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A week in the life of a student teacher...

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Miss Flump, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Hi guys,
    I've read many of the threads on this forum with great interest as I'm hoping to embark on my PGCE this September, fingers crossed.

    I know it's going to be a completely unrelenting year,but would love it if you could spend a few minutes to document a typical week for those of us who are not yet 'living the dream'- mainly so that we can get a feel for how you utilise your time and see how different people deal with the demands of their course.

    Ta muchly,
    Miss Flump x
     
  2. Hi guys,
    I've read many of the threads on this forum with great interest as I'm hoping to embark on my PGCE this September, fingers crossed.

    I know it's going to be a completely unrelenting year,but would love it if you could spend a few minutes to document a typical week for those of us who are not yet 'living the dream'- mainly so that we can get a feel for how you utilise your time and see how different people deal with the demands of their course.

    Ta muchly,
    Miss Flump x
     
  3. A typical day is to get up at 5:30am after having weird dreams about the class I'm teaching that day and how horribly wrong it's all going to go, up and checking my clothes don't smell/need ironing/look tatty get dressed, worry about what I'm wearing and whether or not the kids will see it as something to take the p*ss out of. Have breakfast, check everything is in my bag (which I pack the night before) go online and check e-mails, often check TES ;) set off at 7am (I'm an hour from my placement school by car...don't tell them you have a car! I've had two distant placements)
    Get to school, go to staffroom if I don't have a lesson first thing, if I have a lesson first thing I go to the room I'm teaching in and check everything is there, check my resources, if I'm using technology I test it (useful on Tuesday when the computer attatched to the IWB didn't like my memory stick and I had to transfer the work onto the network from another PC!) teach classes, if I'm not teaching I'm in the staffroom working on lesson plans/schemes of work/resources/marking/reading etc...
    The last bell goes and I may have to hang around and chat to my mentor or other teachers, possibly go over observations or look at lesson plans for the next day and then I drive home. I don't get straight to work when I get home, I like to relax for an hour or so and make tea, eat and then settle down at the computer again. I try to be disciplined, I currently have quite a lot of free periods at school so I aim to get as much done in them and limit to two hours in the evening and two and a half on Saturday and Sunday, sometimes I don't even spend all that time on work...I do NOT spend five hours planning a single lesson, I know some people work like that but I don't and I think if I did I'd just go mad, there aren't enough hours in the day/week and really I need to sleep if I'm going to be good infront of the class and teach well. I have had good feedback on my lessons without spending endless hours on them as well so I can't be doing so badly!
    I am struggling to sleep though because there's so much to think about and so much to go wrong!
    I teach secondary, don't know how different things are for Primary teachers and I fear that my relatively laid back attitude to it all may not be typical!
    My biggest tip is get organised and work smart. I've passed on the assignments I've done so far but I didn't put hours and hours into them, the assessment of your teaching is more important.
     
  4. Well to be honest lambananas attitude isnt that rare.
    I get up at seven and get picked up by my fellow student at quarter past seven to then promptly arrive at school around eight. It makes no difference whether you have a car or not so dont bother lying as you will probably be placed far away anyway, its a hard thing to avoid.

    If you are teaching full time then i prepare resources before the lesson and make sure i have it in my head what i am trying to get across and what the main teaching points are. All assessment and makring i try to do between lessons at break time or before or after my lunch (of course a school lunch) as we have a good hour and fifteen mintes to eat.
    The rest of the day goes by and i finish anything i have to do at the end of school and usually leave around four (School finishes at half three so usually stay 1/2 an hour to 3/4 of an hour after)

    I then get home and proceed to relax for the rest of th night. I NEVER take anything home and refuse to do so as ia still believe i should have a life of my own along with this job.

    All of my planning is done in PPA time and i usually do a lesson plan in ten to fifteen muntes. People that take hours on a lesson really need to eithe rlearn how to do what they are doing a little bit quicker or learn how not to teach from a sheet of paper. Its all about compromise, thinking on your feet and being flexible so writing every detail of a lesson on a lesson plan really seems pointless to me.

    At the weekend i again try not to do anything and generally get away with it.


    Its not as bad as a lot of people seem to think...or then again, maybe im just lucky.
     
  5. Well to be honest lambananas attitude isnt that rare.
    I get up at seven and get picked up by my fellow student at quarter past seven to then promptly arrive at school around eight. It makes no difference whether you have a car or not so dont bother lying as you will probably be placed far away anyway, its a hard thing to avoid.

    If you are teaching full time then i prepare resources before the lesson and make sure i have it in my head what i am trying to get across and what the main teaching points are. All assessment and makring i try to do between lessons at break time or before or after my lunch (of course a school lunch) as we have a good hour and fifteen mintes to eat.
    The rest of the day goes by and i finish anything i have to do at the end of school and usually leave around four (School finishes at half three so usually stay 1/2 an hour to 3/4 of an hour after)

    I then get home and proceed to relax for the rest of th night. I NEVER take anything home and refuse to do so as ia still believe i should have a life of my own along with this job.

