Tuesday 30 Jan 2024

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Graduate Stories from our Initial Teacher Education Programme

By Shane Wu, DP Biology and MYP Science Teacher
We asked a Graduate from our Initial Teacher Education Programme about his experiences on the course. 
Shane Wu, ITE alumni 2019-20




Tell us about yourself

I am from Singapore and have been teaching in international schools in China for the past four years, following the completion of the PGCE (International) course.

What made you decide to become an international teacher?

After graduating from University, I worked as a private tutor in Singapore and discovered my passion for teaching. I enjoyed both the pedagogical and pastoral aspects of the profession. However, I desired to be part of a larger community and work in an international setting, given my experience living in various countries. Becoming an international teacher fulfilled these aspirations.

Tell us about your experience on the course.

The course provided a unique experience as I had the opportunity to live in a new country and receive training in an actual international school with a rich history. I met people from different countries in Geneva, which has a high quality of life. Although I had to return to Singapore a few months earlier due to the pandemic, I gained valuable experience teaching online. The small cohort size allowed for the development of camaraderie and the professional development courses gave us many skills. I completed my placements at the International School of Geneva (La Châtaigneraie) before moving to Lausanne to finish my training at the International School of Lausanne. Both experiences were challenging yet rewarding.

How has this programme helped you in your career?

The most valuable aspect of the programme was the opportunity to gain practical work experience in international schools. Each placement was sufficiently long to make a substantial contribution and develop my skills as an international teacher. The references I obtained were crucial when applying for jobs. Moreover, as I aspired to become an IB teacher, the IB Certificate in Teaching and Learning was very useful. The coursework from Durham University enhanced my critical thinking skills and deepened my understanding of education. Additionally, the relationships I formed during the programme provided a supportive environment.

What is the main reason you’d recommend it to someone else?

I would highly recommend this programme to others primarily because of the valuable work experience gained in international schools.

Any further advice for someone who is considering doing the Initial Teacher Education programme?

While the course is demanding, it provides a solid foundation upon which you can further develop your teaching career. Embrace the challenges and use them as opportunities for growth. Support each other to foster a collaborative environment and enjoy the course. 

Interested in learning more about our teacher training programme? Find out more here and join our next online information session.