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Getting sick of second placement - PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by caughtupinachaosofbooks, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. caughtupinachaosofbooks

    caughtupinachaosofbooks New commenter

    Hi guys,

    I just want to vent right now as I'm in a really bad mood.

    So, it's been over a month at placement now and basically for the first 2 and a half weeks, half the lessons I was placed into were completely random. As in, they were within my subject area, but they kept playing around by putting me in different classes as they couldn't decide on which classes I should teach. Which, I'd say is understandable, but then it's just wasted my time.

    I finally got my timetable, a week before half-term, and was made to teach the classes I never got to see. It is a good developmental experience, but I'm a trainee. I've come from a school which was graded outstanding, where 95% of the children were well behaved and if there was any misbehaviour it was really low level, that it could be sorted out quite easily.

    The students at this school I'd say 95% of them are horrendous. I wouldn't just blame the students on that, because from what I've seen is that teachers, be it in my department or outside - their behaviour management practices are very inconsistent. They have a good behaviour policy, but it's not followed through correctly.

    I've been trying my best to be strict, and to some extent, it has worked but my host teachers who themselves don't make an effort to discipline the students, have told me to improve on behaviour management. Whenever I've told students off - I've noticed my host teachers end up interrupting and intervening. Like yes, thank you for that! But, if I'm teaching let me deal with it & rest assured I'd be more strict than the actual host teacher, who choose to just ignore their disruptive behaviour and do nothing about it.

    For example, two students were playing games with their back turned around whilst the teacher was giving instructions. The teacher saw that, did nothing apart from just telling them off after explaining the task. & as expected, both students didn't have a clue of what to do, so the teacher had to explain it to them again. What a waste of time and energy!

    I've also noticed, that students are being spoon fed. I am completely against that idea, I try my best to get students to think. And my mentor has always pointed out that as a very strong point. However, recently, because I am feeling low - I just haven't been able to do that effectively. These issues are getting to me.

    For example, I was teaching and some students clearly wanted to be given the answer (they had their notes in front of them, all they had to do was read), I realised that and I tried to get them thinking, I was making them read, which worked with some students and one or two refused to do it, so they called the host teacher (clearly for the answer) - which was given to them straight away! Like, they will be sitting an exam at the end of the course, no one's going to help them (the host teacher mentioned this point). Therefore, as a teacher, it is necessary to embed independent learning, which I know is hard, but it's not impossible after giving some guidance which is needed for certain students who do genuinely struggle! They need to be taught to be responsible for their own learning, to take initiative, rather than be spoon fed.

    Well, it got me really
    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]off! To the extent that I just gave up on my lesson there and then. Which ended up being really[This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]! As expected. I was aware of it, throughout. But, I'm gonna try my best to not let it get to me next time. Hopefully!

    Moving on, I'm supposed to be teaching at least 10-11 hours right now (half the teachers timetable). This week so far, I've only taught 3 hours, and tomorrow I'd be team teaching 2 lessons. I understand that they are easing me in especially because I was given my timetable late. But, how long will that carry on, the earlier I start teaching properly - the more time I'll have to develop myself.

    Finally, my mentor who is really nice, however, is very laid back. My lesson observation sheets are not filled in with an appropriate amount of detail, same with my mentor meeting sheet which I have to fill in myself and I just send it to be checked over and signed. At last placement, I'd spend 30-40 mins for my mentor meeting, we'd both have a long discussion about lessons/activities etc. whereas, at the moment, the meeting barely lasts 15 minutes. Although I didn't get many observation sheets, they were filled in with a satisfactory amount of detail.

    They are genuinely lovely people but I'm just feeling really annoyed with the fact that I'm not getting too far considering it's been over a month. I just hope my university link tutor doesn't decide to come and observe at this stage, as some of my other peers will be getting observed in the coming weeks.

    Another of my colleague who is also at the same placement, in another department - are always on top of everything - the lesson observation, the mentor meetings, feedback, sitting down & going through the SOW/planning and providing student details (SEND etc) to help with differentiation. I asked my mentor, and all I was told is that I can get it from Sims, but I have not been given access to Sims.

    My colleague's mentor is fighting for access to Sims, whereas, I don't have a clue what mine is doing. My first placement was very well organised in that since - I had a proper induction and got access to email, school system, Sims etc the very first day.

    Although my first placement went well and was told I should apply when they have a vacancy, I really wasn't a fan of my department, so really wouldn't consider. Anyways, I just don't know what to do, although I'm not a give up person - I've ended up with an 'I can't be bothered now' kind of attitude and I have noticed it in some of the lessons I've been teaching.

    I haven't gotten fed up of teaching, because I really do like it! And it's lovely to build a positive relationship with students, who learn, who feel safe and confident with you. I want to be a teacher, but I'm getting annoyed.

    I'm just waiting till May half-term, as that's when this placement ends. I honestly hope I don't have to do an extended placement. 10 weeks to go (excl half term/bank holidays). Hope I survive.
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Perhaps you should be thinking of a career in international schools, rather than in the UK.
  3. JustineLG

    JustineLG New commenter

    I understand your frustration about spoon feeding. I think all of us were thinking exactly the same when we started and to be honest I'm pretty sure most of us still don't agree with spoon feeding. However, you will soon realise that we are under a lot of pressure, there is little time to cover the scheme of work and we tend to focus on how to pass the exam. It is not why we became teachers but that's the reality of things (in the state sector anyway). I don't want to say it's the same in all school as I can't know that.

    I can't defend your host teachers as they're probably not on top of behaviour management however, please don't be too harsh with them. I sometimes think it's very easy to judge other people's authority in the classroom but when you are a brand new teacher, you don't understand that these teachers may be over-worked, tired and frustrated or they simply pick their battles. You might think that if it's the case then they need to move on and you might be right, but they might also be comfortable in their role.

    If you are not happy with the way your mentor supports you, the number of lessons you teach and so on them you must contact your university tutor. Your school has signed up to give you training and has got rules to follow therefore if they don't do it, your university mentor can intervene.

    My advice is don't give up. You may be having a bad experience but you'll be done in a few months time and then you can ensure to only apply for jobs in 'good' schools. I know I haven't painted a great picture of the profession but you'll love it when you find the right school.
    pepper5 and Kartoshka like this.

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