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first PGCE placement in private school

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by allotmentlady, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. allotmentlady

    allotmentlady New commenter

    Hello
    I just wanted to know if there is anyone out there who is doing their PGCE placement in a private school? My first placement is at a private school and I am finding it very difficult. They don't seem to be as willing to alllow me to use my own resources, have a very prescriptive way of teaching and the students are able to put pressure on teachers because of the money that is involved in it. Rather feeling that I am learning from this experience, I feel like I am constantly on trial because the teachers/ students are all from the same background and view me as an outsider.
    I was told by my mentor today that I was lucky to be in her classroom and that students pay thousands of pounds and are already judging me, even though they haven't seen me teach. They don't really follow the National Curriculum, don't have lesson objectives and rarely follow a lesson plan.
    Everything I need to find out down from IT to resources, I have to do myself, which I am willing to do but have an "attitude" from other members of staff who obviously don't want trainee teachers there.
    Anyone got any advice?
    I have put a lot on the line for this course and I am so sad to see my confidence destroyed like this.

     
  2. allotmentlady

    allotmentlady New commenter

    Hello
    I just wanted to know if there is anyone out there who is doing their PGCE placement in a private school? My first placement is at a private school and I am finding it very difficult. They don't seem to be as willing to alllow me to use my own resources, have a very prescriptive way of teaching and the students are able to put pressure on teachers because of the money that is involved in it. Rather feeling that I am learning from this experience, I feel like I am constantly on trial because the teachers/ students are all from the same background and view me as an outsider.
    I was told by my mentor today that I was lucky to be in her classroom and that students pay thousands of pounds and are already judging me, even though they haven't seen me teach. They don't really follow the National Curriculum, don't have lesson objectives and rarely follow a lesson plan.
    Everything I need to find out down from IT to resources, I have to do myself, which I am willing to do but have an "attitude" from other members of staff who obviously don't want trainee teachers there.
    Anyone got any advice?
    I have put a lot on the line for this course and I am so sad to see my confidence destroyed like this.

     
  3. Hi there,

    I am an NQT so was in your postion last year and I really do feel for your current situation. I was lucky to have two very good placements at schools which welcomed PGCE students and were very supportive of them.
    I have never worked in a private school however I think that both private schools and public schools have their own problems associated with the working environment. Obviously in private schools there is a lot of pressure on teachers for the students to perform but as their parents are paying for the priviledge on the most part the behaviour should be excellent, although the children can be arrogant. I'm quite surprised that you are in a private school as a PGCE student, this is quite rare because obviously the parents are paying for the best (or so they believe) and not to slight any PGCE students teaching skills you are unproven in the classroom and not all your lessons will be as good as OFSTED rated Outstanding teachers (I have been there!).
    My advice would be that you have to unfortunately put up with it to a certain degree. In both my placements the staff were supportive but I did have to contend with behaviour strategies I wouldn't prefer,advice that I did not agree with and also having to deal with ICT and resources myself (all NQTs face dealing with IT and tracking down their own resources this was a usual occurance for me last year).
    If you say anything you have the ability to make the situation worse...which can have dramatic consequences which I have seen first hand...stay out of the politics of the school...you must detach yourself to a degree and focus soley on teaching and learning. You obviously again can contact your training provider to air concerns but again I have witnessed this become the downfall of a PGCE student who I trained with.
    Don't let this destroy your confidence, the expectations at this stage are that you are making sufficient progress, and obviously private schools will have higher expecations which I would say may be unrealsitic at this point. Keep at it, not long until Christmas and then this placement will just be a forgotten memory when you start at your second school and get into your stride.

    Best wishes!
     
  4. Perhaps have a word with your tutor. Remember it's a "partnership".

    MR
     
    pickles124 likes this.
  5. allotmentlady

    allotmentlady New commenter

    Thanks for your advice.
    Just keep telling myself that I am really glad it is only my first placement [​IMG]
    Can't wait to become an NQT [​IMG]
     
  6. Hi
    Whatyou are experiencing is not exclusive to private schools. In the past I've known state schools that require students to only teach from the prescribed scheme of work. In the private and the state sector there are good and bad schools and good an bad teachers. We do use private schools at Sussex and I can think of a few that offer a fantastic experience for trainees.
    All pupils deserve a good education and good teachers they do not choose where they are schooled very often, parents may choose to pay for a school, but that is not the fault of the child. Arrogance is annoying and not acceptable. The fact is that state or private all parents pay for the education of their offspring in some way - either through taxes or directly (these parents are also paying taxes some of which provides state education. Ignore the money - pupils should respect their teachers and student or not they should respect you.
    Although the school may not set objectives etc. it should not stop you. You can still set them. You don't have to imitate the teachers in this school - use the experience and plan, follow your plans and set the objectives. It may be that some of the teachers who don't want trainees have never been trainees themselves (i.e. they do not have QTS and so are only able to work in the private sector. If they have QTS perhaps they are of the opinion that teaching is a 'look and learn' job and that copying and imitating what seems to work is fine. Personally I prefer teachers who are not copycats but who can think creatively about how to best teach and how to get pupils learning.
    One thing about this experience - you will have formed an opinion about the merits or otherwise of private education - but do remember that this school may not (probably is definitely not) representative of all private schools!
    James
     
  7. The placement will be over soon enough and you'll have learned some tough lessons about the kind of school you do or do not want to work in.

    I totally agree with James- this isnt just a 'private school' problem. Indeed at our school one of the core subjects has a grid for every lesson for the whole year and the teachers have to stick to it rigidly..or else! I'd hate that!

    At least it's a learning experience and you've not taken your NQT role there. Your next placement should be a different experience. Talk to your uni tutors about it but as for the school- keep your head down and get on with it...it'll soon be Christmas!
     
  8. primenumbers

    primenumbers New commenter

    Like other posters have said,just put it down to experience and carry on. You are lucky in term of you are able to compare different types of school to work in because your next placement will quite certain to be a normal comp.
    I had two very similar comprehensive schools for my placement and I thought I always wanted to teach in a normal comp. Until chance provided me with an interview in a grammar and everything changed. At least now you have a chance to compare experience and know for definite which type of school you want to work in. And you might be surprise to find that you actually want to work in a private school by the end of the year.
     
  9. Universities are aware of the non-challant attitude most teachers put up with trainee teachers - they will only advise you to put up or sail through( survival period). Most of these teachers as mentioned already have little or no knowledge on how the trainee programmes works and no current knowledge of the process. Some are ineffective teachers or those that are not specialist in the subject but who have only manage to get into teaching the subject in the past before radical reforms sets in.I think the TDA and other educational institution should make it
    compulsory for these teachers to undergo training in the area of supporting
    trainee teachers instead of viewing them as worthless-afterall they
    will not be teaching from grave when they die.
    Some teacher will want you to use their own teaching strategies -instead of sharing practice- not knowing that graduates and teachers have different views of their respective subject area.
    My advise will be to just keep trying out your ideas and seek help wherever possible from your mentor and other supportive teachers including your University.
    You are not alone , only by educating these unrealistic teachers can the problem be solved.

     

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