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Feels like I am failing........

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by RGJM2012, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. RGJM2012

    RGJM2012 New commenter

    I am exactly half way through my GTP now (I have even counted the weeks!) and right now I feel like I am failing. I have a really good relationship with my mentor and have taken over parts of the teaching, developed good relationships with the children and have integrated myself into the year group team. Up to now observations have been good with feedback being positive but with targets as expected and I don't find the planning too daunting at this point. However, my problem is my subject knowledge. I sometimes stand there in front of my literacy group and feel like I am not getting across to them the correct information. I feel flustered at times and I think my nerves show and my brain just freezes. I feel like this doubt regarding subject knowledge is really holding me back and I am getting ready to go to another school for 6 weeks and teach Year 6 ( I currently teach year 4) and the prospect of this scares the life out of me. I feel like I miss the obvious at times and draw a blank which makes me even more nervous. Before I got on to the GTP course I had volunteered at a school but now I wonder if I should have spent time as a TA and observed more teaching before embarking on such an intense course? My maths knowledge isn't amazing but because I knew this was a weaker subject for me I do try and go through lots or resources, reference texts and all my university notes on the subject to try and boost my knowledge. My confidence is so low right now, I feel like whenever I stand up in front of the class I am going to say the wrong thing. What if I end up failing the course altogether? I try and be positive and put things into perspective, I have organised all my files etc and keep resources I use so I can use them again but this overwhelming self doubt is so consuming. I haven't spoken to my mentor about this because I don't know what to say, do I admit that I think I am failing? I did consider speaking to someone at the univeristy but will they mark me down as a concern? I just want to know how to do things better. I know we're not meant to know everything but I do think that there is a certain expectation that you will be completely confident in all subject areas and they can just throw a topic at you and you'll instantly know everything about it. I have covered quite a few lessons since I started from others planning (covering illness on several occasions) and the feedback is always very good so I think my lead mentor thinks I am doing fine and therefore doesn't need any help but in all honesty I feel worse now than I did in September. My lead mentor observed me last week (literacy lesson) and it was really positive feedback regarding the LO and the lesson from her however when the class mentor looked at the work the children had produced she said they had done the wrong thing and not written in the correct tence etc so now I feel even worse about my subject knowledge.
    Any advice on what to do or where to go from here?
    R xx
     
  2. RGJM2012

    RGJM2012 New commenter

    I am exactly half way through my GTP now (I have even counted the weeks!) and right now I feel like I am failing. I have a really good relationship with my mentor and have taken over parts of the teaching, developed good relationships with the children and have integrated myself into the year group team. Up to now observations have been good with feedback being positive but with targets as expected and I don't find the planning too daunting at this point. However, my problem is my subject knowledge. I sometimes stand there in front of my literacy group and feel like I am not getting across to them the correct information. I feel flustered at times and I think my nerves show and my brain just freezes. I feel like this doubt regarding subject knowledge is really holding me back and I am getting ready to go to another school for 6 weeks and teach Year 6 ( I currently teach year 4) and the prospect of this scares the life out of me. I feel like I miss the obvious at times and draw a blank which makes me even more nervous. Before I got on to the GTP course I had volunteered at a school but now I wonder if I should have spent time as a TA and observed more teaching before embarking on such an intense course? My maths knowledge isn't amazing but because I knew this was a weaker subject for me I do try and go through lots or resources, reference texts and all my university notes on the subject to try and boost my knowledge. My confidence is so low right now, I feel like whenever I stand up in front of the class I am going to say the wrong thing. What if I end up failing the course altogether? I try and be positive and put things into perspective, I have organised all my files etc and keep resources I use so I can use them again but this overwhelming self doubt is so consuming. I haven't spoken to my mentor about this because I don't know what to say, do I admit that I think I am failing? I did consider speaking to someone at the univeristy but will they mark me down as a concern? I just want to know how to do things better. I know we're not meant to know everything but I do think that there is a certain expectation that you will be completely confident in all subject areas and they can just throw a topic at you and you'll instantly know everything about it. I have covered quite a few lessons since I started from others planning (covering illness on several occasions) and the feedback is always very good so I think my lead mentor thinks I am doing fine and therefore doesn't need any help but in all honesty I feel worse now than I did in September. My lead mentor observed me last week (literacy lesson) and it was really positive feedback regarding the LO and the lesson from her however when the class mentor looked at the work the children had produced she said they had done the wrong thing and not written in the correct tence etc so now I feel even worse about my subject knowledge.
    Any advice on what to do or where to go from here?
    R xx
     
