Teacher Training

The New Boy in Town

FE colleges have a long tradition of providing teacher training placements for PGCE students. It is often initially a nervous experience for students, many of whom are from places across the UK and further afield. Students unfamiliar with the location of their college placement were advised to do a reconnaissance journey. This was the case with one student doing his PGCE course in Cardiff. His placement was Merthyr Tydfil College. The town of Merthyr Tydfil has suffered greatly from post-industrial unemployment, with a tired architecture and cultural scene. The student caught the valley lines train from Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil on a rainy Sunday, where rain turns to drizzle lasting all day. Sadly the inclement weather serves to confirm the drabness of South Wales’ valley towns. On leaving Merthyr Tydfil station he asked the ticket offer if he could be directed to the Latin Quarter! Neither could find it.

The Show Must Go On

A new lecturer enthusiastically prepared for his teacher training lesson observation and wanted to impress his tutor by making all of the teaching aids himself. To support his lesson on the Cathode Ray Tube he attempted to remove the concave base from the bottom of a large spray paint can. With 15 minutes to spare before the start of his evening class he decided to de-pressurise the can and cut off the base. With screwdriver and hammer in hand he whacked the can expecting only the release of air, suddenly a scream and green paint covered his face and shirt! The technician came quickly to the rescue and suggested electrical contact cleaner would easily remove the paint and enable the evening to go ahead. Hey presto and his face was cleaned. However, they were unaware that the contact cleaner contained Carbon Tetrachloride and as the lesson progressed the teachers face glowed and glowed and glowed…..the things we do to ensure the show goes on FE!

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