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How are you preparing for the PGCE starting September??

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by missmedia, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Greetings everyone,

    To anyone starting their PGCE/SCITT or teacher training course this september:


    Apart from the obvious such as stationary, CRB, medical examinations and arranging placement/living/loans and fees...... what other aspects or elements of the degree are you currently preparing for?

    For example - I am starting a Secondary English PGCE, so currently re-reading over Dickens, Bronte, Hardy and Shakespeare to become familiar with the texts again. Also reading some 11+ yrs novels and other literature relevant to the course. There are two big text books which I have started to divulge - but I am not too sure what to cover, write down and really take in.

    I failed my maths GCSE also - so I need to brush up on my basic numeracy too!..... actually..... not to mention my grammar and spelling (just incase).

    Im feeling excited about the course and can not wait to get in to the classroom/school atmosphere - but I also have alot of self doubt and worry that I might not be good enough or lack the confidence in my knowledge and subject area. Does anyone else feel this way?

    I also need to buy a car before I start the course, hehehe.

    How about you?

  2. I'm quite lucky as I am working in a Secondary School so I am speaking to teachers who recently did a PGCE - one has even brought their folders for me to look through to get a feel for the course! I am also looking at schemes of work and observing as many lessons as I can! When at home I am revising my subject and constantly on the internet looking at educational issues and the National Curriculum framework. Have taken the practice QTS tests and read lots of class management books too! Am becoming a workaholic so hopefully will be well prepared when the course starts! Good luck with your PGCE :eek:)
  3. Having a nice cup of tea and a sit down.
  4. I will be doing a Primary PGCE. I have ordered all the books that are down as 'must haves' on my reading list and have starting working through 'Primary Science Audit & Test', which is harder than I thought!!! Have taken practice QTS tests and reading a range of children's books and keeping notes (as suggested by uni). I also work voluntary one afternoon a week in a primary school.
  5. "Having a nice cup of tea and a sit down" sounds like much more fun that my science audit and test!!!!
  6. i think we need to find a balance between preparing, and getting in some quality relaxation time - no point burning ourselves out before we even begin!

    we've had a few good threads on this already, but here's my to do list

    *catch up on sleep, and get into a sensible sleep pattern. staying up til 3am might be fun now, but isnt going to cut it come september!

    * get into good shape healthwise - dental appointment, opticians etc as its going to be hard to find time to fit them in later on. getting a good haircut and filling the medicine cabinet ready for when i catch something nasty too (im resigned to my fate - at least one of the little cherubs is going to infect me with something!)

    * have a good clean and declutter, so i have room for the million files i will fill next year, and i wont have to feel (so) guilty about neglecting the hoover and dusters.

    * buy the birthday cards i will need up until christmas, so i dont have to run out and find something suitable for aunt maud when im drowing in essays and marking.

    * spend some quality time with the friends and family who will probably feel neglected by me once the course starts. warn them of my impending social hermit status!

    *buy all the bits and bobs i will need - stationery, clothes, books etc.

    *try to pass my driving test

    *read to try and fill the gaps in my knowledge. knowledge = power, and more importantly, confidence in the classroom.

    * do all those annoying little jobs that you hate doing, but suddenly become REALLY attractive when you should be writing an assignment. you know the ones.. mowing the lawn, getting rid of the mountain of ironing, fixing that broken whatever. get rid of as many distractions as possible before the hard graft starts.

    * type up my CV as it stands to date, so im not starting from scratch when it comes to applying for jobs next year.

    *watch and then delete all the stuff on the PVR that i didnt have time to watch during my final year, so that there is space to record all the good TV that i wont have time to watch next year.

    * go on holiday and chill.

    think thats quite enough for one summer!
  7. Well I am lucky enough to already work at the University I will be dong my P.G.C.E at!

    I have printed off the weekly reading lists - got the books from the uni library (which made me feel good!) have flicked through them and now they are sitting in a HUGE pile in the corner (making me feel not so good! Ha!)

    I have visited a few London schools to observe lessons, rooted around the internet - facebook groups and the like, trying to pick up hints for next year.

    I have managed to read quite a bit on Learning theory on the tube to work everyday and have ordered my free copy of the National Curriculum Secondary Handbook.

    Other than that I have managed to skirt quite successfully the most important part of my preperation - SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE! :(

    I know this is a bit naughty but I'm afraid to say my subject knowledge is well shakey as I havn't even looked at anything to do with literature, Drama, poetry, literacy, language e.t.c. since leaving uni four years ago.

    Eeek! Bet there are loads of people out there who feel the samr tho.. Right??? ;)

  8. Subject knowledge is the only thing worth brushing up on. If you don't know your stuff, you're never going to be able to teach it.

