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Failed PGCE contemplating suicide...

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Sheryl804, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. What do I do now. It was the worst experience, teachers were not supportive on placements, one teacher ignored me, my mentor never said anything encouraging...most of the time, he said you're not going to reach that level in 6 weeks...I hate this london university and I would not wish any of this on anyone else...
    What can I do with my life now? Currently I'm working night shift at a sausage factory making sausages for £5 an hour and baby sit my friend's baby...It's like my dream of teaching and all my hard work for a year just came crashing down...now I pack sausages for a living. I can't do this anymore.
  2. What do I do now. It was the worst experience, teachers were not supportive on placements, one teacher ignored me, my mentor never said anything encouraging...most of the time, he said you're not going to reach that level in 6 weeks...I hate this london university and I would not wish any of this on anyone else...
    What can I do with my life now? Currently I'm working night shift at a sausage factory making sausages for £5 an hour and baby sit my friend's baby...It's like my dream of teaching and all my hard work for a year just came crashing down...now I pack sausages for a living. I can't do this anymore.
  3. Wow Sheryl, really sorry to hear about your situation. Is there no way you can resit your final placement? What have your uni said?

    It sounds glib, but teaching really isn't for everyone. If it's not right for you it doesn't mean you are a failure, just that your skills and experience are better suited to something else.

    Maybe you could go and see a careers advisor and talk through your options? There will be something out there for you, you just have some thinking to do.

    Good luck, x
  4. I agree with post 2. Teaching is only another job, and you should certainly rethink your options on re-taking your placement.

    If this is not an option, look for other work which is more interesting and stimulating, because taking small steps will help to rebuild your battered confidence. x
  5. please please don't tink like this...i know to some extent how you feel...when I was on my final placement my mentor was unsupportive and what was originally a fairly minor problem escalated and it led to me failing...at the time it felt like everything I had worked towards for was a waste of time and although not suicidal I was feeling extremely down and started to wish I could get knocked down and injured etc so that I wouldnt have to go back!
    I am now in the situation where I failed my final placement and have to resit next yr (although i have just been told that i have to pay over £700 to do this)so it is definately worth looking into....if this is not possible then I agree with the others that you need to think about what else you would like to do but it may be the case that this will take a few weeks in order to get your head around the situation first (it cerainly took a good while for me to see things in perspective). one thing that was said to me when i ended was that you still have a degree and noone can take that away from you...what was your degree in? coul you do something that is still working with children and making a difference? hope you feel a bit better soon xxx
  6. Teaching isn't for everyone, just like I'd make a **** doctor because bloody and icky bits make me heave!

    If you do want to be a teacher still, speak to someone at Uni about it?

    If you have found it very difficult, don't be upset about it, just accept that it might not be for you at this time and throw yourself into finding a summer job while you consider your options. Try tutoring in your degree subject? There are some great agencies that will sign you up quickly (do a google search) and you can get at least £20 after they take their fees off.
  7. If you have the opportunity to retake your final placement you should consider doing it. I did mine again as the school I was at was unsupportive, my mentor had only been teaching for 18months herself and was not a nice girl, the head and deputy head were awful. I thought my life was over when I left there, they destroyed my confidence and made it impossible for me to pass. Luckily the uni and my previous placements had all spoken very highly of me and gave me another chance at it.
    Totally different experience, so supportive and made me realise that i was a good teacher who had had a bad experience. When I left that placement my confidence had been rebuilt and I got a glowing report.
    Give it a try if that is an option.
  8. Now you pack sausages for a living but that is not what you will be doing in the long run. You are a clever girl with a life of opportunities ahead of you. Speak to your tutor so you know what your options are.

    Schools can be hard places to work in and most often when I come home upset it is the staff not the kids that are the problem.

    Don't let them get you down. Learn from the mistakes you have made. You will have made mistakes but it could be they are trivial and you haven't quite ticked the boxes or they may be more fundamental. Good teaching needs skill which you get better at the more you do.

    Be strong and take control of what happens to you.
  9. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    During his failed teaching practice a friend climbed onto a desk and jumped up and down shouting "look at me".

    He now drives a petrol tanker and is paid 47K for what he describes as sitting in a comfy chair while listening to radio four.

    Teaching can be particularly horrible for those who aren't suited to it, finding you aren't the type is not a waste of time.

    You can confidently say you know what hard work is, most employers like this. I have employed a couple over the years in customer support roles, they have all gone on to better things.


