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Case Study: Hannah

Personal details
Degree:Classics Profile picture
School(s): School of Classics
Year of Graduation:Jun-2008
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: n/a
Job title: Teacher of Latin
Occupational Sector: Teaching
What has been your route to getting your current position?

Classics PGCE

What does your job involve ?

My job is to introduce teenagers to Classics! This involves a range of different activities from planning schemes of work and creating teaching resources to organizing trips and outings. As a teacher, I will also have pastoral duties, such as being a form tutor and I will be involved in extra-curricular activities (Duke of Edinburgh Award, sport etc).

What are the best bits of your job ?

My classes! I am never bored when I am teaching! It is always interesting to bring out students’ views on the ancient world in class discussions. I like receiving creative pieces of work from students to put up on display.

Why were you successful?

I think that in general schools and PGCE co-coordinators are looking for enthusiastic Classicists to inspire the next generation. You need to have an ability to communicate your passion for the subject. I was initially quite a shy person but I think that the following activities helped me develop my communication skills and confidence: University Ambassadors The Working Together To Improve project with Kirkcaldy High School Going back to my old school’s Classics department on work experience for a week. It is also important to visit another school (not your old one) to gain experience in a different environment. I also knew I enjoyed teaching as I took a year out Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?

My degree is directly relevant to my job but obviously a sound knowledge of basic Latin is essential. Knowledge of poets and prose writers on the ‘A’ Level and GCSE syllabus are also particularly handy (the usual suspects: Virgil, Ovid, Catullus, Cicero etc...). Don’t be put off applying if your degree is in Ancient History or Classical Studies as it is possible (with some work..) to build your Latin up before the PGCE interview.

What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?

Have a go at some Classics teaching: teach a friend some Latin! More seriously find out if you enjoy teaching: I spent a summer in Italy teaching English at summer camps and that helped me decide what I wanted to do after university. Try to observe some Classics teaching at a school and apply early for the PGCE.

The Classics PGCE is a lot of hard work but it is also great fun. There were plenty of social activities built into the course and I made lots of splendid friends.