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Case Study

Simone Sgarbossa

Karuizawa, Japan

PGCE Education (DL)

Simone Sgarbossa was working as a teacher already through various qualifications, but wanted to gain a proper teaching degree which he could study whilst continuing to work. After hearing several good reviews from colleagues and other students, he enrolled onto the PGCE Education (DL) course at the University of Sunderland. He plans to continue teaching and believes the course has made him a more effective and confident educator.

I am a teacher and Head of the English Department at UWC ISAK Japan. I had already been teaching for a while and held various other teaching-related qualifications, but I felt the need to gain a proper teaching degree, so I looked for the best course that I could pursue whilst continuing to work. That’s how I found the PGCE Education (DL) course at the University of Sunderland.

The course was highly recommended to me by a colleague and a former student of mine who is now a teacher themselves. A head of school that I know also told me they had a former colleague undertake the course, and as they were the supervisor to this student, they had a look at what the course entailed and was impressed. There are many great aspects of the course, including the support from my academic tutor, who was always reassuring and offered effective advice, the quality of feedback on each assignment, rigorous teaching practice which translates into actual improvements, and the challenge to do some proper academic writing. In terms of future career aims, I hope to continue growing as a teacher and as an education leader. Thanks to this course, I will be able to contribute with increased confidence and knowledge in both areas.

I would definitely recommend the University of Sunderland to other students. Prepare for a challenge, especially in the first half of the course while you get used to the system. Communicate with your tutor on a regular basis – they can provide you with answers and support.

I believe I have become a more effective teacher (especially through teaching practice and constructive feedback), and a more competent Head of Department (thanks to all the assignments which led me to reflect on the various facets of learning and teaching). Being a student again has led me to experience challenges similar to those my own students are facing – this has been a powerful exercise in empathy, which is prompting me to become a better listener and a more inspiring educator, while reminding me of the importance of continuous and constructive feedback. I feel I have acquired or reinforced some good habits, for example, in terms of planning and ongoing reflection. I have also ventured outside my comfort zone, experimenting with new teaching strategies and techniques. This has made me a more confident educator. All in all, this course has heightened my joy of teaching.”

Published 19 May 2020

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