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Feeling depressed at the end of the beginning

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Otter2010, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Otter2010

    Otter2010 New commenter

    I am a student teacher and about 3/4 of the way through my first placement. I had some lessons that went well last term and some terrible ones, but have found the sheer amount of time I spend planning and preparing exhausting. I am feeling pretty isolated as there's no time for any kind of social life and I can't help feeling it's only going to get worse as my workload of classes increases. And then I have ANOTHER year of doing this as an NQT (if I am lucky enough to land a job) before I even qualify!
    So I guess I want to ask if it gets any better, as right now the thought of living like this for the rest of my career is really depressing me! I really enjoy being in class and the actual teaching side of it, but living like a hermit for the next 5 years and constantly feeling like I am not doing enough is just not feasible. I am not looking forward to the new term starting and getting back on the treadmill. Does or has anyone else felt like this?! How did you cope? Advice and experience gratefully received!
  2. MizUnderstood

    MizUnderstood New commenter

    I always knew that this year would be tough, and although I'm often exhausted (more mentally than physically) I can safely say that in terms of having time to myself to watch rubbish TV or read a trashy magazine is pretty much the same as it's always been.
    Don't get me wrong I am working hard, and my class teachers and course tutors notice it, but I'm not letting it consume my every minute like I was in the first few weeks of the course. This job/course can take up as much of your life as you let it, and I realised that although I was working hard at the start I actually wasn't working smart which is something I've always done before...not sure why I allowed myself to change how I've always worked in the past but I'm glad I've reverted to my old ways as I could see how I was going to end up either burnt out or round the bend!
    I kind of 'pre-plan' everything, e.g. look at what I need to cover during teaching practise and gather resources, ideas etc etc, this really helps me see the area/subject/topic from every angle (and very importantly angles I hadn't considered myself) and although I gather lots of things I probably only use around 10-20% of what I find, but because I've used the time to really research the topic I have a really solid grasp of it. I spend probably 10 hours on this over a few days (this was for a 4 week TP where I was teaching 40-60% of the timetable).
    Then once I have everything and have my head round the topic/subject I get a blank weekly plan and pencil in what they need to cover - LOs, and then I start to think about which resources/ideas I've seen/printed that could meet them.
    I can hand on heart say that in my first TP I pre-planned for around 10 hours then spent around 1 hour per night putting together the 2-4 lessons I was doing the next day based on where the children needed to go and how they had reacted to the days lessons.
    Don't allow it to consume you, take every offer of help you can get and don't be afraid of asking for help, e.g. where to get the best resources etc.
    It's tough, really tough at points I think I had tears on week 4 of the course and that was before the TP had started, but that's what made me re-evaluate how I was working and I realised I was actually wasting a HUGE amount of time, now I feel very much in control, my TP was passed with flying colours as was my first assignment, you need to control it rather than it controlling you!
    Take care!
  3. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    I'd assume from "classes" that you're in secondary.
    Remember a few key things:
    Keep it simple - don't try to make every single lesson a work of art worthy of an ofsted inspection.
    Reuse - If you've got more than one class from the same year group, make sure you reuse whatever resources, plans or PowerPoint presentations you've created. You'll survive beyond your NQT year for this exact reason - once you've done it once, most lessons won't need reinventing.
    Beg/borrow/steal - What are other teachers/trainees doing? See if there's something you can adapt from someone else's work. And look at it this way, working with other teachers is a Q standard!
  4. I didnt find my TP too bad as I use the internet alot and often got my lessons from the net then wrote a quick lesson plan using the teacher notes. Some of my best lessons were done like this as there are fabulous ideas on there. Like people have said, they dont need to be original or wonderful.
    Have a browse through the net before you go on practice and see what is out there then you can find your lessons quickly.

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