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Anyone else really struggling?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by simonc1978, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. I'm currently two weeks into my complementary placement and I'm really struggling with the whole course... and have been feeling like this since mid-November. My main school, the uni and my complementary school know the situation but I'm not sure they know just how bad it is.

    A lot of the time in the classroom I'm just not enjoying it - having to put up with obnoxious, chavvy kids really wears me down and I'm increasingly finding it hard to come up with engaging, educating activities - that whole edutainment thing. My lack of creativity was criticised at my main school, along with my behaviour management and my ability to motivate kids. All of which were absolutely valid. I've tried being more assertive with the kids but just end up angry and hating it more.

    Every day seems like a battle just to get through and I'm also falling behind with the work for uni - no idea what my master's assignment is going to be on.

    I don't think I have the right attributes (creativity, optimism, resilience, assertiveness) for teaching and I just feel that I've made a really bad decision in taking this course.

    Is anyone else feeling quite this bad?
  2. What support do you have?
  3. I have mentors at both my main and complementary schools - I spoke to my mentor at my main school about these issues before Christmas. Since Xmas, it just seems to have got worse. I've spoken to the other guys on the GTP about this too.

    I have tutors and mentors at uni too but I don't know what they could do to remedy the situation. :-(
  4. I'm sorry to hear you aren't enjoying the course. I am taking a GTP and it is very hard work. What subject are you teaching? If you think about all the issues you mentioned which one do you think is your biggest issue?
    Teaching is emtionally exhausting and even more so when the students aren't on your side so to speak. Relationships within the classroom do make the difference. However classroom managment doesn't just mean shouting and getting angry. When I can feel myself getting angry I know I have lost-so if you are getting angry you need to ask for some help in terms of behaviour management from your mentor or HOD.
    It is time consuming and exhausting but overall apart from a couple of wobbles I am enjoying it. I really hope things start to look up soon. You must have what it takes to get this far you just need to find that spark within again! Good Luck!
  5. Thank you for the kind replies everyone.

    I too have been deemed at risk of failure at my first assessment point (end of December). I just can't seem to get out of this rut... lesson planning is becoming nightmareish, my low mood in the classroom must be coming across to the kids and hence it makes everything worse. Everything seems monumentally difficult.
    I'm taking over a Yr9 class this week, which I'm dreading. The Yr7s were slightly better yesterday and I've got Yr8 for three lessons this week.
    I emailed my tutor at uni and had a very reassuring response from him so I'm going to go and speak to him this week. I'm also tempted to go and see my doctor as well as I've started to feel very panicky recently.
  6. Can i ask how much classroom experience you had before getting a GTP?

  7. I can so identify! I'd got myself so worked up that I got to the stage where I was physically sick when it came to going in to school.
    One thing that might be worth asking is about just swapping groups? I know where I'm at there's normally 3 or 4 groups on at the same time, perhaps asking to swap groups and start a fresh. Take a few days to calm your brain, get some planning done - for both work and behaviour management plans, and maybe the change of circumstance will offer you the opportunity to succeed.
    Hope it all works out.
  8. About 4 or 5 weeks of classroom observations and 3 weeks of working as a cover supervisor at my main school.
  9. I don't want to be negative but my thoughts may sound so. Teaching is not for everyone. This is not unusal every job is not suitable for everyone. I couldn't be a nurse for example.
    If it is this bad this early I would really consider whether teaching is right for me. It is better to make this decision before you get into to deep and have too much to lose. Teaching is a hard, lonely, tiring and thankless job. There are glints of golden moments but they can be few and far between. I love teaching but I can see these faults. The holidays do not make up for the difficulties.
    Be wary of the course, they want to keep you in for finacial reasons not nessarily your best interests. The problems you are having, if they can't be fixed, will get worse and worse as your career progresses. You can stop or deferr the course until you can figure out if you think teaching is really for you.
  10. Good luck to you but don't go flogging a dead horse.
  11. lornarawnsley

    lornarawnsley New commenter

    I have been working at my host school for a year and have only just been put onto the GTP in Jan. I have started at my local comp for a 4 week second placement where they have given me 2 sets I can cope with and 2 bottom sets where I can't. I am planning every night and every weekend with no breaks and so far most of my lessons have been too high in content resulting in classroom management issues. I normally teach at a grammar school where I love teaching, have a good relationship with the students and get good results. Now at the comp the kids are completely different and I have got to the stage where I get home and cry everynight. If it was not for the fact that I love teaching in my host school I would quit the course now!
  12. Hi murphy37,

    I've just read your post with interest, I am doing the Surrey Primary GTP. I can empathise with your situation as the GTP is bloody hard work and the expectation is high. However, whilst your tutor's choice of words is unfortunate, if you want to qualify as a teacher through this route you really do need to make sacrifices. Remember, it is only a 1 year course and when you are a NQT you don't have to jump through quite as many hoops. I agree that the paperwork involved is a bit daft but I can see why you need to collect all the relevant evidence.