  10. (((((((((((((((sheryl)))))))))))))))

    Been there, bought the t-shirt...

    I didn't get to the end of my first final placement - had experiences much like yours - re-took it and passed with an extremely good report from school and uni. After two years' teaching though I left for a completely different job, a little more pay and a lot less hassle stress and grief.

    How well you get on in teaching really depends on how good the support is from the staff around you, probably more so than in any other job.

    the PGCE is an extremely tough qualification to get - you can't pass on hard work alone. It's no shame not to succeed in it.

    I don't know if you're primary or secondary - if primary and you want to re-take your final practice, it's a good idea to do voluntary work in a school for at least a term to get your confidence back. That's what I did.

    However teaching is a very tough, stressful and frustrating job and there are loads of teachers who would change jobs if they could afford it. I feel that I've had a lucky escape - you might do too in a few years if you stay in touch with TES. This might sound like sour grapes but personally I think sour grapes is a very helpful and reasonable philosophy.

    Best wishes for whatever you decide to do.
  11. Hi Sheryl,

    Just wanted to add that there are a few of us about (myself and luc1purple included) that will be re-sitting in September. What I am trying to say is you are not alone. There have been some very heartwarming replies on this thread, they have made me feel positive about choosing to have another crack at it and I hope they will comfort you too. x
  12. I did a PGCE and it was much harder than I ever expected. I didn't sail through either. It was a nightmare and I nearly faild my first placement. What I'm saying is that the PGCE is incredibly tough and you mustn't make yourself feel bad about it. See if you could re-take your final placement or go to your uni and find out your options now.

    Just because you work in a factory doesn't mean anything - in fact it says a lot about you, that despite the knocks you've received you have got out there and gotten a job.

    People care and don't forget that xx
  13. Just wanted to add my support!

    I nearly failed my final placement, when my mentor said I was worse than useless. A quick change of mentor and a lot of support from people and I scraped through.

    I've just finished my NQT year, and I managed to get by really well (if i do say so myself!)

    My PGCE tutor told me that some of the best teachers are those that have struggled or failed at some point. I have been able to draw on the naff experience I had, and it has made me stronger.

    Also - please don't think about suicide. I have had to deal with suicide in my immediate family and it was hard watching everyone trying to figure out what we did wrong, and why we didn't spot the problems before hand.

    If you really want to be a teacher - go back and try to retake the placement somewhere else. If you don't want to be a teacher - then keep looking for a job that will make you happy.

    Money isn't everything!

  14. I have been teaching for fifteen years , so forgive me for this question:

    How the hell did you get to the end of the course to be failed?

    Usually you would have been told and offered an opportunity to withdraw. That opportunity would have given you the option of completing a PGCE/ teacher training elsewhere or via another route.

    It simply does not sound right.

    As for thinking you career is over..... you have a degree? Try an independent school , they dont reaqire QTS ( although having allowed yourself to fail will be a big against for you). Also I would not normally say this because FE teachers are bettwer that failed QTS ers - try working in Fe and get a PGCE via that. Then QTS from the FE qualification. There is always more than one way of skinning a rabbit! Its not the end of a teaching career unless you make it so.
  15. Hey Sheryl,

    I haven't started my Pgce yet but I couldn't read what you were saying without offering my support.

    I'm so sorry you had that experience, you were clearly being bullied and that is NOT your fault. You would not have been offered your training place if you did not at least have the potential to be a good teacher. Even IF you were performing poorly, you should have been supported and not bullied into feeling worse. Take it from someone who has met their share of unpleasant people! I know how it feels to have every bit of confidence knocked out of you and to feel like the problem is just you. It can be very hard to see past that sense of inferiority.

    If they had a problem with your work there was not one thing stopping them from nicely pointing out areas for improvement and then HELPING you to improve on them! There is NEVER any need to be nasty, especially to someone they are meant to be teaching themselves. You are not the person who should be feeling bad here, that mentor should be ashamed of themselves for letting down a student so badly-how would any of us feel if one of our pupils was so upset about how we had treated them and failing our class that they wanted to harm themselves? I would never belittle anyone simply needing help, I have made enough mistakes myself to know better and I'm sure many people here would agree with me.

    Please don't feel like you don't have options, you have many options. Like it has been suggested, you could repeat the placement in another school? You could repeat the course in another college?

