Stars of BBC Teacher Teacher series to encourage others to go into teaching

Stars of BBC Teacher Teacher series to encourage others to go into teaching

Two stars of the BBC’s popular Teacher Teacher series, which followed the lives of six student teachers from the University of Aberdeen over the course of their training year, will be taking part in an Open Doors event at the School of Education next week in a bid to encourage more people to consider teaching as a career.

The University’s School of Education will open its doors for the PGDE Information Evening to highlight the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary), which is a specially-designed teaching programme that equips trainee teachers with the skills required to become secondary school teachers.

One of the Teacher Teacher series’ most popular characters, Blair Paton, will make a guest appearance at the event, which is being held next Tuesday (February 21).

Blair, (21), from Fife, who now lives in Aberdeen and teaches at Meldrum Academy, will give a presentation of his experiences over the course of his teacher training year at the University of Aberdeen. He is now a fully qualified Technology teacher and will be joined by Mrs Elaine Cowan, Depute Programme Director, PGDE (S), who also appeared in the Teacher Teacher series. Mrs Cowan will deliver a presentation from a tutor’s point of view.

Skateboard enthusiast Blair, who is lead guitarist in a pub band called Quik, said of the Teacher Teacher series: “I had important reasons why I decided to part in the series – firstly, for the fun element, secondly that it would be nice to track a bit of my history, and thirdly, to de-stigmatise what people think of students.”

The PGDE (S) Information Evening is the ideal opportunity for potential teachers to learn more about how the programme works and to meet with the course leaders and other academics from the School of Education.

The number of vacancies for secondary posts throughout Scotland has increased in recent years with key subjects where teacher shortage is crucial including: English, Maths, Gaelic, Home-Economics and Physics. Other priority subjects are: Chemistry, Drama, Geography, and Religious Education. Some shortages have reached crisis point in some schools as the demand for more teachers increases and the number of teachers eligible for retirement reaches a peak.

Mrs Yvonne Bain, PGDE (S) Programme Director, said: “The opportunities for job and promotion prospects in these priority subjects should therefore be good. Teaching in Scotland is now an attractive and well-rewarded profession, which offers substantial opportunity for both professional and personal development.”

The PGDE (Secondary) is a one-year (36 week) full-time course and is the route for graduates to complete the Initial Teacher Education year. The School of Education is urging anyone who may be contemplating a career change to consider teaching as an option.

“A high number of students currently on the PGDE course have had established and successful careers so far, but have decided to fulfil a long-held ambition to become a teacher, or have opted for a complete change of career due to redundancy or other major changes in their life or work circumstances,” added Yvonne.

“We have unlimited spaces for the PGDE (S) programme and would encourage anyone who is considering a move into teaching to contact us as soon as possible regarding entry to any of our teacher training courses in August 2006.”

The Information Evening will also give prospective student teachers the chance see the School of Education’s new home at the newly-refurbished MacRobert Building, which was officially opened in December 2005 by Scotland’s First Minister Jack McConnell and former Formula One World Champion, Sir Jackie Stewart.

The MacRobert Building is situated at the heart of the King’s College campus and was completed in July last year after two years of renovation. It features state-of-the-art facilities, with an entire floor of computing facilities. The wider University community is already benefiting from the building’s refurbished facilities, in particular the new lecture theatres, computer suites and meeting rooms, which add to the University’s excellent facilities. The ground floor cafeteria is also providing a welcome meeting place for University staff and students.

The PGDE (S) Information Evening will be held on Tuesday, February 21, from 6pm – 8pm, in the Main Lecture Theatre, MacRobert Building.

Booking is essential - to book a place contact the Student Recruitment and Admissions Service (SRAS) on (01224) 272090/91.

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