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Does it get better?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by LightDivided, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Get well soon. Take BSD's advice and don't think about the PGCE - just relax and get your strength back by rest and eating a lot of good food.
  2. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    OP. .... you get to pick some proportion of what goes into the PowerPoint - in some circles that is considered a form of Power. If that is not something you are interested in, then perhaps it won't get much better.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. Cyclingem

    Cyclingem New commenter

    I feel exactly the same, I'm doing well in the PGCE but looking at the hours that the teachers at my school work I have decided I don't want to work as a teacher and that lifestyle., so I'm really struggling and losing motivation for finishing the PGCE. If it was just this year I would definitely do it but knowing I'll need to do another year to cement my qualification I just can't see. There' a lot more jumping through hoops that don't add any benefit that you just wouldn't get in the private sector! I think there are a lot of us in the same boat...
    rizzrazz, thatmaninthehat and pepper5 like this.
  4. kevwaters

    kevwaters New commenter

    Did that 2 years include the PGCE and the NQT year? I am doing the PGCE now and plan on doing both before going abroad. I would never consider teaching in the UK as a permanent job. I honestly don't know how people choose it as a career prospect. They must have a heart of gold to sacrifice there life for the cause. I value my hobbies and family too much to do so. Hopefully I wont be emotionally and mentally damaged by the end of the NQT year when I am walking away.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    No. It was PGCE + 2 years. If you want a decent job abroad then you need at least 2 years' experience post-qualification - most jobs will state this. There are schools that will take you straight from the PGCE, or after the NQT year, but you might find that they are pretty horrible schools.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. Nemo1980

    Nemo1980 New commenter

  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    This is a scandal.

    The Government invests more and more money into recruiting teachers and their training and only for the teachers to walk away and go abroad after they qualify, or quit during their PGCE or NQT year.

    The class sizes and the work load are simply too big; however, instead of reducing it, they find even more jobs to do and make the class sizes even bigger.

    Schools panic and start to hire more cover supervisors to cover classes of absent teachers - it is like putting a plaster on a gouged wound that need surgery.
  8. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    It's not just the workload, the class sizes, being held accountable for kids who don't care (and whose parents don't care)... - I have found such toxic environments in some schools in the UK, and that toxicity has been so damaging to my self-esteem and self-confidence. I had a lesson observation last week at my international school - I could not get over the positive feedback I received! I am not used to positivity - how sad is that? How sad that I expect criticism. How sad that I had to leave the UK to get away from such negativity.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    HI BSD

    I am sincerely glad you were able to escape and make a better life for yourself.

    It is sad - incredibly sad and I feel sorry for all the teachers trapped here with mortgages and families to provide for.
    Shedman and blueskydreaming like this.
  10. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Me too - my sister, my lovely colleagues at previous schools, the lovely people on here...
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I always enjoy reading your posts and at least you can use your experience by giving advice to others who are facing what you went through - nothing is ever wasted.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  12. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Just something rather silly - I spent a large amount of my PGCE in the bath. A shower wouldn't do. Every night, a long hot bath. Then someone explained to me that I needed the bath in order to relax because of all of the stress that I was under. True - it helped me to sleep.
    I would advise OP to keep going. Only a few weeks to the Christmas break. I never found the Uni essays too onerous. By the end of the course I was coming out of lectures, writing my notes up as a 'mini essay' and just adding to it or tweaking it nearer submission date.
    Be aware that there is a time round about February/March when everyone crashes and burns and thinks they will not survive. the majority do and you may have hit this point early. Do you have a fellow student who you can share and swop resources with? This may help.
    Moral support and the ability to have a laugh about your problems is paramount. If you get out of the habit of laughing things will spiral downwards. If you can laugh about the sheer absurdity of some situations it will ease your load. (When I was on PGCE I had a student with a fashionable hair band. She looked like Minnie Mouse. I still smile when I think of her. She was totally unaware that she looked like Minnie Mouse).
    When you count the actual weeks that you are studying and learning to teach it is something stupid like 33 weeks. This is not long enough to do everything that you have got to do. I believe that you can defer some of the course for another term, with permission from your Uni. I know someone who is on the third year of their one year PGCE!!
  13. DaveJnr