    All of my planning is done in PPA time and i usually do a lesson plan in ten to fifteen muntes. People that take hours on a lesson really need to eithe rlearn how to do what they are doing a little bit quicker or learn how not to teach from a sheet of paper. Its all about compromise, thinking on your feet and being flexible so writing every detail of a lesson on a lesson plan really seems pointless to me.

    At the weekend i again try not to do anything and generally get away with it.


    Its not as bad as a lot of people seem to think...or then again, maybe im just lucky.
     
  6. There isn't really such a thing as a typical week. I'm doing Primary PGCE and I'm only at school one day a week at the moment until Easter. The other days I'm at uni and it's much more relaxed. I usually start at 9 or 9.30 (uni is a 45 minute cycle/train journey away)so the mornings aren't too frantic. I get up at 6.30 every morning anyway to get my kids to school. Most days I finish at 3.30 - 4pm.
    As we've only got two weeks at uni to go, our timetable isn't completely full now and we get two half-days "off" from seminars/lectures. That's when you try to finish everything off - assignments, presentations, meetings with tutors etc. There's also lesson planning to do for the day at school. I'm looking forward to being back in school full time after Easter. Although it's harder work, it's much more rewarding than sitting in lectures.
    On the homeward stretch now too - I can't believe it's gone so quickly!
     
  7. It's true there isn't such a thing as a typical week but be prepared fot the routine of the course. I don't drive so it's either public transport or walking. My first placement was an hour away by bus and my second and current placement is ten minutes walk from my house. Thats right! I live in my catchment area and so see loads of the kids on the walk to school, the walk from school, on an evening and weekends and to top it all off I run a youth group in the same village! That has caused a problem or two but thats by the by.

    The biggest tip I can give you is to get organised. Go mad in W H Smiths or do as I did and buy a laminator from Wilkinson's for a very reasonable price. Any which way prepare yourself. I was told that it was a 'very demanding course' and that 'it may be the most difficult year' but I didn't really believe it and as a result I got quite a shock to the system.

    IN many ways it has been the most demanding job i've had but i have loved it!

    Another big tip...get ready for the second autumn term...it's a killer. Stock up on vitamins.

    HAve fun!
     
  8. The best advice I can give is to make sure you make friends! It is a very hard slog doing your lesson plans, university work, brushing up your subject knowledge, and doing extra stuff to meet your standards. If i didnt have my friends to talk to, or to go with, i've had gone mad at around november time!

    And be prepared for very little free time!
     
  9. 6.00 Get up, get dressed
    7.00 Leave for school (an hours drive)
    8.00 Arrive at school, go to the staffroom for morning briefing
    8.30 Tutor time
    **teaching**
    3.15 School ends, staff meetings/mentor meetings/lesson planning
    4.00 Leave school
    5.00 Get home, chill for a bit, have dinner
    6.00 Lesson planning for a couple of hours.

    This is a rough outline, sometimes I have to do more or less. I sometimes get home earlier and have less to do - love those days!

    Em x
     
  10. I'm primary but here goes ...

    7.00 get up, get kids up and make sure they get
    dressed without watching tv!

    7.30 have breakfast with kids and then get OH up as
    he takes them to school when I'm on TP

    7.40 leave for school

    8.15 brief with mentor to hand in lesson plans and
    make sure all resources/room etc is ready

    3.20 meetings with teacher/mentor to discuss days lesssons and what is happening tomorrow

    4.30 leave school to pick up kids from childminder, go home, cook, clean, iron, see to family, take dog for walk, etc, etc

    9.00 kids in bed so start any planning or written work or making things!!

    11.30 (hopeful some nights) shower and go to bed for an uneasy rest. It always feels like I've forgotten something !!!
     
  11. Well, it feels like a lifetime since my last teaching placement (next one starts on Monday!) but I'll see if I can remember.

    5.45 - get up and get ready
    6.50 - leave for school
    7.45 - arrive at school, spend an hour catching up on anything from day before/looking through lesson plans/making resources for the day's lesson
    8.50 - teach. I'm rubbish at making the best use of lunchtime and ppa time as I usually ended up talking, although i did learn a lot that way it meant some long nights at home.
    3.15 - kids go home, I start marking. I had year 6 which meant I was often marking until 5.30-6pm.
    6-7 - get home, shower, eat.
    8.30 - write lesson plans for next day - the uni make you write ridiculously detailed ones so it can take a while but with practice I got pretty quick
    9.30-10 - fall asleep

    The weekends were spent filling in useless forms for uni.

    Whilst at uni I am still up at 5.45 because I live miles away and we're in 9-4 every day. I try not to do much once home though apart from a bit of filing and any essays we have to do.

    I don't know if it's just because I finished my last placement before christmas, but I don't remember it being as hard as I had imagined. I got on well with my tutor and the kids so most days I just felt really happy which made the tiredness not seem so bad. The most frustrating thing for me was uni related stuff which I didn't think at all necessary. I know we have to prove that we can reach the QTS standards but I could have done that myself by designing my own planning that actually fit my lessons. Still, it's only a year.

