你的职业有什么帮助?你毕业后有什么计划?

艾扎特:在参加这个课程之前,我有八年教学的经验,我以为自己已经是非常厉害的教师了。加入课程后,我尽力做到最好,但我发现自己仍然不知道课程几乎80%的内容。例如,我并不清楚课程里讨论的那些关于行为的主题。我以为自己有很好的课堂管理能力,但我现在意识到,完全不是,我还没有这个能力,自己还需要提高很多。这个课程最好的地方是它的反思性教学。现在我养成了这种习惯,从自身之外观察我自己。这就像一种对自己的记录,看到我做了什么,我的长处,我的弱点,以及如何在我要做的领域上努力。而如果我需要帮助,我可以随时向我的导师和辅导员寻求帮助。因此,我的整个教学风格发生了变化,特别是对不同的学生进行教学时。我设法对我的课程计划和教学进行因材施教,同时作为体育老师也对包括教学设备等一切作了调整。我有机会改进了我几乎70-80%的教学风格,在那之后我感觉好多了。我的经验越来越丰富,我的教学也越来越顺畅。我可以这样来形容课程带来的帮助。一开始真的很不容易,但现在有了这些知识,我可以为自己和学生有针对性地设定期望和目标。于是一切都变得更为清晰明确,这是课程带来的一个很大的成就。   

我最大的目标是成为一名好老师,而现在我也立志成为一名好的领袖。到2023年我和现在工作的学校合同结束时,我将有10年的经验,并完成我的硕士学位,届时我将寻找领导岗位的机会。所以,通过有了硕士学位,再加上PGCE和希望未来获得的QTS,我将能寻找一个适合我的英国学校,以及一个符合我期望的更资深的职位。

BISE: 你会给那些正在探索培训机会的教师什么建议?你认为还有谁应该参加这两个项目中的任何一个?

艾扎特:在我给课程的反馈中,我提到不同阶段的教师都需要这样的课程。因为我有八年的经验,经历了在不同学校、用不同语言对学生进行教学的许多情况后,我以为自己对教学已经了如指掌。然而事实完全不是这样的。这样的课程绝不仅仅是提供了专业的学习发展。因为有大量干货,我认为大多数的教师,无论处于什么阶段都需要这类课程,即使他们有20年的经验,他们仍然需要学习最核心根本的知识。因为我在大学里学习的与我在PGCE里学习的内容非常不同。虽然不知道该如何描述,但我在学习PGCE时的感受是,它触及了作为一名教师最真实的生活。它触及了我作为教师每天在学校,甚至在学校外所面临的方方面面的所有细节。因此,我强烈推荐这一课程,不仅适用于刚毕业的教师,也适用于想提高自己教学技能和能力的有经验的教师。

在我学习PGCE课程的时候,另一件让我惊喜的事是,发现这个课程不仅仅提升了我的教学风格,之后对整个学校也带来很大的影响。因为我在接触这个课程时,我的驻校导师也通过担任我的导师,并在我们的会议中讨论各类不同的课题,学到了很多东西。此外,我的部门也在课程之后有了整体的提升。很快,其他部门也开始这样做,整个学校的很多事情都发生了变化。于是这个课程不仅影响了我,而且在这一年结束时影响了几乎整个学校。这是随着课程发生在我们学校的非常美好的变化。

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  • PGCE Alumni Story: All-round competency development that opened a door to my career progression
    15/07/20212021/07/15

    PGCE Alumni Story: All-round competency development that opened a door to my career progressionPGCE校友分享:全方位的能力培养,为我打开职业进阶的大门

    An interview with Mr. Chuck Zhang, Headmaster's Assistant of Tianjin HIKSVS International School, an alumnus of the University of Buckingham's PGCE pr...

  • Testimonials from PGCE Alumni
    01/07/20212021/07/01

    Testimonials from PGCE AlumniPGCE课程校友感言

    It has been an amazing learning journey with BISE and it was the best decision I could have made for my future career in teaching, especially while...

  • Job Vacancies | Account Manager
    03/03/20212021/03/03

    Job Vacancies | Account Manager职位招聘 | 客户经理

    We are hiring! Account Manager, Buckingham International School of Education (BISE) Job Title Account Manager Employment Type Full-time Salar...

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