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Sema El-Jamali

Why did you decide to become a teacher and why did you choose Cambridge to do your PGCE?

'The prospect of working with young people had always appealed to me, and I was enthusiastic to have the opportunity to pass on knowledge of subjects which I myself am passionate about. Cambridge is a world renowned institution, highly regarded for its standards of research and teaching. The educational faculty is also one of the largest groups of educational researchers and teacher educators in the country, so it seemed nonsensical to turn down the opportunity to carry out my PGCE in such an esteemed establishment where I could be sure that I would be receiving what I would consider to be the best training and support available'

Have you changed career in order to do your teacher training?

'No. I took a gap year after completing my BSc to explore my interests and to help me decide on a career path, after which I decided to pursue teacher training.'

Any brief comments about the PGCE so far?

'My colleagues on the course come from immensely differing walks of life leading to a fascinating environment in which to study. Though the course is extremely demanding, I am confident that the training that we are provided at the Faculty is second to none and our lecturers and tutors leave us with no doubt that we have the capacity to excel to be leaders within our field. Everyone is very supportive which further motivates me to want to achieve to fulfil my maximum potential.'

What message would you like to give to members of different communities as regards to the profession of teaching?

'Britain has an increasingly ethnically diverse population. This has had many positive effects on today's society. I could never call cultural diversity negative. However, there can be negative repercussions if the native population is not accustomed to such diversity, and it is easy for stereotypes to be formed and racism to occur. As the number of minority students rises within British schools, I feel it is important to have representative numbers of ethnic members of staff for many reasons; one being to reduce racial bullying within schools, and another being to shatter some misconceptions about people from different ethnic backgrounds. Today's youth need to be exposed to the variety of nationalities found in our society, and what better way than having a teacher belonging to an ethnic minority group as a figure that children grow up being inspired by. In my opinion this exposure could only help breed an air of tolerance and mutual respect for future generations.'

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