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James Balcombe

We asked James to tell us about being a student here.

Why the IOE?
"I chose to study at the IOE due to its outstanding reputation in the field of teacher training and educational research. The Institute's PGCE gives you an excellent grounding in the theory of teaching and education, and in current affairs as well as important pedagogical aspects."

What was the biggest challenge involved in training to teach?
"Juggling the responsibilities I had in the classroom with my own professional development and assignments. I overcame this by working very hard and taking the advice given by my tutor about when to start work on assignments and how to manage time in school and at home."

What kinds of people did you meet?
"I met people from a wide range of age groups and backgrounds. Everyone had something valuable to contribute to our course discussions and class time. Many of them will be friends for life, and we will continue to support each other in our careers as we did in our training."

What are your career goals?
"My end goal in teaching is to become a headteacher, and the IOE has helped me on the first step of the ladder. Also, the fact that the course can be worth up to 90 masters-level credits will help me to achieve further qualifications, thereby improving my abilities to teach and manage in schools."

How will you feel on graduation day?
"I think it's going to really stamp home what it is that I have achieved over the last year. It wasn't always easy, but with the support of the IOE I know I'm going to go out there and do a really good job in education. I can't wait to get started."