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Do you like having students?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Getzlaf2007, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Getzlaf2007

    Getzlaf2007 New commenter

    I absolutely hate it! I have a student currently and she is doing my head in! Too much for me to organise and tell things to. I just like going into school and sorting myself out and having some peace before the little darlings arrive.And have time to myself after school. Not a student bugging my brain when all I want to do is say 'Leave me alone!'. Also hate having to make conversation and tell someone everything all the time!. When I just want to be in my own little world. I wasn't so demanding as a student. I used my initiative.
  2. <u>If</u> they have and use initiative, ask for help when they need it, take advice, work hard and (most importantly) help my class to enjoy school and make progress, yes!
  3. It's the talking time that everyone underestimates when you have a student. Lots of people see the positives such as the extra help and having someone else teach the class/groups but they forget all the hard work that goes with it. It takes ages to explain everything and can be very difficult to make time for that on top of all the marking and day to day stuff that we normally fill our time with. It's also a huge responsibility! I enjoy having students but there are many negatives so I've said no this year. I used to mentor but haven't done it for a while. I might try it again one day but for now I'm working hard enough just keeping my own head above water, let alone worry about someone else!
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOLOL I love having students and mentoring them. BUT I know exactly what you mean...one in my own class does drive me nuts as well!

    Mine last year was especially irritating and I was sooo relieved one morning when she texted to say she would be off for two days ill. Sounds horrible, but just a bit of time to myself was great.

    I do enjoy it all and the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, but some students do cause you to wish them to the end of the earth!
  5. Now I feel about saying no! I do enjoy having them and must try to be less grumpy!!!
  6. I had a student last year who failed! At first I bent over backwards to help her, loads of ideas, advice, strategies....encouragement....but she was useless. In the end I thought would I want this girl to pass and then teach my kids.....er no way! Felt horrible but thought the college part to blame because she had just passed her first year and then came to me to resit her second practise as she had failed it! Very tricky situation but she had to be realistic...teaching was not for her! Not relishing the idea of a student again!
  7. I haven't had a student myself as I've only been teaching for 4 years. I taught in a semi-open plan 2 form entry school for 3 years and my year group partner had two second year students. One morning, one student came to my classroom and told me that my success criteria and learning intention were all wrong. It amazes me how easy some university mentors go on some students - these two girls passed their placements no problem, even though the school based mentor failed them on two observations and raised serious concerns with their uni tutor.
  8. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I had a student last year and found it really interesting. I loved watching someone else teach my kids and realise I could see exactly which areas they needed to improve. I think it made my own teaching better, as I was in a very reflective frame of mind. I'd love another student this year!
  9. I've been reading all of your comments with great interest. I've been a TA for 4 years now and am currently in the process of applying for the Primary PGCE. This thread is giving me some very useful insight.
  10. As an NQT I'd like to know why you have a student if it sounds like this is the last thing in the world you would want?
    I can understand that some students can be a real pain, I can't believe some of the people who passed my course did so and I doubt they were 'easy' for a mentor. I doubt I was either! Being a students class teacher is such a pivotal role for the development of a trainee teacher - from awful to good or from good to outstanding. Do class teachers realise that begrudgingly taking on a student isn't exactly going to provide a good environment for them to learn and could do them serious harm, badly affecting their career?
    I have obviously never had a student in my class but I would like one in time, if I didn't feel it was the right time I think it would be much fairer to all to say a polite 'no thanks' than go through the motions and make them feel 'in the way'.
  11. Vanadesse

    Vanadesse New commenter

    I thought that I'd throw in my opinion here, as a current PGCE student on placement.

    I don't know if you actually remember when you went on placement but it's pretty daunting! I went in for the first day yesterday and I had so many questions but each question I felt was like a burden to the teacher and I was extremely conscious of asking them all. There were quite a few that I did need to ask so I just spread them out over a few teachers as I had my mentor, class teacher, TA and another class teacher who all said they were happy to help with anything I needed, as well as reception. This is my first placement and there are still a lot of things that I don't know about because every school I've been into is different with how they do things. I think I'm going to be one of those students who will ask questions quite a bit, not because I don't have my own initiative but because it's my first placement and I want to make sure I'm doing things right, not just for my own sake but for the sake of the class teacher and the children. So I doubt your student is wanting to be annoying and irritating, they're probably just wanting some reassurance and to make sure they're doing things right! Then again, I might have lots of questions now but I would hope that by second placement there would be less and definitely by third placement as I'll already know the school and how they work and should be able to pretty much just go with it and know what I'm doing.

    If your student is so annoying and irritating all the time, have you ever actually tried speaking to them about it? They may not even realise and like I said, maybe they're just wanting your approval as it's your class?

