PGCE am I doing the right thing or not for me?

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  • PGCE am I doing the right thing or not for me?
  • I’m guessing there’ll be a few on here who’ve been in a similar position? I worked as a techician for 3+ years in a DT department and thought the next step would be to teach, I have a relevant degree, but I’m finding it difficult, exausting and stressful to keep up with all the paperwork, it’s definately a big change from what I was doing previously, it’s like doing two full time jobs at the same time, don’t find any time for the bike or social life now and work regularly til late staring at a computer screen, I really enjoy being in the classroom and teaching the children, it’s fantastic, but struggling with lesson plans, starters, plenaries, evaluations, etc. It would be great if you could just concentrate on the school work but there’s loads of written assignments and constant work from the university too, you are constantly bombarded with have you done this, when are you going to do that, you need to catch up on this, you need to attend this, sign up for this, arrange that, you haven’t answered the email, don’t miss this lecture, where’s your ITDP’s, SA Forms, link tutor meetings, aaarrrggghhh! So, it’s all feeling a bit too much and the thought of telling them where to stick there course and quiting would be such a relief! I’m supposd to be getting a load of work done tonight but I’ve had enough and my brain has turned to mush and my vision has gone blurry 😕

    Is this normal, is that what all PGCE students go through and feel? Or, is it a case of I’ll never enjoy it and always struggle so it’s just not for me?

    cynic-al
    Member

    it’s only 1 year…MTFU (sorry).

    poly
    Member

    it’s only 1 year…MTFU (sorry).

    Its only 40 weeks!

    You should possibly be having this discussion with the tutor not a bunch on IT managers on tinternet!

    Personally it sounds like this is great training for any job with sole responsibility for delivery:

    you are constantly bombarded with have you done this, when are you going to do that, you need to catch up on this, you need to attend this, sign up for this, arrange that, you haven’t answered the email, don’t miss this lecture, where’s your ITDP’s, SA Forms, link tutor meetings,

    However if its time management that is your issue rather than the job itself then stick in there, find some techniques for prioritising / managing / focussing…

    😆 MTFU, yeah I know, just feel like a good moan, it’s only 9 months really, 20 years ago I could probably deal with it better but mid 40’s it’s quite a change and difficult to get into the mindset of working all night and weekends after workng all day, hard on the old brain…

    Time management is an issue with me, I used to have lots of free time which seems to have gone now, you feel your just getting there then something else crops up, seems like there’s no end, I try to prioritise but it just goes tits-up!

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    My daughter did her PGCE straight after her MA and struggled with similar issues. Her biggest issue was the difference in the tutors, finding the PGCE tutors very poor compared to her previous uni course. She also struggled on some of her placements with the lack of enthusiasm shown by the teachers she was placed with 🙄
    However she managed to secure a job 6mths before finishing the course and in her NQT year obtained and excellent report from the Ofsted inspector 😆

    As above MFTU and good luck 😆 I dont have enough years left to consider a change unless redundancy rears its ugly head ❗

    stevious
    Member

    I felt the same in my PGDE up until my final placement where everything seemed to ‘click’. Was still working hard, but found I had a bit of space for myself.

    Hang in there and you’ll get your life back eventually.

    Please keep the encouragement and success stories coming 🙂 struggled to get out of bed this morning, took the dog for a walk this morning and felt like I wanted to keep going and not come back, escape from it all. Gotta go cos I’m late already!

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I have some empathy being a HoD of DT myself. I don’t want to concern you but in my experience the PGCE was the easy bit – the hardest part were the first two years in the job proper.

    Email me if you want any advice although to be honest I went to the darkside 6 years ago and now work in the independent sector so the job is very different now.

    liquid
    Member

    Like the others have said it’s just getting past this bit – once you’ve got the administative side of things sorted it does become much easier and your focus will shift from the paper work to enjoying the classroom.

    It sounds like classic stress patterns that you describe, I’m a deputy head and suffer the same fealings unless I make time to be away (completly) from work thoughts (friends, family, exercise etc).

    jonk
    Member

    I did PGCE last year and it was a piece of piss compared to being an NQT now

    wolvesdug
    Member

    I did PGCE last year and it was a piece of piss compared to being an NQT now

    My missus agrees with this statement says PGCE is easy but hard work is the NQT year. She is now 11 years in to the job and loves it.

    Do they teach you about paragraphs and sentence structure?

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Everytime I get down about teaching ( I teach in a College) I just watch this to remind myself what its all about.
    Be strong, hope it helps.
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrfi_W9f64o[/video]
    😉

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    it’s like doing two full time jobs at the same time, don’t find any time for the bike or social life now and work regularly til late staring at a computer screen

    That describes my life now, having been teaching for almost a decade.

