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In their shoes - PGCE Co-ordinator & Head of Drama

drama teacher career advice

In this series of blogs we aim to give you a brief insight into the many roles within education.

This week Laura Osman from Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School in Tower Hamlets lets us in to a day in her life as a Head of Drama and PGCE Co-ordinator.


 
 

Tell us about your job

I am the school's PGCE co-ordinating mentor. I basically oversee the training of the PGCE students we have on their placements at our school. I make sure they have access to quality mentoring and CPD, support the mentors and provide the link between the universities and the school.


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Tell us about a typical day at work

I am also the Head of Drama so I have a normal Head of Department’s teaching timetable. I will during the day perhaps drop into a student's mentor meeting to check on how they are progressing. Later on in the day I will be scheduled to do an observation and give feedback; I make myself free in the morning and afternoon for drop in sessions in case anyone needs to see me for extra support.

What do you enjoy most about your role as PGCE co-ordinating mentor?

I love working with beginner teachers because they have a spark and buckets full of energy and enthusiasm. I love watching people develop confidence over the course of a placement and find their own styles of teaching. It keeps me on top of my game too, I have to keep up to date with recent educational research and pedagogy.

In teaching you never stop learning, but being surrounded by PGCE students who have a real thirst for knowledge you can’t afford to get lazy. I think I learn as much from them sometimes as they do from me. I feel very honoured to work with the students I have worked with over the past few years.

What do you find challenging?

I suppose with any job in teaching you always feel like you need more time. When you have different roles within the school sometimes it’s a challenge to balance your time between various responsibilities.

How did you get into teaching?

Since I was young I was involved in drama and theatre. I loved working with people and worked with various groups from youth at risk to adults with learning difficulties. For a while I flirted with an acting career but I couldn’t deny that I was most happy being with people and using drama as a therapeutic or learning tool rather than performing on a stage.

I did my degree in creative arts and then did a PGCE and became a drama teacher. That was 14 years ago and I haven't looked back since!

What advice would you give anyone thinking about a future in teaching?

Do it! It sounds cheesy to say it but it really is the best job in the world. There's no denying it's a tough and very demanding job at times but there is no other job like it. Young people are the best people to work with without a doubt, they are challenging and sometimes very infuriating but a lot of the time they are mind-blowingly brilliant and frequently very, very funny.

I can honestly say, there hasn’t been a day in school that’s gone by where I have not laughed. Teaching is brilliant, you go into the job to teach but you never expect to learn so, so much.

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