  3. akirk

    akirk New commenter

    Dear RGJM2012, Many teachers were not taught English grammar before becoming a teacher; some of my colleagues learned the basic tenses when studying another language!
    People begin their training and find gaps that they need to work on - I know I did when I started working as an English teacher.
    It is good that everything else is working well - and fantastic your observer enjoyed your lesson - but reading your post it sounds like you know what you need to do already. You need to build on your knowledge of literacy. It will add more work to an already packed day, but if you revisit one aspect of grammar a week and focus on it during your literacy lessons you will be so much happier and confident in the lesson. There are some excellent websites to guide and help you, such as:http://www.englishpage.com/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/topic-group/sentence-grammar Of course, there are tonnes more. To recover mistakes in your pupils' workbooks, once you have familiarised yourself with the tenses, go back with your students and (with them) circle all the verb endings in their literacy work to check what tenses they used. Look at the morphemes to see if they are plural and highlight mistakes – even your own – and make a game out of it. For example, I run a “mistakes are good” starter to my EAL classes where I share mistakes after marking and discuss how/why it has occurred. We also look at famous people making terrible grammar mistakes; see a certain American president for ideas on how you can turn this into a lesson. Remember, learning is a process and you are the conduit for the students’ learning – so gen up quickly and keep your learning, and theirs, on track.Best of luck - hope this helps!
     
  4. akirk

    akirk New commenter

    <font size="2">It has been so long since I've posted on tes that I can't remember how to add paragraphs! How embarrassing! </font>
     
  5. Yes, you should absolutely discuss this with your mentor and/or university tutor. Firstly, they may say that, from what they can see, your subject knowledge is fine, you're saying the right things in the right ways and you've got nothing to worry about it.
    Alternatively, they may agree that it is perhaps a concern and will then be able to help you address it.
    The advice above seems really good too - so follow that, spend more time studying what you need to know, and seek assistance from the people at your school/uni.
     
  6. I am currently doing the GTP too and my advise would be to share your concerns with your mentor. That is what they are there for. My mentor is fantastic and as a result I am doing really well. I am in year 5 so I can emphasise with the subject knowledge you need to know. I struggle at times. Stay one step of the kids and ask if you're unsure of things. I hope you get over this hurdle as subject knowledge alone doesn't just make a good teacher. Good luck.
     
  7. RGJM2012

    RGJM2012 New commenter

    Hi, thank you all for your replies. I have just passed my final subject knowledge assessment this week which is a portfolio based evidence file for the 3 core subjects. The way I am trying to look at it is that if my knowledge was lacking there is no way I could have passed those assessments. Also I did consider speaking to my mentor but I honestly think she might take it the wrong way and think I am being negative about her role as a mentor. I really do like her and we get on very well but she can be a bit sensitive about things (I have witnessed many incidents where she has taken another member of staffs words very personally, we've had tears and everything) so instead I am going to start my next placement and if I still have doubts I will approach my mentor there. I have been pre-warned about mentor 2, apparently she is notoriously hard on students so I am guessing she won't be backwards at coming forwards if she sees any gaps that need filling in my subject knowledge.

    As someone else already suggested I shall read up on everything before I deliver anything (something I tend to do anyway) and if after all that I am still getting nowhere then I will approach mentor and/or uni and get as much help as I need to get through this year!

    xx
     

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