    Tom B
    Member

    I’ve not done a PGCE, but did work as an unqualified classroom teacher for 3 years……Like others have said, the first year is the hardest. After that, you’ve already got most of your lesson plans and activities sorted. The good thing, is that you enjoy being in the classroom!

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Mrs Lunge is a primary teacher and says the same as a lot of posters above.

    The PGCE was hard and the volume of work varied depending on which placement she was on and who was supporting her, some of the teachers were very good, other simply used her a a chance to get some free time.

    In her NQT year the volume of work was more and she did do some silly hours but she felt more in control, if something didn’t happen it was her fault and not because someone had forgot to tell her to do it.

    She is now 4 years in and it seems to be getting easier as you get more confident and some of the lessons are repeated.

    Premier Icon robh
    Subscriber

    SO is an NQT this year and I’m going to have to go with the comments above, PGCE was tough and NQT is worserer, hoping next year will be better, there have been a couple of people from her PGCE year that have dropped out during NQT year, I guess you’ve just got to forgoe the outside work for a while and knuckle down.

    afrayedknot
    Member

    I’ve been through the same thing so I know it’s hard. But what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. Challenges in life are a good learning opportunity and the skills you are learning will help you in whatever you do in life. Stick in there, and ask for help from those around you….Good luck.

    bullheart
    Member

    PGCE is for little girls.

    Try the GTP. 85% timetable from day one. As well as the academic work on top.

    Man up princess…

    😉

    jonk
    Member

    Another route is one called “teach first” which gives you a 2 year contract where you are in school from day one. it gives you a much better experience as bullheart quoted similar to GTP where you are on a proper timetable, have your own classes which allows you to get to know your kids and create good relationships with them.

    surazal
    Member

    Speaking from experience I found the PGCE hard and the NQT year easier*. Stick with it, it’ll get better. I really enjoyed my PGCE but found a lot of the assignments more about jumping through hoops rather than adding any real value. That was frustrating. All our assignments were complete by January though, after that it got much easier.

    * easier as in less hours, more stress though.

    I don’t regret going into Teaching for one moment, but equally I don’t regret leaving it either.

    highclimber
    Member

    I have just sent off my application for next years intake. I know a number of PGCE/NQTs and each have had differeing experiences. some hated it, most love it, none regret it…so far!

    I am looking forward to it (assuming I get accepted on the course I want).

    afrayedknot
    Member

    What are you doing on Singletrack Forum when you should be doing lesson plans!!!!

    He’s on strike.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    I hope you were not planning on receiving the PGCE bursary?

    Gidiot and Call Me Dave have reduced the funding meaning many less students will be eligible.

    surazal
    Member

    What are you doing on Singletrack Forum when you should be doing lesson plans!!!!

    In all seriousness, after a few years in the job a ‘lesson plan’ consists of:
    Day/Period/Group/Topic/Page ref/Resources.

    The hard bit is tailoring the content to specific needs and keeping it interesting and engaging whilst maintaining discipline.

    I always found tales of marking books and planning lessons until late at night were just a myth* perpetuated by disillusioned old timers who were inefficient and bitter at being too far gone for a career change.

    *excluding PGCE/NQTs

    Another route is one called “teach first” which gives you a 2 year contract where you are in school from day one. it gives you a much better experience as bullheart quoted similar to GTP where you are on a proper timetable, have your own classes which allows you to get to know your kids and create good relationships with them.

    You do need a first class degree and it is pretty intensive an accelerated.

    I did a gtp so cant comment directly but i see lots of pgce’s in my school. The whole thing sems to be based around ramping up stress. Looks hard very hard. My gtp was too. So was nqt. It had all started to vet eazier then i went and got promoted. If you enjoy the kids and teaching stick at it. If you ned to tell people you are ztruggling and ldt Few things slide for a few dayss.

    Premier Icon lapierrelady
    Subscriber

    Look forward to ‘doorknob preparation’ in years to come…hand on doorknob, see what’s inside, teach accordingly. Also, if the paperwork is getting you down, do consider going down the independent route…benefits are more control, more extra-curricular commitment (enforced fresh air every other day) and free food!

    highclimber
    Member

    I did a gtp so cant comment directly but i see lots of pgce’s in my school. The whole thing sems to be based around ramping up stress. Looks hard very hard. My gtp was too. So was nqt. It had all started to vet eazier then i went and got promoted. If you enjoy the kids and teaching stick at it. If you ned to tell people you are ztruggling and ldt Few things slide for a few dayss.

    not an english teacher then? 😉

    Still getting used to this new fangled mobile telephone thigi whatsit. I thought i had small fingers but it seems hard to smack the right bit of the screen.

    benjbish
    Member

    It gets easier…. you get better. The more you put in to your work the more progress you have. The more you worry and work the more you get out. Doesn’t sound right but it is…. It’s a strange old career in that respect. Good fun but hate the excessive non 9-3 work that comes with it.

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