    Of course, you have other options if you genuinely feel like teaching isn't for you. Have you considered youth or community work? I am doing this part time for the summer and find it immensely rewarding and fun.You have a degree and that gives you real employment options. I have worked in dead end jobs where I was bullied and I can tell you that my confidence has increased 100% since I made the decision to stop doing these jobs, whatever the risk.

    My experience: this time last year I was being overworked, denied minimum wage, denied any holiday pay, forced to use faulty electric equipment, frequently shouted at and belittled in front of customers over nothing,and told that if I wanted minimum wage I could go elsewhere. My other half was out of work at the time and if I left, the rent would not have been paid.

    This year, I work with people with special needs, I get nearly double minimum wage per hour, I work with lovely people who encourage me in my career and I love what I do so much I want to teach special needs one day. My point is that your life can and will turn around so please don't give up.

    I just realised how long this post is so I will stop here!

    the best of luck, whatever you decide to do next year.

  16. wow that really was a very long post-sorry I got a little carried away!!!
  17. Hi Sheryl,

    I failed my final teaching placement of a BEd earlier this year and felt absolutely gutted. I felt as though I had very little support from either my schol tutor or uni tutor and like you was felt totally disheartened.
    There is another option for you though, I'm retaking my practice next year. I'm used to retaking malarkey having had to do my A-Levels again!
    I know how gutted, disheartened and hopeless you might feel. I'm pretty sure though, you've been a great influence on more children than you probably realise.
    Good luck Sheryl, let us know what you do next. We're here if you need to talk,
  18. Stay strong Sheryl

    I know this easier said than done but there is more to life than teaching. I finsihed my PGCE last summer and passed with a satisfactory. My last placement was really tough. An invisable mentor, teachers who actively conspired against me and no other PGCE students in school. I felt very isolated and it really knocked my confidence. Even though I had got my PGCE I was unable to get a teaching job.

    I felt a failure. All I had wanted to be for several years was a teacher and I had failed to get a teaching job. I was really down for the first 6 months after finishing and looking for jobs to gte back in. I took a job as an EWO and I dawned on me that I loved it. I have since got promoted and am developing a career in children's services. I wouldn't go back to the classroom now unless I was desperate. There are many more opportunities in schools/education than teaching. Be creative and look for an alternative niche that builds upon your classroom experience to date.

    I know you spent your whole PGCE reflecting, but do reflect upon what you've learnt so far and what you take forward from your current position. This is not the end of the world, it just means you have to take a different path. You are a graduate. You've succeeded in gettinga degree. You are clearly intelligent and employable. Maybe teaching was not for you. Think seriously about it and devise a new plan to take you forward from here.

    Good luck, stay strong and take care of yourself.
  19. Hi Sheryl,

    I really do empathise - I have just completed my PGCE Secondary EwD, and although my final placement was friendly the support was simply not there - they were more concerned with me marking GCSE coursework than completing the necessary coursework I needed to pass the course. I am now having to re-submit my final assignment and still trying to pass my ICT and Numeracy skills tests.

    On top of this, I do not have a job and have found it difficult to get any Summer work.

    However, I agree with the other posts - see if you can re-take your final placement, if my re-submission fails that is exactly what I will do. Please don't allow the incompetence of your final placement put you off your chosen career path. We all know how hard the PGCE year is - we've done it, and I know I have never ever worked that hard in my entire life!

    Just think - you made it through your year, alot of people didn't even make it through the year and you should be proud of that fact! So well done, I mean it, well done!
  20. You might be able to re-take any placements again. I'm sure training providers allow this. I would contact your Uni tutor a.s.a.p and see what they say and can do for you. Even if you go into another school this September coming, at least you are re-taking it. I know what its like when this happens regarding a mentor and Uni tutor being totally unsupportive simply because they wanted me give up the course without any reason why. I was treated unfairly in different ways e.g. verbally threatened, harrassement,discrimination, made to look like a fool and complete idiot. Overall, the people I am talking about above purposefully set out to fail me. However I proved them wrong and have passed everything. No one else on my course at the time had to put up with their behaviour only me so I think I was targeted. I believe this goes on at the start of the PGCE. This is what could have happened to you but whoever have decided this will never tell you why. I had to be strong and determined to do everything. I think they thought I was a weak person but actually I'm the opposite. On the surface I may appear calm and quiet but underneath I've always been a person who does things properly, get on with the work I've been given, not hassle people etc... so thats where they didn't know where to turn when they pushed me to the limit. They know that now from me but I wonder if they'll try it on with other trainees in the future?

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