I was previously studying for an engineering degree at a different university, but halfway through the course I suffered from a mental breakdown and not long after that, gave birth to my son. Due to a few different factors, I was unable to return to complete the course and I knew I had to rethink my career plans. This was when I looked into education – I completed a Level 2 teaching assistant course and shortly after starting it, I realised that teaching would be the best opportunity.
I chose to study at the University of Sunderland because of the unique degrees they provide for secondary education. I was looking into ways that I could train to be a maths teacher at secondary school level and the University offer a course where I can achieve this in three years, as opposed to going down the route of a three-year undergraduate maths degree followed by a PGCE.
Another great aspect of studying at Sunderland is the generous £2,000 bursary I’ve been awarded for the three years of my degree, due to coming from a low-income household. The bursary has allowed me to purchase supplies for my course such as stationery and equipment in preparation for becoming a teacher, as well as contributing towards my daily living expenses.
My favourite part of the course is being able to delve deeper into the art of teaching and discovering how students learn. It’s fantastic to be able to go out on placements in the first two years, as it really helps you to build confidence and gain that valuable classroom experience before being assessed on your teaching in the third year.
To anyone thinking of coming to the University of Sunderland, my advice would be to do some research and look at the different options available within the same subject or course area to find what is best for you. The University has a lot to offer besides courses too, like societies and brilliant wellbeing support.
I’m nearing the end of my first academic year at Sunderland and my experience has been very positive. The staff and students are friendly and approachable and I’m really enjoying my course. I’m hopeful that when I graduate, I can embark on a successful career as a secondary maths teacher, using the latest information to teach effectively to my students.”
Published 22 March 2022