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Course madness and applying for pools

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by MoraMe, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Any advice greatfully received ( or just letting me rant!)
    I am in the middle of PGCE- have had some sucesses, ( like met some deadlines, and got posistive feedback) but despite that, finding it really rough, Low self esteem, overwhelming amount of work and dread of workload of my next placement: Only want to pass NQT year- don't know if this is for me. In this mindset, finding it hard to apply for jobs. Have stayed up late on several occasions to meet deadlines for NQT pools, but seem to like shooting myself in the foot as have missed the deadline, ( either through unrealistic time, or stress-induced panic!) and my confidence takes another nose dive! Very frustrating.
    Has anyone found that certain traits are brought abou/ confronted by the PGCE? I tend to find it hard to focus on one thing,( i.e- my brain tends to flit hyperactively from one thing to another!) and hard to make decisions,. Manageable and even useful in last job but here, it seems to be causing me alot of grief as I find it really difficult to prioritise and use a disporportionate amount of energy/ stress for tasks, and often miss the mark despite hours put in.
    Maybe it'll get easier later in the course can I apply for jobs later when I feel more settled, ( ie directly- not through pools )but am I closing down options? ( I have my own access issues to take into account as well) How can I shift this defeatest attitude!?
    P.s- I am trying to make the most of some support systems available at Uni, ( such as counselling) but find it hard to communicate with personal tutor, etc as I keep thinking I want to give the impression I'm coping, and not quite sure what to ask for!!
  2. You are very much not alone dmoss - I am feeling exactly the same as you at the moment! I have completed university work to a good standard and really enjoy the academic side of the course, however feel totally out of my depth on placement - i have no confidence left, feel constantly under prepared for the day ahead and am struggling to get any enjoyment from working with the children! To then come home and plan all evening leaves me in tears every night and i just feel myself falling further and further behind! I have missed the deadlines for the pools in my area because I just don't want to teach at the moment! I am utterly overwhelmed but there is just no answer really, I don't want to quit and so will battle through to the end of placement and hope my next one re-inspires me! I've always wanted to teach and am finding it really hard to battle the dissapointment of now realising I might not want too :(
  3. Thanks very much James for your advice. Will keep asking fo help, even if its hard to do!
    Hocus Pocus- Thanks for your comment. Glad to know I'm not alone! Sorry its been so tough for you as well. It is so hard to start applying for jobs on this rollercoaster.. Its good you're doing well on the academic side. I found the short tasks fine, but this 5,000 word essay's a killer , been 10 years since I wrote one, and only one week to go, yet to start!) The placement experience sounds much like mine.I felt so exhausted on low in confidence.. Main useful advice I got from a friend ( don't know if useful) is that when it all seems overwhelming, and completely failing, remember you are on a massive learning curve, and you are very much imperfect, Just think, okay- what tiny thing can I do in the next lesson to help me and my students - Only for that lesson- not to make up for the past, and not for the 'perfect' future.
    I haven't always wanted to teach- I have wanted to do lots of things,Maybe thats why I'm so doubtful.It's great that you have had that ambition( and also then understand thefeore disappointment!), so sounds a good idea, just to stick with it till end. That's what I'm telling myself. I don't know about pools and NQt year. Maybe, you just have to apply when ready and if it means applying to individual jobs, so be it!?? I find it very hard to get any perspective at present, but I'm thinking, if I can stick the rest of this, without going mad, its not for me,it can can always lead to related professions.
  4. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    You sound really stressed and I'm sorry you're finding things so tough! I'm in the middle of my PGCE too and know the not enough hours in a day feeling!

    My first suggestion is to stop thinking of "not coping" and "failing" as being synonymous. Not coping and not doing anything about it can lead to failure, but not coping and seeking support is exactly the right thing to do. Your personal tutor is there to support you and I really think it would be helpful to bite the bullet and talk to him/her about how you're feeling. I know it's hard when that's the person who will write your reference, but I really would try and think of it as a positive step - rather than struggling on alone, you are reflecting your experience, understanding that you're finding things difficult, and seeking ways to improve and make yourself a better teacher. Seeking support doesn't have to be a negative thing.

    You're not alone with finding it hard to make decisions - I continually leave my planning to the last minute because I find it hard to pin down exactly what I want to teach. Again though, think of this as a skill you're learning - so what if you're not great at it now? You're on the PGCE course to learn, so it's ok to have weaknesses as long as you're aware of them and try to find strategies to improve the way you work.

    Try to focus on the things that are going well, like your positive feedback from your placements, rather than on the stress and things that are going wrong. You might find it helpful to keep a notebook of three things each day that made you smile, as that makes you think back over the positives from the day.

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