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Dear Sage- Do i stay on my PGCE or do i go???

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by lucyrey, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. I have had a really tough time on my PGCE course. First of all in my first school placement i was taken out due to professional boundaries were blurred between me and my mentor. This was due to my mentor making me take his bike to the bike shop to get fixed during school time and being inapprioriate in his language towards me when i bumped into him in my local pub. I was then placed in a new school and passed my first school placement. Then my second school placement came around and i had to defer this due to ill health. I was suffering from depression and anxiety. Then i was placed with a new tutor who was head of the PGCE. She is lovely but she said to me that i dont need to worry about my last essay until i had finished my final placement. I was put into my final placement and it was a very tough inner city state school in year 2. I had three children who had severe behavioral issues. One child called me a "hoebag" and other terrible things and the other child was jumping on desks and trying to throw a hard ball at my head. My mentor's advice was to ignore them and get on with teaching the rest of the class. I was teaching 80% from day one and you are suppose to gradually reach this. After my two observations my mentor said i was failing due to my behavior management. I spoke to my tutor at university about this and she said she would come in and observe me and ask my mentor to work beside me to gain the respect from the children and then slowly back away. i was then unfortunately ill for three days. That weekend i went to an amazing tes behaviour seminar to improve my behavioral management. The monday i went in to school the headmistress told me to go into her office and told me to go home and she later withdrew me from the placement. Her reasons were that my heart is not in teaching and she had worries about me. Now university are saying that it is a fail if you are withdrawn from a school. I dont know what to do. I feel i have been really let down by university. I know i haven't found it easy but i thought people were suppose to support you as you go along. The question is should i stay or should i go?
  2. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    What an awful experience for you - PGCE placements can be so hit & miss and it can make or break your success on the course. I really sympathise as I also had a pretty terrible PGCE, I had an awful mentor in my first school who expected perfection from day 1 and constantly criticised me without giving any constructive advice on how to improve. I used to go out to my car at lunchtime and sit & cry, I was such a stressed-out mess! In my second placement the HoD went on maternity leave just after I started and I was mainly taking her classes with just a supply teacher sitting at the back, so I had no-one to give me any guidance. It was an extremely difficult school with lots of pupils with severe behavioural issues and it was more an exercise in crowd control than actually teaching! I had very little confidence in myself as a teacher and wouldn't have been surprised if I'd failed, however my uni were quite supportive and recognised that they'd put me in a difficult situation and took this into account, and I passed my observations. Most of my teaching skills were developed in my first job as I was lucky enough to have a brilliant, supportive department and a couple of years on I was mentoring PGCE students myself and getting good to outstanding on observations, .
    If I were you, I would try to get a meeting with your uni mentor and discuss the issues you've experienced during the course. It may end up that you have to do another placement (this happened to a friend of mine who had some issues with his second placement and was advised to leave the course) but if you truly want to teach and believe that you have it in you to be a good teacher if you have sufficient guidance and support then do everything you can to stick with it. You've worked so hard to get this far, don't give up and believe you can't do it just because one placement hasn't worked out!

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