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Anybody else having second thoughts after being accepted onto course?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Teacher_Jen, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. I'm kind of worrying I won't fit the bill & it will be too difficult.
    I have enjoyed helping out in the classroom etc but I'm worried it will be too much for me all in all.
    My friend has just dropped out of her NQT year despite already passing the PGCE year. She just couldn't stand the pressure and now says she is much happier.
    I'm so torn, I've been offered a place for next year pending my results in exam but I'm still thinking is it all worth it at all?
    Anyone else in similar situation?
     
  2. I think that the nerves part of this post will be experienced by most people who are starting their PGCEs next year. I know Im a little worried about similar things, what happens if the students dont respond to me? What happens if Im no good at it? But all in all, the excited of starting the course is what is keeping me positive about the whole thing, I cant wait to get started at do the thing Ive aimed to do!
    I think you should accept that you are going to be nervous, and indeed you wont be good at it straight away, but dont worry too much! You can only give it a shot. Congratulations on getting a place by the way! It really is an achievement :)
     
  3. Hi,
    I didn't have any second thoughts of starting until I saw the student teacher forums with so many negative situations people are in and some people posting blogs online saying how bad teaching is. It shattered my dreams pretty much but I'm trying not to let them get in the way anymore.
    What you have to consider is just because it hasn't suited your friend doesn't mean it won't suit you. Who knows, you may enjoy it?
    Obviously you won't know what it's like until you start the course, and I know it's an expensive 'trial', but you might regret it if you drop out without giving it a go.
    What I started to do was evaluate my skills and spent more time in the classroom. I'm a VERY VERY VERY determined girl and I don't drop to failure. I don't deal with stress and pressure very well, but I'm hoping the PGCE will help me improve it (said that in the interview!), however I like being kept on my toes. I get bored very easily and in teaching your working days are definitely different. If you're thinking whether it's worth it all - I think you should start evaluating the pressures of PGCE with your own abilities, and also try and spend more time in the classroom possibly to see if it's really what you want to do.
    It might just be cold feet - but you have from now to september to consider your options :)
     
  4. If you did not want to go into teaching, you wouldn't have gone through teaching experience just to be considered for the application. You wouldn't have put yourself through interview processes!

    I have a place at BCU for september after I graduated this year and I've been through 25 weeks teaching placement already and there have been days when you come back from it and think is it right for me? But we all know that it is because you really you know you really don't want to do anything else!

    Go for the teacher training, you know you will really enjoy it and you should look forward to a successful teaching career - be optimistic, you're job is as fun as you make it (especially within teaching!)

    Also, PGCE/GTP places aren't given to people who the tutors don't think won't make the grade. They gave you a place because they see potential that they will mould!

    Think positive, go for it!
     
  5. luv_a_duck

    luv_a_duck New commenter

    Hi Teacher_Jen
    I too have felt nervous and had second thoughts from time to time about doing my PGCE since I was offered a place back at the end of January. Most of these worries and concerns have been fuelled by the horror stories I've read on forums such as these.
    I wanted to reply to you as I remembered the enthusiasm you wrote with when you were going for interview and when you were offered your place. You were really enthusiastic and delighted - don't forget how you felt then. It would be a shame to let other people's experiences scare you away from fulfilling a dream.
    Try not to read too much on the forums. 10-15 years ago there would have
    been no online venting and it is true, people do tend to post things of
    a more negative rather than positive nature. Speak to real people -
    students and teachers who have survived PGCE, NQT and whatever else has
    been thrown at them. I know your friend has had a bad experience but
    there are 100s of would-be teachers completing their PGCEs every year
    who go onto complete their NQT year and have a great career. If it was
    really that bad then there would be a severe teacher shortage.
    In my opinion, I think the wait from finding out that you've got a place until starting eight or even nine months later doesn't help. I've also not heard anything from my ITT provider since receiving my place confirmation. When you're going to uni to do an undergraduate degree, you generally get your results and then have a month to get ready, pack your bags and head off. There's not really any time to worry about what the experience will be like and any nerves are usually forgotten through pure excitement and anticipation. I know I often feel like I'm in limbo waiting for it to be September and start the course. I keep reminding myself that I need to get on with life and the here and now and not stress too much about things that haven't happened yet. For me, this is much easier said than done but I'm trying.
    All I can say is try not to worry too much and enjoy the summer so that you start feeling relaxed. Do a little bit of work to help you prepare (I want to really sort my maths skills out as I know the QTS test has the potential to stress me out.) and get all the stationery and do all the other bits and bobs together so that you feel your confidently starting out (shopping will be the nice part, I'm sure!).
    I do hope these second thoughts go away and you do start your course in September. Try to remember all the positive reasons why you wanted to get into teaching - write a list where it helps and keep looking at it throughout the PGCE to remind yourself why you want to do this and what will make you a great teacher.
    I'm sure you're going to be fabulous! Good luck. x
     