    I haven't found the stress that bad at all this year, compared to when on my degree. I think it helps to not be a perfectionist, and to concentrate on enjoying yourself now and again instead of just worrying about targets.
     
  12. I don't think I've ever seen a more positive thread on the TES website in my life!

    Thanks for posting everyone - I am also starting a Secondary PGCE in Spemtember and I find this kind of thread very reassuring.

    anabolic
     
  13. This is a really interesting thread. I would love to hear about some more people's examples.
     
  14. my days are very similar to others':

    6am get up
    7am get train
    8am arrive at school
    put my photocopying in for the day and touch base with a few teachers, mentor, tutor etc
    8.30am tutor time
    "here you go...be a tutor..." is the usual morning response from the tutor i'm working with as she hands me the keys to her room and the register,
    9am lesson 1
    1.30pm **lunchtime** which invariably means doing jobs and chores, detentions etc so more often than not i get 5 mins to sit still and eat.
    3pm end of school, dept/head of year meeting
    4pm get bus& train home
    5pm home, have 1 hour to eat and chill out before,
    6pm start planning/marking for following day
    10pm work should be done, time for sleeeeeep...

    and that routine continues across the week. saturday mornings have never felt so good in all my life.

    as far as i can see is that the biggest difference between training to be a teacher and being a teacher is that trainees have Uni assignments to do in their 'spare' time, i.e. holidays and weekends, so they effectually have no down time, and teachers have to teach more lessons each day and some have pastoral responsibilities.

    it's a tough job and not for the faint hearted, but if you're strong and determined, then you'll never, ever be bored and the kids can be fun and rewarding.
    xxx
     
  15. Wake up at 7 and leave house by 7:55 get itno school at 8:15 chat in staff room till 8:35 and reg. Go to reg for 20 mins. If i am teaching i go teach if not i am always to be found behind the PC planning a lesson, it is rare to find any PGCE student relaxing in the staff room. Sometimes i have lunch, depends on how much planning or marking i have got to do. Teach till home time. Get home spend an hour chilling and then back to work. I work most nights till 11. I'm not some one who can plan in advance so most lessons are done at the most a couple of days before or the night before.

    Every day has its differences though and i imagine secondary and primary have major differences. Today was 5hit and it was last Week B too. Obviously a pattern emerging there. Tomorrow is super busy with 4/5 lessons to teach.

    My advise is be prepared to work hard. Don't fuss to much now as there is not much you can get ready unless you know for certain what you are teaching. Just rest and have a life before you get submerged by paperwork and lesson plans
     
  16. 6am get up
    7.15am leave
    8.25am prep room, cup of tea etc
    8.35am form
    8.50am classes
    2.50pm leave if dont have meeting
    3.30pm home
    chill for rest of evening, maybe do a bit of work but generally plan all my lessons, do marking etc in free lesson time! i very rarely have to do lesson plans at home. Only work i do at home are assignments for uni!
    how long does it take you guys to plan lessons?

    you all seem to be having a lot harder time than i am i love it!
     
  17. Do you think the amount of planning depends on the subject. A wild guess but with maths and science i can't imagine there is as much planning as history or geography. I dunno i am not saying other subjects are easier but do you think that the amount of planning varies from subject to subject?
     
  18. yeah i guess so im a scientist and most of my planning is one bullet pointed, as the resources are already there.
    xcx
     
  19. Not a PGCE student, but thought I could comment on the preparation time for different lessons:
    - Lit and Num obviously need detailed planning, but that often means your resources are pretty prepared.
    - Science is something I can usually plan really quickly, but needs lots of resources and prep on the day.
    - History/Geog/RE often require quite a lot of time. The children need to use lots of different enquiry skills for these subjects so it's important to have the right resources and activities.
    - Music/PE/Art/DT/PHSE should all have more prep than I can normally give them so I sometimes have to run around on the day to organise.

    I know secondary is a little different. I'm really surprised at how few hours a couple of you do. Maybe I should try to move up the key stages!
    giggle. x
     
  20. Mine runs something like this...

    Mon-Fri...

    Up at 6.30, out by 7.15
    Arrive at school at 8 (up to 8.15 depending on volume of tractors)
    Do some printing/photocopying/reading/talking until..

    Registration - get comments on my choice of tie from year 7s, choice of shirt from year 11s and try to keep the year 10s quiet

    Teach/plan/write essay

    11am Bacon and cheese baguette (or bagel if feeling healthy?)

    Teach/etc....

    1.20 LUNCH - yum. Walk into village to buy an ice cream and talk to Y11 prefects. Usually a magnum white. occasionally twister

    Register, cue usual comments about tie etc

    teach blah blah

    Meetings or more work or GO HOME!

    Neighbours
    Dinner
    Holly oaks

    More work*

    24 on DVD*

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


    *Substitute these for drinking on Friday evening

    Saturday

    Washing, shopping, football, fun

    Sunday

    Sleep, work, work, work, 24, quiz, 24

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Repeat until qualified

     

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