Hi everyone. First time post from a long-time lurker. I am happy to say that have just completed my PGCE after having to resit my final placement. This is a message of hope really. I struggled through the course, constantly wondering if I had made the right decision to train as a teacher. I found it difficult to keep up with all of the 'admin' and often got behind on my files. I didn't prepare fully for my first teaching practice and Uni refused to sign off my file meaning I had a delayed start. Fortunately I had a supportive school who nurtured me through the practice and I made a success of it. I was completely exhausted after this though! The course continued and I stuck with it. I did a little better with my courswork and found that I was managing my time more effectively. I began my, then to be final, teaching practive in June at a school in a challenging area. This did not bother me as I always do my best to see the potential in children, no matter what their circumstance. Unfortunately the teacher with whom I was placed did not see eye to eye with me and began to undermine me in front of the children. As a result I never managed to gain control of the class (who were extremely challenging). The only support I was offered by my 'mentor' was to come in with a "different attitude" and "be mean to them". Not what I had come into the profession for, and certainly not my style of teaching. The teacher's passive-aggressive attitude towards me continued and gradually wore me down. I managed 5 weeks of the placement, limping into half term. By the stage I had been diagnosed with depression for which I was recieving medical treatment. I had also lost a considerable ammount of weight and could not sleep at night, despite working extremely hard. I discussed this with my tutors at university and came to the decision that I could not go back to the school. University were extremely supportive in this matter and never once made me feel guilty about leaving a placement that they had struggled to set up (severe lack of placement opportunities). In fact, my tutor told me that they thought I had made a sensible decision. I was extremely dissapointed not to be completing the course at the same time as my peers. I spent a long time feeling very sorry for myself. Luckily I have extremely kind and loyal friends and family, not to mention an incredibly supportive wife who were all very supportive to me at this time. I spent the summer getting my head together again and trying to beat the depression. I started running, took up martial arts again, stopped smoking, cut back on drinking and began meditation classes. With the help of medical treatment I am happy to say that I am now fully recovered after what can only be described as the darkest period in my life. Summer finished, my resit placement loomed on the not to distant horizon. I was of course very worried that it would be another repeat performance and that I was not cut out to teach. I needn't have worried. My new placement school was extremely welcoming from my very first day, and I immediately felt at home there. My mentors at the school couldn't have been more different. They were enthusiastic, forthcoming with their ideas, appreiciative of my input and respectful of the children. After 8 weeks of hard graft (there's no way around this - teaching is HARD WORK), I have completed the practice, gaining a first class grading. My message is this to anyone who may be experiencing a difficult placement: Think long and hard about whether your health is being affected. This should not be tolerated under any circumstances and you must speak to your GP and University as soon as possible. Don't put it off. It's always going to be a difficult decision, but resiting your placement is an option availiable to everyone and should not be considered the end of the world. I have re-sat a placement and my course has therefore taken three months longer to complete than it should have. But... I proud to say that I am a much more effective teacher now than I would have been if I had limped through the previous practice. Remember: it's not always you who is at fault. You're a student and your placement school needs to nurture your skills. If they aren't then let your tutor at uni know - you are being let down. Keep the faith! Good luck in your course.