"There is nothing better than seeing your first class enjoying their learning - and knowing that you are a part of that!"
Chrissy Maloney always wanted to teach. She initially undertook a degree in Early Childhood Studies which included weekly placements in both nurseries and schools.
These experiences further fuelled her desire to become an educator, and eventually led her to pursue a Primary Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the Institute of Education, University of Reading.
Chrissy chose the tuition-fee funded School Direct route.
"This was fantastic. You gain a lot of hands-on experience. It has been vital in equipping me with the skills and knowledge that I need to be an effective teacher."
On the course students build up to teaching full time.
Chrissy found the University sessions extremely valuable.
"The gradual build-up of active teaching is personalised and closely based upon individual needs. You get to experience teaching in a range of year groups and even in a contrasting school. Throughout the year, you have a school mentor, a University tutor and an academic tutor who observe and support."
" I can absolutely say that I learnt something new every week. Not only is it wonderful to be able to come together with fellow trainees to share our experiences, ideas and support, but each session focuses on a different area of practice. This has been highly beneficial to my professional development."
In terms of the individual support offered by the University tutors Chrissy said:
"I felt fully supported by the staff at University of Reading. Having my University tutor and mentor meant I never needed to feel worried or anxious, which has been hugely beneficial to my confidence and practice."
When speaking of her most memorable moments she said: "Believe it or not, one of the key highlights was when my University tutor came to visit and observe my lessons. Some prospective trainees may feel fearful of the observation process, but, the feedback is always supportive. They offer really valuable advice which I am always keen to use to become a better teacher."
Chrissy has secured a full time teaching position at her placement school. In the future, she also intends to complete an MA Education at University Reading.
"The PGCE qualification offers 60 credits towards this and I believe having that master's qualification opens up more doors and further widens one's perspective. I have an exciting journey ahead!"