Preparing to start a PGCE in Secondary English

Hey there everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been quiet for so long. It’s been months now.

Not a lot and all too much has been happening:

  • My boyfriend and I finally moved into our own house. It’s taken weeks of painting, cleaning, IKEA trips and re-arranging furniture to get it looking half decent.

  • I’m finally able to buy, and keep, plants! After my mum passing on all of her knowledge to me for as long as I can remember, I finally have the space to grow veg, herbs and beautiful plants and flowers. It makes me so happy. I’ve never been able to keep more than a cactus or vase of flowers because of space, constantly moving / travelling etc. My Mum’s been looking after about 5 of my succulents for the last 5 years but she kindly gave them back to me. Thank you Mum!
  • Despite not being 100% I think I can safely say this is the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’m eating really well and exercising daily. My boyfriend has encouraged and supported me so much throughout this (Don’t get me wrong, we still eat pizza and sweets!
  • Most importantly, I’ve been preparing to start my PGCE course (2 weeks to go!)

Unfortunately I had to leave my job at Manchester School of English in the middle of June, because in order to receive a bursary for the summer course I wasn’t allowed to work as a teacher in any capacity. I find this quite ridiculous if I’m honest. I’m about to enroll on a course to become a teacher, yet I can’t work as a teacher over the summer. *Sigh*

I went back 2 weeks ago to pick up my DBS certificate and it was so lovely to see the management team and some of my old colleagues. I’m really grateful I had the opportunity to work there and it has definitely helped me with both confidence and experience.

Okay so I mentioned a bursary. As it’s been sooooooo long since I was last at school, and University, I asked the course leader if I could take part in an SKE (Subject Knowledge Enhancement) course and thankfully he agreed. It was a 2 week course to help us understand the curriculum, teaching methods, behaviour management and lots more.

There were only four of us taking it, which made it even more interesting and such a great laugh. The man, educator, teacher who ran the course was amazing. He was so smart, charismatic and really down-to-earth.

He didn’t make any of us feel like we were stupid and he was never patronizing either. He gave us so many ideas, suggestions, tips and tricks for when we finally get into the classroom and most importantly, he was, is, so passionate about teaching English.

I was also given the title (nothing more) of my first assignment so I’ve been brainstorming and doing some reading around that topic. I feel much more relaxed about it already!

Why study Literature?

Has anyone else taken an SKE course this summer? I’d love to know how yours went!


So once the course was over I was free. I had no job, a bit of money and a completely blank schedule. It’s been a bit weird not having a real routine, but I’ve tried to be strict with myself.

I guess an average day over the past 2 months has looked a little like this:

  1. 7am wake up, work out, eat breakfast, shower, etc
  2. Read a book or do some teaching-based research
  3. Water the plants, talk to plants, buy plants, admire plants.
  4. Cook, clean, housewife stuff…
  5. Instagram, Twitter – I made teaching accounts on both platforms and it’s been incredible to make new connections and share ideas with other professionals in education. I’m loving it! (This may become a new blog post later.)
  6. Cook, relax, write in my journals, spend time with Jonas.

It’s been very stressful though, so don’t be fooled. I have had so many books and poems to read. So much research to do before I start the PGCE and honestly, I am nervous. Beyond nervous! I just want to do well, impress the students, deliver awesome lessons and not upset anyone.

I’m hoping my EFL experience will come in useful but I’m also trying not to assume that it will. I’m hoping to go in with a clear mind so I can take in all the new information.

Money, money, money.

I haven’t had much of it, but what I’ve spent has almost all been on stationery and books. (Okay, and plants!)

I found a lady selling 15 books for £40 on Facebook Market, all related to teaching in Secondary Schools and teaching English. They were an absolute bargain and will be so helpful over the next few years.

I’ve bought a laminator, highlighters, folders, stickers, labels, pencil cases and storage boxes galore! I managed to sign up for 6 months free Amazon Prime with my student email and it’s been fantastic having the next day delivery and free movies!

I’ve been able to use my student discount in The Works, Paperchase, cafes and on the buses too – yay for student discount!

What have you been buying ready for next school year?


As I said, I’ve been reading a lot! 
My favourite teaching books so far have been:

Getting the buggers to behave by Sue Cowley

The Unofficial Teacher’s Manual by Omar Akbar

and I’ve found them extremely useful because they’re written in simple terms and they’re also very realistic about teaching. They don’t sugar coat some of the problems teachers might or will encounter, yet they’re still supportive.

I’d say both of them are worth buying, or at least borrowing from a friend.books3.png

In terms of personal books, I’m currently hooked on Hollie Overton‘s brand new book The Runaway. Her previous two books are also fantastic and kept me hooked until the final word. I highly recommend checking them out (Amazon, Apple Bookstore, Waterstones…)

I also thoroughly enjoyed reading Circe, A Monster Calls and Philip Pullman’s triology.

What have been your summer reads?

My PGCE starts in two weeks time and I’m trying my best to prepare myself mentally, and physically, by keeping a routine, eating well and doing some of my favourite things:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Cooking
  • Reading
  • Walking around the city.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to enjoy whatever free time you have before going back to school, university or work. If something was 100% necessary someone would have told you to do it.

So relax, spend time with your family, but reach out to someone if you’re nervous or want to ask questions!

I’ll be back soon with another post xo

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