    DaveJnr New commenter

    I started my SCITT course in September and by the half-term I had quit. My life long dream that I wanted to be a science teacher was over. I am in a very similar situation as the OP. I'm a male in my late 40s with a fairly good career behind me. I was reduced to tears and couldn't sleep with the constant battle over work load and classroom management.
    Now I am unemployed and hoping that I can get my old job back so that I have a means to support my family.
    Shedman and felicity5183 like this.
  14. sbarr171

    sbarr171 New commenter

    Wow - this thread is really hitting home for me and I am in tears reading some of the posts. I am doing a school direct PGCE and it's killing me. I feel so incapable all the time, struggle to plan even the basic lessons. Some of you have mentioned using ppts from online or school resources/planning but I have been told that as a trainee I need to be thinking of and creating my own resources. I am so exhausted that all I have is brain fog when I sit down to plan.
    I'm not being trained to teach, I am being trained to jump through hoops. All I am learning about the teaching profession is that I am no good in it.
    Shedman and felicity5183 like this.
  15. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    A stupid woman at my second PGCE placement had the same attitude - 'you teach fewer lessons than everyone else, so you should be making PPTs from scratch, and your resources should be amazing'. Pah, I was commuting 10 hours per week, and had to work with horrible old hags like her, in a school I nicknamed 'The School from Hell', so it wasn't the easy ride she thought it was!

    Any department which does not have decent schemes of work and shared resources is a poor, disorganised, and lazy department. Not the sort of place you want to be post-PGCE. Remember that. Make sure this experience guides some of your NQT interview questions.

    Hopefully your second placement will offer more opportunities, and be a better environment for you.

    For now - can you talk to someone at uni or your lead school about this demand that you are not allowed to use resources from other people? Can you specifically ask your mentor, or a host teacher, to show you how they plan a lesson? Failing that, can you observe a lesson, then backwards engineer it into a lesson plan, so you can see what the teacher did?

    With lesson planning you need to see the big picture before it clicks, I think. For example, I am an English teacher. I know that students need to be able to identify similes, metaphors and personification in unseen texts in the GCSE Language exam, so I need to develop those skills at KS3. I might have this as a goal for a Y7 lesson - by the end of the lesson they can all identify a simile, some can identify a metaphor, and a few can identify personification. Then I work backwards from there; I need a starter to interest them, I need to check they can remember the definitions of simile/metaphor/personification, I need them to identify these techniques from single phrases (rather than a whole text), I then need a text to analyse with plenty of examples of figurative language in it, I could also give them the opportunity to write their own simile/metaphor...

    Some schools insist that teachers use 'three part' or 'five part' lessons - have a Google, it may give you some ideas. You could find a formula that works with you, and stick to it.
  16. bg31rr

    bg31rr New commenter

    I can only echo what others have said re: shared departmental resources, supportive colleagues, laughing at the little things etc.

    I see your mentor is insisting on fresh material. Bizarre, considering that when teaching something like ACC almost everything you produce will have been done before. Just a thought, surely she can't know what you have and haven't created unless you tell her? Don't reinvent the wheel is one of the most parroted lines of teaching advice about there and I would whole-heartedly back it.

    I would also suggest creating template slides that can be transferred from lesson to lesson e.g. learning objectives, bell task, self assessment etc.

    Utilise what is on TES, various excellent blogs, Twitter etc. even if you don't use the resources, sometimes an idea is all you need for a lesson.

    Where possible, plan out how you will be spending your frees. Do the tasks that take the most brainpower first. I often take what I call "bitty tasks" home with me and I sit in front of the TV doing them. For example, copying names into a new planner, cutting up activities, gluing sheets in, responding to generic emails etc. These don't seem as daunting as, say, taking home 15 books to marks.

    Ultimately, there is a whole group of people on her who understand. Let us know how you go.
  17. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I was told that I must create my own resources from scratch too. it was really, really hard. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The more you do it the easier it gets.
    Then in Uni lectures we were told to scour TES and other sites for resources. Get used to being told by 2 different people to do 2 different things. By the end of the year I was using and modifying TES resources. I changed the background in order to make them look different, just in case anyone realized that I had got them from TES.
    In my first year of teaching I found myself in a department with no Head and no support. I had to plan everything from scratch together with one other teacher - the established teachers didn't want to know. I soon got to grips with it.
  18. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    I remember how much i hated my PGCE - 10 years ago now. Mentors that were unsupportive, kids that felt unteachable, drowning in paperwork etc.

    Anyway, if you can hang in there it does get better. You get tough, you get faster, you learn to compromise.

    I also ******** off abroad but had 7 fairly enjoyable years in comprehensive uk schools first.

    Chin up, nearly the hols!
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  19. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    Really staring out b*ggered? Gosh we are polite old hockey sticks here!
  20. LightDivided

    LightDivided New commenter

    Just for a bit of closure, I left the pgce and found work in the prison service. I’m not sure what it says about teacher training but I’m no longer stressed in the slightest.

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