Moray House School of Education and Sport

Lizzie McGhee, PGDE Secondary (Music)

'I feel I can be completely transparent about how I’m doing throughout the year, the highs and lows, and always receive a listening ear, encouragement and understanding.'

Lizzie McGhee, PGDE Secondary (Music)
Lizzie McGhee, PGDE Secondary (Music)

Who inspired you to become a teacher?

My own music teachers from when I was at school. The musicianship demonstrated through their everyday delivery of music classes was inspiring and the passion they felt for their subject shone so brightly, it would be strange not to aspire to lead a life like that one day - a life where your everyday is full of the arts and sharing it with others. They seemed fulfilled.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh?

After living and studying abroad for years, there was something pulling me back to Scotland. The University of Edinburgh is so rich with history and culture and I also wanted to experience higher education in my home country, especially since I am to become an educator of Scottish students myself.

What aspects of student life do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy being a part of a community, getting to know your peers and all their quirks and strengths, and learn from them. I enjoy the sporadic lifestyle of being able to work, study, teach and learn all within one year. And the holidays are fab! (I’m starting to say that first before anyone else can say it to me, I am becoming a teacher after all.)

What aspects of your degree do you enjoy the most?

One day a week, we have a skill share session with our peers, in which we share our specific strengths related to teaching music, and in doing that, up our skills collectively. I also appreciate the passion and enthusiasm we are lucky enough to experience from our tutor, who quite clearly thrives as an educator.

What do you find most challenging?

The short placements. Placements, as with any job, take time to settle into, to get comfortable in that particular environment and to get to know the kids you are teaching. Just when you are starting to feel those things, placement is suddenly over!

What do you find most rewarding?

Although the short placements are challenging, when it’s time to leave, often the thanks you receive from both kids and staff is a wonderful motivator and boost to keep going and that you can do this and you should do this.

What do you most like about studying here?

I enjoy the support we receive, most notably from my subject tutor. I feel I can be completely transparent about how I’m doing throughout the year, the highs and lows, and always receive a listening ear, encouragement and understanding.

How is your programme equipping you for your future career?

My programme of study is necessary to become a teacher in a high school, but it is, of course, providing me with the theory needed to build my teaching practice on.

Anything else you would like to share with a future student?

If there is something in you that is calling you to stand up in front of hundreds of kids a week and share your passion with them, then do it. Passion for your subject is key, being able to hold yourself in front of teenagers is paramount. And don’t compare yourself to others on the course; some people are in it for the right reasons, some for the wrong, some people scream and shout about how much they love placement, others keep their satisfaction to themselves.