    Other than that, party, socialise, spend time with your family, rest and relax. Wave goodbye to all of those in September...
  9. I need to pass my driving test too - I don't feel too confident about it.

    i also need to purchase some smart clothes - I can be a bit scruffy!
  10. WillowFae

    WillowFae New commenter

    Well I have my reading list to work through. And I am frantically trying to finish my OU course. There is a slight overlap (exam is in Oct) so I'm trying to get far enough ahead to have finished the course and the bulk of the revision by the 8th Sept when my course starts.
  11. I have just ordered all the recommended books for PGCE Primary at Hope. Now waiting on them to arrive so I can get stuck in! Have to also read five fiction books for varying ages of primary school children - anybody got ideas? Was thinking Horrible Henry as a start... would this series be suitable? I used to work in Easons and they flew off the shelves!
    I have also been collecting a few things that I have spotted that could potentially become resources, dvds, cd-roms, also quite a few pages tore out of the TES magazine for lesson tips!
    Have received NC so have to get round to reading it.
    The stationery shopping has been so difficut to avoid! I'm trying to wait until all the 'back to school' offers appear, but I know I'll give in!
    Bring on the 'teacher clothes' shopping! :)

  12. dfitz1 -

    Do you mean the Horrid Henry range? If so then the school I work at voluntary have these so they should be OK. Were you given any suggested authors to read? Don't know if this will help but I was given a list of possible authors to look for including Alan Ahlberg, Philip Pullman, John Burningham, David McKee, Shirley Hughes, Pat Hutchins & Philippa Pearce.
  13. Thanks Sdavies :) Yes Horrid Henry! Lol! No, I wasn't given any authors or suggestions, but thank you for yours!! I was in my old primary a few weeks ago and Roald Dahl was being used in a few classes throughout the school - one my own childhood favourites, so nice to see!
  14. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Horrid Henry and Roald Dahl were all really popular when I was on my work experience.

    I have been reading 'A Guide to Teaching Practice' by Cohen, Manion and Morrison. It is a really good all round book. I have received a pre-lim reading list and will be getting the main reading list at our meeting later this month. Most of the books are £20 +, so any tips on where to buy 2nd hand would be good.

    I am trying to get a good base to the reading, but I am really not sure which ones are buyers or borrowers.

    I need to order the NC and framework still. Will do that today I think.

    Will wait until all of the Sationary is on sale in Staples and then go and get a load.

    We're getting there...
  15. Hi folks,

    I will complete my PGCE on thursday next week. Just thought that I'd reiterate the fact that you need to make sure you relax and socialise quite a bit over summer. There is no point working your socks off over summer and being knackered before you even begin (because trust me, when the work kicks in you will be knackered!).

    There is some suggestion that your social life completely evaporates during the PGCE but this does not have to happen - especially if you are organised. I made sure that I went out either Friday or Saturday nights all throughout my course (and sometimes Fri & Sat) and had one of my weekend days off completely - sometimes you cant but I managed it most of the time.

    Rest, relaxation and a good social life are crucial to this summer. Enjoy it & good luck with your PGCE
  16. I'd agree with alot that athrawes gymraeg had to say!

    Obviously I'm doing all the work I've been set for the beginning of term - so, observations, writeups, subject knowledge audit etc, as well as reading the books on the list...

    Have also been trying to nab resources as and when the opportunity to nab has arisen!

    Ordered a copy of the NC for reference...

    Have also been doing that stationary and clothes/shoes thing, which is fun.

    I also plan to completely clear out and declutter my flat because I know how easy is it was procrastinate from my dissertation when the place was messy - also going to trying a shuffle furniture about in study and buy a new sofa thats big enough to flake out on!!

    And on top of that, 2 weeks in Australia to see my best friend who lives out there, and a few days away with the boy in Spain or something.


    Roll on September!!
  17. Good luck to everyone starting in September! I remember planning my summer last year and I can honestly say the most beneficial things were:

    - paying all my friends and family visits and catching up - like someone else said, its not like you won't see people again on the PGCE, but the kind of friends you only see once a year are worth catching up with NOW.

    - giving the house a good clean top to bottom, washing all my windows etc

    - reading up on subject knowledge - but don't get carried away with this. I'm secondary History and what you teach will vary from school to school, so opt for a general History of Britain (ala Schama) as a basic..

    - getting a big, lovely bag which holds lots of files

    - RELAX, have fun, sit in the sun, walk, go to the cinema, go on holiday, discover some new places in the town you live you haven't been to before...

    Astra xx
  18. Oh, and if you are working and can afford it, leave your job a good month before the PGCE starts. I finished mine mid-July and was completely work-free in my head before the course started, which was really helpful...
  19. hey,

    Oh I am definately up for the socialising and sleeping - lol!

    I am going to borrow my younger sisters revision guides for gcse and a level and read through those to brush up on a little knowledge. I also want to buy some of the books I have been recommended.

    I have just passed my driving test and bought a car so I really need to get some driving practise in.

    I think I'm just going to use the summer to earn some money and start getting used to a less-university like life. I agree - 3am bedtimes might have to go out the window. x
  20. hello! some of u have said that u have ordered a free national curriculum handbook? have been trawling the internet, and cannot find a free one anywhere! if anyone could post a link, thatd be great! im looking for foundation/key stage 1 (doing early years)
    vicky xxx

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