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Got a place on PGCE..... now what?!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by susiejay, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. susiejay

    susiejay Administrator

    firstly congratulations!
    I would say there are a few things you can do..

    Get organised. Buy a mid-year diary, plenty of folders, dividers, plastic wallets and clear a space in your house dedicated to keeping all your school stuff - I live in a studio basement flat with my other half who is also training to teach and you just HAVE to be organised with space and paperwork!

    Do a bit of reading but don't go over the top. Most of the things you will need to learn you will do as you go along. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to know everything (subject knowledge wise) before you start, it just wont happen. Maybe set a goal of doing a little bit of reading per week, but don't go mad!

    With regards to lesson ideas - what are you doing now? Are you working in a school? If you are MAKE NOTES! Look at the kind of things the teachers do to start and finish their lessons, how they manage the class, how they deploy TAs, the kind of language they use. If you are not in a school then don't worry - you could try and arrange a couple of days/weeks observation/volunteering in a local school to do that. But again, don't panic too much about this, it will all come as soon as you start your course.

    Lastly ENJOY YOUR SUMMER! If you have kids or a partner, make sure you spend plenty of time with them and your friends, and start dropping the hint that you wont be as readily available to them over the next year! I worked a 6 week residential summer school job before starting my PGCE (and ran a half marathon the day before going on placement - loon!) but I made sure I had a nice holiday and spent time with important people. You can still have a social life next year, if you are organised!

    I hope this helps, congratulations and good luck!!

  2. Congratulations on making it on to the PGCE!
    I'm currently 3/4 of the way through mine. (primary)
    In terms of subject knowledge, it's important to get up to scratch with English, Maths and Science, but make sure you concentrate on how it should be taught as well as what is taught. Remember it's about furthering the childrens learning, not standing at the front of the class and telling the children what they should know. I'd really advise you to look at things like Kagan cooperative learning and assessment for learning.
    Make sure you allocate a day which is 'your time' (for me it's saturdays) Where you give yourself a break from the PGCE as it has a tendency to totally take over your life.. you'll start correcting your friends grammar and find yourself implementing learning strategies with your family! When you get your first placement evaluate your teaching methods, talk to teachers, find out what works for them, and try it out! Some things that you are taught don't work, some of them do, use the PGCE as a time to try out as many different ways of teaching as you can. The best piece of advice I was given before I started my course was, you WILL have days where you think "This is too much, I just can't do it" It's important to ignore that impulse reaction and just battle on through it!

    And, get the essays done as soon as possible! there is nothing heroic about leaving them until the night before they are due in.

    I wish you all the very best for your PGCE, and remember TES is a brilliant (and FREE!) place to chat, rant, and discuss (not to mention the fantastic resources) all the things you will pick up in what will be the most full on and intensive nine months of your life so far! [​IMG]


  3. Agreed about raising your basic subject knowledge in the core subjects.

    Apart from that, chill out. You will do enough work and be under more pressure during the course of your PGCE to last you a life time, so enjoy this period while you can!
  4. I agree mostly with what everyone has said but I want to add a few things. Firstly, you will be behind with your essays, it's a given. They throw that much work at you it's almost like they expect you to leave it until last minute. We had an assessed presentation on Thursday, we started preparing on Tuesday, and we passed. It is a rollercoaster because you don't really get chance to stop and breathe. When you're on placement you're totally focused on that, when you're off placement essay deadlines loom very quickly. My advice is to just go with it, one thing at a time, and be prepared to enjoy the ride as that's obviously very important.

  5. Firstly congratulations and good luck. Lots of people will advise you on books but don't forget one of the most important things is your health. PCGE is physically and emotionally demanding. Get as fit and healthy as you can before you start as you won't have much time for the gym or even a personal life whilst on the course. A lot of pretty physically fit people on my course have dropped out or taken interruptions due to ill health.

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