    Take a step back for a moment. If you really do want to qualify as a teacher you'll probably come to the conclusion that it is worth it for a year. If you don't want a career as a teacher, you won't!!

    Nevertheless, good luck!
  13. terri1972

    terri1972 New commenter

    Crikey. I am on primary GTP. Am completely enjoying it, but am exhausted. Have twi children at secondary school, and have supreme respect for those of you doin GTP at a secondary school/ Keep at it. Can't think of a more difficuklt thing to do!! xx
  14. As you can see, I do not usually write on forums but I really want you to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel......

    Two years ago I completed my GTP. It was very hard work and extremely demanding. I saw very little daylight let alone my friends. Everybody has bad moment and there were several moments when I went to class having just bawled my eyes out.
    I then completed my NQT at a very tough school. More tears and in fact drugs for anxiety.
    I now teach in Mallorca [​IMG] and loving teaching. This course is highly rated in Europe and you can use it for your benefit.
    Right now I know it is dark for you guys as you still have a lot to do.... maybe you can get an extension on one of your essays, it helped me. Maybe book a holiday somewhere warm in Feb or Easter to get away and switch off.
    Good luck to each and every one of you x
  15. Hi
    did you do GTP in secondary or primary?
    Where can I out more information about using my GTP qualification to teach in Europe?
    I am currently doing my Primary GTP and can relate to the long hours, lack of social life, and constantly having a to do list that never seems to get any shorter

  16. I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems. I too am on the 'cause for concern status', so I know how you feel. What has worked for me subsequently is a simple change of class. I am now in the same class as my EBT. Previously I was in a class where I seemed to have a personality clash with the CT and therefore when she provided negative feedback to my EBT, because the CT was the 'expert', my EBT had to give her opinion more weight. When I tried to respond, I just sounded defensive. Now that I'm with my EBT the 'middle-man' has been removed so to speak, and she can now see that I'm not as bad as previously perceived. Maybe a change of class could work for you?

    Best of luck anyway.
  17. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    I'm doing a secondary GTP and whilst I love it, I'm so knackered at the moment, planning every night and all weekend. I'm having so many lesson observations at the moment I don't feel like I eat, sleep or spend any time with my husband!
    I know others who've done the GTP and it's hellish work for a year, then I'm told it gets easier. I'm hoping so!
    I'm in a department where there are no resources at all as my colleague either hasn't created any, or isn't sharing them with me. I've had to write 6 schemes of work, and plan all my own lessons, which I'm just hoping will stand me in good stead for the future.
    I've had a couple of really tough weeks where I've not been sleeping, but I'm trying to spend a little bit of time each evening on something for myself and it is working wonders. I'm still getting as much work done (but to a higher quality), the feedback on me has improved and so have the grades on my lesson observations and I'm actually sleeping through the night.
    I think we all need to find our own coping strategies and stick with them. I spent a lot of time in tears to my HOD in the last couple of week, but feel much better able to cope with it at the moment. Here's hoping it can last until June!?!
  18. Hi Vicky,

    Sorry I disappeared. I did secondary GTP in Science and then I did my years NQT (also hell as I went to a new school with poor behaviour). I went through an agency who got me the job... if you do a search for teachng overseas a couple come up. I also applied for a couple through TES and got one reply after I'd already taken the job.
    Wrt GTP qualification to teach in Europe, I don't know where there is more information, but I can say that if you don't apply, you can't get it!
  19. I too am on my second placement, and although the work load is very hard to keep up with, am really enjoying it.I am on a SCITT course where I had the option of going for QTS only, not masters. I took this route on the advice of students from previous year. So glad I did! I have had to write one 2000 word assignment and will do a 45 minute presentation to other students in 2 wks time. Keeping up with key tasks and record of evidence are worst thing!
    My advice would be to try to pick up on the positives in the classroom, most children respond to being told they are doing something well. Try putting up a smiley face and adding names under it as you see something. (may just be looking in your direction when you have asked for quiet) Have seen this for behaviour done alongside word 'fab' for good work or thinking. The childrne responded really well, they made fab badges/stickers to give be given out when name on board 3,5 10 times, you choose!
  20. I'm now back at my main placement school (since the week before half-term) and things were OK that week. I had some good lessons with my year 7 classes, an OKish one with my 8s and a few crappy ones with my rowdy yrs 9s. They were pleased to see me back, but not willing to listen, work, pay attention etc.

    I am feeling better about things but that's probably down to the anti-depressants and the hope that I might get a job in a private/grammar school. The best thing about my complementary placement school was getting to work with a really bright top set year 8 group. I was able to get through a lot of difficult material at a good pace, with few behaviour issues. I think I *need* to work with the really bright kids.

    I just wish I didn't have this damn master's assignment to do... I've been trying to work on it all week and I've got nowhere. I just can't get into it at all. It seems pointless! Plus I already have a master's degree. Argh!!!

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