Aakhila Fayaz

Why did you decide to pursue teaching as a career?
I studied for a Biochemistry degree at the University of Birmingham and spent the summer of my second year teaching English in India. I had no previous experience of teaching and it had never been my lifelong ambition. Standing in front of forty pupils who could speak at least six different languages made me feel quite embarrassed since I could only speak one, English. Despite all of this, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement standing there giving a lesson on something they had not known before. However the experience was enough to make me think about teaching as a career. I came back to complete my final year and applied to enter the PGCE course at Bangor University.

Were there any differences teaching here in the UK compared to India?
Teaching here was different to what I had encountered in India, but the course gave me the techniques I needed to improve the quality of my teaching. It was during my first teaching practice that I began to realize the difference between here and India. The classroom contained thirty adolescent white pupils; all staring at a British Asian, visibly Muslim woman with smirks and whispers. One pupil couldn’t believe that I had been born in this country because of the colour of my skin! Making pupils interested in the lessons rather than in me seemed to prove difficult. However, by the end of my placement they thanked me for the contribution I had made in their lessons.

How did the course prepare you for a career in teaching?

With all the support of fellow trainees and staff in my teaching practice schools you can only gain more confidence from day to day. Being a science teacher “that they will never forget” was an expectation I set myself on the first day. It was something I quickly realized took time and a willingness to learn from other experienced teachers. I made lots of mistakes, but this is how we learn; we just need to remember not to make them again. Field trips, practical lessons and interactive whiteboards couldn’t make teaching more exciting than it is now. These not only have given me new skills but also made my lessons more interesting and productive. Now in my second year of teaching I have been able to consolidate a lot of the skills I had and gain a whole variety of others.

North and Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Education  South East Wales Centre for Teacher Education South West Wales Centre for Teacher Education