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Dear Sage - how do I become competent in practice? I'm on a PGCE.

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by davidwowen, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Dear Sage,
    I'm most of the way through a PGCE course, and have done well in the university part of the course (Secondary Science). I'm 50 next month, with a lot of experience in industry in R&D, and I can also busk it in French and German. Subject knowledge isn't an issue. However, even though I have passed my teaching practice in both the foundation and development placements, I feel totally inadequate in the classroom, I have no real inspiration planning lessons, and tend to get stressed. Teaching is the hardest thing I have ever done. Do you have any advice as to how best to learn lesson planning (both long-term and individual lessons)? Are there books you can recommend? At the moment I don't feel at all confident about applying for jobs for September as I don't consider myself a good pratitioner. I only have two months to go on my course. How can I learn enough in two months to get me ready for a NQT year? My mentor is professional, kind and supportive, but I don't feel I'm going to be ready or competent. I don't want to be a bad or mediocre teacher. Any advice/suggestions? At the outset I thought I should be useful in a school - an older male with industry and commerce experience, foreign languages, parenting etc. Now I feel I'm not up to it, and that the system is there to denigrate rather than support teachers!
     
  2. Dear Sage,
    I'm most of the way through a PGCE course, and have done well in the university part of the course (Secondary Science). I'm 50 next month, with a lot of experience in industry in R&D, and I can also busk it in French and German. Subject knowledge isn't an issue. However, even though I have passed my teaching practice in both the foundation and development placements, I feel totally inadequate in the classroom, I have no real inspiration planning lessons, and tend to get stressed. Teaching is the hardest thing I have ever done. Do you have any advice as to how best to learn lesson planning (both long-term and individual lessons)? Are there books you can recommend? At the moment I don't feel at all confident about applying for jobs for September as I don't consider myself a good pratitioner. I only have two months to go on my course. How can I learn enough in two months to get me ready for a NQT year? My mentor is professional, kind and supportive, but I don't feel I'm going to be ready or competent. I don't want to be a bad or mediocre teacher. Any advice/suggestions? At the outset I thought I should be useful in a school - an older male with industry and commerce experience, foreign languages, parenting etc. Now I feel I'm not up to it, and that the system is there to denigrate rather than support teachers!
     
  3. Hello,
    Just thought I would put in my two cents. You have my sympathy. You shouldn't feel inadequate at all. What you're experiencing now is the realisation of how tough working in education can be and how messed up the system is. It must be especially hard coming in from another industry. Most people in other lines of work don't understand what a physically, mentally and emotionally demanding job teaching is. If it makes you feel any better, It took me a couple of years after my training to really feel in command of my role. There are so many things to master - planning, behaviour management... I think it took me about five years from when I started teaching to feel really in control. You are learning to do complex things and it is a slow process. Don't be too hard on yourself.
    I do have one tip though - and you'll realise the sagacity of this, especially in the NQT year: be careful who you ask for help. You will find that in state schools some horrible individuals take it as a sign of weakness. Only ask for help from people you really trust. I wish someone had told me that, although I was 22 when I started so I was a lot less mature than you! Sometimes if you ask for help, the manager will 'offer to observe you'. Of course what they're really doing is checking up on you and checking for weakspots.
    Good luck with your teaching.
     
  4. Thanks for your reply!
     
  5. I'm really worried and saddened by this. So far I have never encountered this. Everybody I've met has been so helpful with offering advice and answering questions. I hope I never meet these people.
     
  6. PegMatite

    PegMatite New commenter

    I am in a very similar position to you (older career changer coming to end of PGCE) & feel exactly the same. I am hopefully on track to pass but am not making as much progress as I or my mentor would like. If I can't get things right now, with all this support in place, however am I going to manage when I'm on my own in a classroom?
     

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