  6. I think it's natural to worry in this way. My boyfriend (who is a
    teacher) constantly reminds me that the PGCE is designed to take someone
    with subject knowledge and equip them with the skills to teach their
    subject. They aren't expecting us to go in knowing what we are doing or
    there'd be no point in the course. They also understand that it can be
    intimidating going into a classroom, and standing alone in front of
    teenagers/controlling a class of smaller ones for the first time which
    is why we get phased in. Many people have said to me that they would be
    more worried if I *wasnt* nervous because that might mean that I was
    over-confident, or wearing rose-tinted glasses, or that I hadn't
    considered things fully.
    In terms of negative things on forum,
    while the way they are presented is sometimes heavy-handed, we just have
    to remember that everybody's experience, to some degree, is unique. A
    large influence on how things turn out is the way we ourselves approach
    and interpret things. There are lots of people on this forum (especially
    Djaye) who have spent time encouraging others and sharing their own
    enthusiasm, and I have found that infectious, but I also recognise that
    their decisions have obviously been carefully considered, and that they
    are not going into this career lightly, with blinkers on. Every teacher I
    know (quite a few, partly because I did an English degree!) has
    expressed that they started out pretty terrified by the thought of
    dealing with confrontation in the classroom, but now state confidently
    that, that in itself is not a reason not to go into teaching because you
    learn how to deal with these sorts of situations, ideally in a way
    which means that it does not escalate to that point.
    I'm
    rambling, and I know that I'm coming at this from a point of naivety
    having only done cover supervision, but I just think the best we can do
    is go in with a positive frame of mind and give it our best.
    PS. I always find this extract from Jeanette Winterson useful at times like this!:


    When we make a change, it's so easy to interpret our unsettledness as
    unhappiness, and our unhappiness as the result of having made the wrong
    decision. Our mental and emotional states fluctuate madly when we make
    big changes in our lives, and some days we could tight-rope across
    Manhattan, and other days we are too weary to clean our teeth. This is
    normal. This is natural. This is change.

     
  7. Hi everyone,

    It may sound strange, but it is comforting to know I am not alone in worrying about this too!
    Teacher Jen- I know what you mean, there is a big difference between helping out and then being the one in charge. It is daunting and sometimes, when I've not been in school due to holidays, my mind starts to wander. I find when I've been in class I feel more focussed and can see the sorts of things that I will be doing.

    How long have you been feeling like this? Is it just because of the Easter hols? I too remember reading many of your posts in the past and you definitely made me feel positive and sure of my decision!

    @Paper-face- I really like that quote, thanks!

    It is definitely natural to be nervous. I sometimes worry if I have made the right choice too. One minute I want to get started and spend my time preparing and the next minute I imagine myself struggling to manage a class whilst being assessed.

    I have chosen to do my primary PGCE over 18 months, to give myself more time, as it is a few years since I graduated. I know this is the best thing for me to do, but then I start to worry about that too!!

    I think its important to remember how fortunate we are to have been offered places and when September comes, get going and give it your all. I also think its worth finishing the course, even if you are unsure about your future plans.

    Hope some of this helps,
     
  8. Sorry the paragraphs are not showing up, can anyone tell me how to rectify this please?
     
  9. Aime

    Aime New commenter

    Hi, I'm starting a PGCE in September, I have had second thoughts but only due to the fact that it is actually happening now and that I am one step closer to something that I have wanted to do for a very long time! I doubt myself all of the time about my ability to engage children, manage behaviour and tend to individual needs, this is due to my nerves, once I get into the classroom I will be fine. I can't wait to get started, yes, its going to be a challenge, but for me, one well worth experiencing! Good luck to all you fellow PGCEers!!
     
