Student Profiles

School of Teacher Education and Professional Development

Neil Cooke

"There’s a great reward from helping young people to learn."
About My Course

My interest in teaching stems from several years as an infantry army platoon commander and instructor, working with mostly 16-19 year olds from challenging backgrounds. I had two years’ experience working with Primary and Secondary school children on the Commando Joe Programme. There’s a great reward from helping young people to learn.

I speak very highly of this PGCE, there’s a lot of teacher training actually in schools, which is not only important for becoming a teacher, but allows me to soak up and learn from other teachers and get tips and knowledge from observing them. One of the best aspects of this course is that it splits into two parts, one part teaching and learning in schools, the second part returning to university, learning in a different setting and speaking to the tutors and fellow teacher trainees. The tutors in school and at university have brilliant knowledge. Coming back to university is a good time to share ideas and experiences.

As this has been a career change for me I want to become a geography teacher and eventually progress up the teaching ladder. I use my own style of teaching and enjoy mixing my background and experiences with teaching the students.

If you are considering teaching I would advise you to go into schools and get experience, then ask yourself if it is for you. Also, if you have contacts who are teachers, speak to them and find out about the work life and what is involved.