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Case Study

Jenny Wong

Hong Kong

PGCE Education (IDL)


Jenny Wong realised after completing her Bachelors degree in Accounting and Finance that her passion actually lay in teaching and so decided to study a PGCE. She chose the PGCE Independent Distance Learning (IDL) course at the University of Sunderland, as it meant she could work as a teacher in Hong Kong alongside studying. She is due to graduate soon and already has a job lined up as a K4 PYP Homeroom teacher in Shenzhen, China.

I was studying for a Bachelors degree in Accounting and Finance and after graduating I worked as a forensic accountant, but I quickly realised it wasn’t for me. During university I had worked part-time in a teaching centre which I really enjoyed. It was incredibly fulfilling to see the children learning, progressing and enjoying my lessons. Shortly after realising accounting wasn’t what I was passionate about, I applied to work as a teaching assistant at a primary school. I specialised in SEN for three years before I pursued my PGCE to become a qualified teacher. I decided to study PGCE Independent Distance Learning (IDL) with the University of Sunderland, as it allowed me to continue teaching in Hong Kong whilst gaining a degree that I could use internationally in the future.

One of the best aspects of the course is the community, and being able to discuss and share ideas with teachers all around the world easily. Additionally, this course allows you to gain a wide variety of experience during your studies, as you can work with classes in different key stages, classes with a wide range of ability, and even in different skills. The course is very reflective of the realities of the planning and of being a teacher day-to-day, so it’s great practice.

I would definitely recommend this course and the University of Sunderland, as I received a lot of support from my Personal Academic Tutor, Professional Practice Tutor, programme leader, module leaders, and staff working in the library. They were always understanding and helped me out in whatever way I needed.

My advice to prospective students would be to mentally prepare yourself for a busy 10 months of putting your head down. I was still working full-time during my PGCE and it meant working through the weekend at times. It is a lot of work but it is achievable and rewarding at the end.

After graduation I’ll be starting a new job as a K4 PYP Homeroom teacher in Shenzhen, China in August which I’m extremely excited to start. I’ll have a classroom and a class that is all my own!

After studying at the University of Sunderland, I’ve realised I am a lot more capable than I think I am! At first, looking at all the work I had to do was overwhelming, but with the guidance given and knowledge gained throughout, it really instilled my confidence as a teacher. The feedback I received was always constructive and made me want to do better after each assignment. This experience and degree has opened so many doors for me and I can’t wait to share my love for teaching and make a positive impact.”

Published 28 April 2020

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