Teaching Business @UWTSD 0

As of the February students studying the PGCE course are beginning to prep for their return to the Schools where they will spend their 2nd and final placement of the year before graduating hopefully with the Qualified teaching status (QTS) Award which is what they are working towards.

The PGCE course offers students the chance to become teachers in a varied number of courses, ranging from Primary school courses and Secondary school courses, in Art, Business, Science, Maths, English, Welsh, ICT and History, plus many more. This blog looks at the Business studies PGCE group as they welcome a guest lecturer into their lecturer room.

Along with Steve Griffith who is the Assistant Dean at the Business Campus who was guest lecturing the morning session for those Business PGCE students. I tagged along and spent the morning with those students learning what they have gone through in their 1st 6 months of the course and how they feel they are progressing on their journey towards becoming qualified teachers.

What I noticed straight away was how small most of the PGCE groups were, while walking around the Townhill Campus and around the PGCE section of the campus, peering in the windows and saw multiple courses with very small groups of students meaning the interactions between lecturer and students is much more constant than what you may of experienced during your undergrad course. It is worth mentioning that you may only take part on the PGCE course once you have completed an Undergraduate Degree.

During this session the students worked through a mixture of worksheets and discussion regarding Water Bottles, and once they finished their session with Steve, I took over and had a quick Q&A with the students.

With a number of students coming from a variety of courses, such as Law and Management, business degrees, it was interesting to understand why those students were interested in becoming teachers for the future generations.

For me what was noticeable from personal experience was how male orientated Business Studies can be, growing up through GCSES and A-Levels both my teachers were Male with little or no contact with a female teacher in this field of teaching. So walking into a lecture room for business I noticed that the class was full of young female teachers which was a pleasant surprise however if you look into the industry and the number of small/start-up businesses around a majority of those setting up are female so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Each of the students mentioned how they wanted to give something back to the industry which first inspired them to undertake business in school or college.

“Wants to inspire future Generations”

Many of them who were doing the course, found the 1st semester tough but all mentioned how rewarding it was when they found the children understood what they had taught them in the previous lesson.

“Seeing the Benefits of helping the kids enjoy what they are learning”

One Student Bethan, who mentioned that she:

“Wanted a better work life balance for her son”

Having done a degree 14 years before hand, and spent the next decade working in management positions but didn’t have the right lifestyle she wanted for her son. Although she admitted the long hours doing lesson plans after the school had ended, during that time she has spent many an evening working late long after her son went to bed, it has been beneficial as she has been able to see her son more.

Another student who has previously done a Law Degree and worked in a school with kids that suffered with behavioural difficulties decided she would like to become a teacher after seeing the benefits the kids gained after working with them.

“Worked in schools before wanted to be qualified”

So having the benefit of previous experience of working  in a school, she went for an interview in Bristol and upon having that experience thought that it wouldn’t benefit her, so came to Swansea, where she has enjoyed her time, thought the course on offer was better than in Bristol and has thoroughly enjoyed the 1st 6 months of the course.

“Course on offer here, was better than what was being offered elsewhere”

After speaking to the Students, I spoke to the new Business Studies Lecturer, Alison Evans who has only just joined the UWTSD teaching staff at the start of the year.

I asked her some questions:

Q: What can you bring to the course?

A: Before joining the UWTSD brand, I worked in schools as a business teacher, for the best part of 20 years, 11 years as a head of department, so I’ve got a good range of experience to pass onto my students.

Q: Being the only University in Wales to offer Business Studies, schools must be grabbing our students for placements?

A: The UWTSD brand has a very good reputation not just in Wales but the whole UK regarding our teaching course, so yes we have a lot of schools asking for placements, and over the years the University has been able to gather a good number of placement schools as partners. Taking over this year it has been good to have the partner schools in place but I have also had a number of schools interested as well. It is all about partnerships and having a good working relationship with the schools in the local area and being the only University in Wales offering business we have a wide range of locations we can send our students.

Schools from Cardiff and Glamorgan regions are after our students for placements in Business so we are working with schools in a large location and giving our students good experience in Welsh Medium, bilingual and English speaking schools.

My final question discussed the use of Social Media in schools and how business studies can use the newest form of marketing as a tool to benefit children in the future

Q: How do you see schools adapting to the use of social media and how can business studies benefit from children being adept in social media?

A: I think schools will have to adapt to the social world, many more schools are now operating social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, with many schools allowing the children to run the social feeds. I think it is something than many schools will have to adapt to it, if they haven’t already due to how active social media is featuring in the children’s lives already.

Of the 11 still on the course, 4 were welsh speakers which is only a benefit for the UWTSD Brand and the course itself, as its promoting welsh business and speakers. The message coming from the course was the more welsh speakers that wanted to undertake a PGCE the better and would be very welcome.

This is my latest blog from the #MyStory blogs undertake by UWTSD, come find us online or on Twitter. @Jake_Uwtsd