  12. The one I had was dreadful with the most utterly enormous sense of self-entitlement you will do everything for me. Uni sent her to us for second placement, with no indications that she'd triggered any cause for concern in her previous placement and I bent over backwards to be helpful, especially considering I'd had one really crud experience with a class teacher as a student myself and was determined not to be like that.
    Well, turned out she just couldn't be bothered to plan. Couldn't be bothered with much really - first lesson she was due to teach she didn't bother doing a lesson plan for - was warned about it and we got through the first week, second week she was briefed heavily that we would expect to see plans for the first 2 days BEFORE the weekend - she rolled in to us Friday afternoon with nothing - so we essentially sat and planned them FOR her and told her to go away and put them onto the uni's planning format. Monday - that wasn't done and she had the cheek to turn around and say, "so what more support are you going to give me?" Head removed her from the class (dropping me back in with 10 minutes' notice) and gave her the day in-school to get her planning caught up on - even sending her home that evening with a school laptop and printer so she could get it all typed up on.
    A few discreet phonecalls were made to her previous practice school and it turned out she'd barely scraped through that - with the uni putting heavy pressure on the school to give her a passing grade. By this point her behaviour management had become so diabolical couldn't give a stuff about that my lovely well-behaved class (and they WERE an utter dream for a placement class - no issues at all, just wonderful, very willing kids... best class I've ever had in a decade of teaching) were starting to run riot.
    Uni were called in as the head (not me) put her foot down and raised all the causes for concern. Delightful girl that she was, she stormed into the classroom after being told her behaviour wasn't on, and started yelling at me that I'd ruined her career (most of this had come from her mentor in-school and the head and not me at all), flounced out of the school and three days later sent her boyfriend in to return all the stuff that she had from school (half my resource books and school IT equipment we'd lent her to plan with).
    So yeah... student from hell and an isolated example - but shocking failings on the part of the university to send her onto a second placement after she'd behaved similarly on her first placement - she should never have been allowed to continue on the course. No doubt a student will roll on here by this evening and blame my school and myself for that girl's failings - say we hadn't supported her enough - but to this day I stand by how we acted (and rare I'll defend that head in question because she wasn't a nice woman to work for at all) - no way should that student ever have been put in front of a class, and no way on earth she should after her previous school had raised the same concerns we did about her behaviour.
  13. Wow misterflibble, she sounds a nightmare!

    I'm an NQT but would hope that in a few years I could mentor a student. My first placement on my PGCE was awful. I got through it fine with good observations, good feedback etc, but I had to manage this without any support at all. I had no access to any pupils records, SEN data, levels, anything they'd already covered etc, wasn't shown where the resources were, even after I'd asked, after my first week I was given lessons to plan. Was told 'ok you're teaching maths all this week' and not told what unit they were working on, not shown any long term planning, what areas they'd covered or anything! Apart from my formal observations, I was always left alone in the class, so I had no idea if I was doing everything right, and if anything had've gone wrong (particularly in lessons such as PE) I would have been in real trouble! Even when I did have observations, sometimes my class teacher (who was also the head due to staffing issues) just wouldn't show up, or would 'forget'. Once, near the beginning of my placement, she was meant to be teaching the class after break and I was meant to be observing her teaching and helping out etc, and she just didnt show up! She hadn't told me what we were going to be doing, hadn't left plans or resources or anything so I just had to wing it! My second placement, however, was amazing. I still had to work very hard, but I always knew that if I was really struggling, I could ask my mentor for advice. At the beginning when I had less teaching to do, I did a lot of her marking and assessment for her, helped her make resources, just tried to make myself as useful as possible. I really dont think I was a nuisance, and we're still good friends now! I hope to be as good a mentor as that to a student of my own eventually. Being a student can be intimidating, and at times you worry about every little thing, but all you need is a bit of reassurance.
  14. Getzlaf2007

    Getzlaf2007 New commenter

    Same here! I said I didn't want one, but to no avail! Not my thing!
  15. As a student myself with one good placement and one shocking placement behind me, I just thought I'd put my feelings forward. Firstly, how do you expect students to learn if you don't want them asking questions? If you support them at the start of the placement, of course they need to take the initiative as time goes on, but they need to build their confidence that they are doing the right thing first. You are the experts, not them, that's why they don't do all of their training in university and then go straight into the classroom.
    At university I despaired of certain people around me who couldn't blow their nose without direction - so I understand where some of you are coming from. However, I like to think I struck a fairly good balance when I was on my two placements. I used my initiative when I could but if I was really stuck, I asked for advice or support. I'm not the most confident of people so I liked some reassurance that my general ideas were right, but I don't think I was ever overly reliant.
    On my bad placement, I had a similar experience to someone else earlier on this thread. I was told in no uncertain terms that I wasn't wanted. The university had provided my mentor with a list of information that she needed to give me when I first arrived. When I didn't get it, I appreciated that my mentor was busy and so asked her about the information I needed. I was given no levels, no ability groups, not told where resources were, no planning and many other things. I was never given these things and spent most of my placement not having a clue what I was doing, which I was then constantly criticised for, which in turn eroded my confidence. When I tried to ask my mentor questions to help myself, I was fobbed off or ignored.
    I passionately feel that teachers should not be forced to have students if they don't want them as it's detrimental to everyone concerned. However, those of you that end up with students, please try to remember what it's like. Talk to your student at the very least. If you feel they are asking too many questions, or not taking the initiative, tell them that you will support them initially but by point x of their placement, they need to be doing a, b and c independently. It's hard to be the self-sufficient student you want us to be if we don't know how to do that!

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