Michael Hill

The logistics of moving from one place to another are always hard, but they can become really tricky when you’re crossing borders. This is pretty much true for anything involving A4 paper, from setting up a bank account to enrolling at university, but I promise you’ll get there at the end! So, after a fair amount of hassle, I finally set up camp in South London ready to start my year at UCL Institute of Education.

My first days at the IOE have been really buzzing and exciting. Taking the underground to university in the morning definitely needs some getting used to and can be a bit stressful at times, but it’s also great fun to figure out the quickest way to get about and to discover new routes and tube stations all the time. At university, we spend about half of our time in large keynote lectures covering big issues in education, and the other half in smaller tutor groups hammering out specific concepts and issues. I feel like I’m learning and developing at a rigorous pace, and we also have a really good time in our tutor group. We’re quite a mixed bunch and come from many different walks of life, but we share many ideas and perspectives as well as a genuine commitment to what we do. 

One thing that stands out for me is how fast London is changing right now. Areas of the city that were considered ‘rough’ only a few years ago are now becoming ‘hip’ and drawing larger numbers of young people working in professional jobs. The frontier is being pushed back all the time. On the one hand, this is pumping large amounts of capital (both financial and cultural) into previously deprived areas, but it also means that small shops are being replaced by larger chains and rents are being driven up. It’s a big challenge for Londoners and the city as a whole.

In October I will be starting my first practical module of the course, which will involve working at a school in one of the ‘fancier’ parts of London. I am really looking forward to discovering a new area, putting what I’ve learned so far into practice and meeting the kids. Watch this space!


UCL Institute of Education ©

Michael Hill