  10. ml01omm

    ml01omm New commenter

    I've been having serious wobbles and second thoughts after reading all the problems, negativity, stress, complaints and you name it on this forum.
    That said, I have to keep reminding myself of the following:
    -This course is less than a year, what 8 months? Hopefully all of us will live long and propserous lives, so 1 year out of 80, is a really short time, so if it does all go **** up/ is hell on earth/worst year of my life, then that's all it is, 8 months.
    - If I do the course and it turns out teaching is not for me, or I am not vey good at it, and don't decide to persue it as a career, then what is going to happen?Nothing, life goes on, the world doesn't end, and hell doesn't freeze over. I'd rather say I tried and failed/didn't wok out, then look back and regret never having tried at all and be forever wondering, 'What if...' could I have done it? Would I have enjoyed it.
    -opinions on forums are polarising - there is no middle road. Everyone posting saying that they don't have time to do X, Y, Z, still have time to spend 5 minutes posting on the forum!
    - I did a gradscheme for 3 years at one of the 'Big Four' - 60 hour weeks were par for the course. Hopefully it means I have the stamina and energy reserves in me somewhere. we'll see though.
     
  11. Hi Jen, I remember talking to you a while back on these forums about teacher training. I have also gained a place on the teacher training and start this week (part time flexible route). I am nervous and worried about the course but I contine to remind myself of why I have chosen this career path.

    It is natural to feel nervous, we have a lot to learn from the course and it is a big change for us. What subject are you training in? I'm more worried about the prospects (or lack of) once i'm qualified.

    Keep your chin up and remember why you chose a career in teaching!
     
  12. Joeyriles

    Joeyriles New commenter

    I too have just been accepted onto the PGCE (Secondary English, Bath Uni) and am having a bit of a wobble about it, and I've taught abroad for two years!
    There is no shame is feeling nervous, it just proves that you care. If you were being lackadaisical then you'd probably get taken off guard by the course, which would be far worse.
    Your course-mates and colleagues will no doubt be suffering the same pressures as you, you won't be alone. :)
     
  13. I feel the need to add a wee comment...
    I find it really disheartening that reading about the experiences of a some student teachers has 'shattered your dreams'. I appreciate that it is helpful to read about the experiences of others, however please don't let it inspire such a devastating reaction.
    Those who have complaints naturally tend to shout louder than those who are content. My PGDE was challenging, however it was an amazing experience. I have never been unhappy driving to school and I feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to teach. I know a lot of people who feel the same way.

    I hope you have a similar experience.
    Best wishes,
    Jennifer
     
  14. I agree that the negative comments do make you think for a second about whether you can handle it, especially the stories about bullying mentors. However, never for one minute have I thought, 'teaching isn't for me' or 'wow that's changed my mind.' You never know how YOU'LL do until YOU do it. I wouldn't give up on something before I've even started it. Especially if you have wanted it for so long.
     
  15. I'm not sure what position everyone is in - just finishing uni or career changer but it is perfectly normal to have a wobble or two. I have been a civil servant for 12 years and have taken redundancy (in this economic climate, with 3 kids and without a guaranteed place!!) to follow my dream to be a teacher. I'm starting the GTP in my local primary school in september and I'm absolutely petrified but also so excited about what will happen come September. Believe me if you are just fresh out of university any career, especially after a long time in the security of school and uni is very daunting. But I'd have to add we all have a lot of years to work and lots of people start off doing one thing and end up moving on to something else. If its not right for you then don't beat yourself up - you haven't wasted time and it's not pointless because you can use the experience you've gained from teaching in the future, just in a different way.

    As far as negative comments go some people do like moaning and that's exactly why they come on forums. If things are really that bad then people do have some power to change things. Yes teaching is hard (i have friends who are teachers and I'm also a parent governor at a school so quite often see the difficult bits) but it's also massively rewarding.

    Good luck everyone whatever you decide is best for you.
     
  16. babyduck, I am in exactly the same position! Have been a civil servant for 11 years, although my application for voluntary redundancy was refused, so I am resigning to follow my dream of teaching. I also have 2 children so I'm with you on the nervousness and also the excitement!
     
  17. Hi kmc! What a coincidence. In even more bizarre circumstances I used to work at DfE so should be really put off this career by all the the new policies that Gove is introducing Sorry you didn't get redundancy - are you London based?
     
  18. Hi, no, I work for the courts service in Lancashire, can't wait to hand my notice in! :) And as for all the new policies, we'll always be at the beck and call of the government, whether we're teachers or civil servants! Good luck on your GTP, and well done for securing a place :)
     
  19. Don't worry about it. I retrained in my late 30's as it was something I'd wanted to do for a long time. children are very forgiving, its the assessments that are stressful. Make sure your subject knowledge is secure, have strict behaviour rules (even if your mentor doesnt) and engage your pupils and your halfway there.
     

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