Over the last year, my school has set up to run the PGCEi course (an international version of the theoretical part of the PGCE) alongside its own ITT system. We are the first school to set something like this up in South America, and it has provided a great opportunity to many existing teachers (to get a UK based teaching qualification) and also as a way to train new teachers.

Teacher training is an area that I looked at before moving abroad, and I ran some sessions on using Autograph in the classroom, both for the mathematics PGCE trainees at Oxford Brookes and also for several local mathematics departments. But this new endeavour at my school has allowed me to take this one step further, and I am now acting as a mentor to a teacher doing the PGCEi.

This course is very different to the PGCE offered in the UK. Firstly, it is only the theoretical elements of the course, and as such, does not actually qualify teachers to teach in the state system in the UK. As mentioned above, my school is suplementing this theoretical part with its own ITT program, which assigns a mentor to each trainee, and also puts on some workshops for them.

I have been mentoring a new teacher in maths teaching, and have found the experience to be very interesting, and a great way to develop my own practice further as well. Another major difference to the PGCE course in the UK, is that she is teaching a full timetable of her own classes. I am observing twice a week, and finding time to sit down to discuss both these observations and how the week has gone more generally.

In these observations and discussions, although the focus has clearly been on developing her own teaching methods and reflecting on her practice, I have found that in doing so I am also reflecting on my teaching practice more than I used to. This is both because of things I have seen her do, and also ideas that I am giving her (which I remember from when I did my training, but never really got around to implementing).

I am really enjoying this new aspect of my job, and it is definitely something I would like to continue to work on at the moment.