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How to fail a placement?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by goldenbough, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Firstly, I should point out that I am not looking for advice on how to fail a placement! I have seen a couple of threads relating to failed placements and, as I am going to be starting a secondary RS PGCE in September, was wondering what constituted a failed placement, so that I can hopefully avoid this. What sort of things could result in a failed placement?
  2. essentiallyprincess

    essentiallyprincess New commenter

    Having unsatisfactory lessons. Not meeting your tasks/requirements. Being unprofessional including punctuality and attendance.
  3. quietlydetermined

    quietlydetermined New commenter

    All of the above (professionalism in particular - treat it in the same way as you would a full-time job and you will be fine! And remember you are the children's teacher, not their friend!!).

    Also not meeting targets - if your lessons are unsatisfactory to begin with you will be given targets to improve. Choose to ignore advice and/or if you don't show signs of improvement then that would constitute reason for failing a placement.
  4. What would constitute an unsatisfactory lesson?
  5. And what kind of targets will be set? Sorry for all the questions, I'm keen to know as much about what will be expected of me as possible.
  6. quietlydetermined

    quietlydetermined New commenter

    It depends on your needs or what you're struggling with! It could be clearer learning objectives, it could be better differentiation, it could be firmer behaviour management, it could be assessment methods... anything to do with your lessons that needs improving.
  7. Having had contact with this situation and this subject recently then another absolutely critical factor is your relationship with your subject mentor in school. RS is a really difficult subject to teach because it is completely open to individual interpretation by the department. It is really really important not to challenge/disagree with your mentor. Even if you dont agree with the way it is being taught just accept for your placement that it must be done in that way.
    Even if your classroom practice is good/satisfactory and you are hitting most of the standards if your mentor takes against you then they can easily find one of the softer standards to fail you on. Depending on your provider failing even one standard could result in a failed school placement. You cannot challenge their professional judgement of you so they hold all the power!
    If you are struggling and feel you are not getting enough support find someone to tell. Dont try to carry on in the hope it will get better. If it doesn't and things go pearshaped then the powers that be will only have one side of the story and it wont be yours! Hopefully you will have a supportive university mentor who will be worth their weight in gold and be prepared to mediate if things get difficult at school. However do not assume all uni mentors are supportive - training providers have great difficulty in getting school placements and some are content to cut the odd student loose if it means they can hang onto the school placements for future years.
    Well worth reading the threads on difficult placements/mentors/expectations for trainees. Apparently the book "How to be a brilliant teacher trainee" is worth getting.
    I think the assumption before starting the course was that it would be the classroom which would be the most challenging and difficult to master however sometimes it is the staff with whom you have to work who may be really difficult - impatient with trainees/ poor mentoring skills/ not really upto speed with what the trainee needs from them to get through the course. The staff probably need more careful handling than the kids!
    Hopefully you will have a good experience but being aware of these potential problems may mean you will hear early warning bells and act before things get out of hand.
    Good luck!
  8. hummi7883

    hummi7883 New commenter

    hi wheels...
    very cool advise....i am also going to take this on board for my pgce year...thanks!![​IMG]
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I don't think starting the course with a 'how can I avoid failing?' attitude is really the best strategy. If you are hoping simply to 'not fail' then you will always be trundling about at the bottom there nearly doing so. Maybe change your mindset and think about 'How can I be the very best teacher I can be?' or 'how can I be an outstanding teacher? What will I need to do and how can I learn to be so?'

    Despite how it appears on here sometimes, very very few students actually fail. If you are cut out to be a teacher and work hard and do the very best you possibly can with advice from others, then you will never be in any danger of failing.

    Outstanding students would always be prepared for lessons, would have exciting and innovative lessons, be clear about behaviour and have high expectations, would listen to advise and act upon it, would get involved in extra curricula activities, volunteer to help with duties, ask to be shown how to mark and assess, all these sorts of things.

    But you will need the support of your mentor/teacher tutor to be able to achieve a fabulous standard. The vast majority of students have this. If you find you don't, then get in touch with your university as soon as possible.

  10. I think you are right! Sorry to tell you that but you must absolutely stay positive during your PGCE, no matter hard of tiring and sometimes disappointing it can be. Starting your PGCE thinking "how not to fail" sounds a bit like starting a new job thinking how not to get sacked! Yes the PGCE year is very very hard: I barely had a life outside the PGCE, my friends sometimes called me asking if I was still alive, only partially joking, and the end of my PGCE was even more a nightmare with the assignments to hand in, professional files and co., and every single part of my body punished me by being sick but, at the end I'm happy it paid off (altough I need still need to find a job!). During my school placements, no matter how challenging the pupils could sometimes be, and harsh the teacher and my mentor's comments could be, I always kept a positive side, thinking well, "ok, it did not work very well and altough I have worked very hard for this lesson, still it was not good. So now, what should I do to change this? How can I improve? What are my targets and how can I reach them? Contrarily to other students on my course, I'm not naturally good at this, but at the end I got a good report and that's all that counts. A friend of mine spent the whole year complaining about the school, the students, the teachers he worked with hissubject mentors, saying that he did not get any help/support/advice, our university teachers and so on, was not proand as much as I think that he could be a good teacher, this kind of attitude was the thing that made him fail. And of course you need to be extra professional: dress appropiately, don't be late, attend all the meetings/INSET days you are supposed to, don't get wasted at the Christmas party (you can do this at home or with your firends not with professional that are going to judge you), stay at the school until the time you are supposed to, don't call in sick every other day, basically just like you are on work experience and you want them to keep you! And as somebody said, most of the students DO pass their PGCE, even those like me who have been struggling a lot during their school placements, stay positive and you will be fine! [​IMG]
  11. Hi. I failed my placement on PGCE. There were mitigating circumstances. I appealed to the committee for a second chance and they denied that request. I was professional on my placement. Didn't do anything unprofessional or compromising. I completed the placement. I was told I hadn't met the standards. I thought by getting a second attempt I would be able to try again harder. My passion is teaching. I have been a HLTA for 2 years. I really do believe I can become a teacher. I have what it takes. I am more resilient than ever before. Is there any advice somebody could give please? Thanks in advance.
  12. Sillow

    Sillow Senior commenter

    The only advice I could offer without knowing you, the school, the uni and the details of the placement (don't post them!) is that there were obviously standards you were not meeting and/or targets you did not meet. Presumably you were sat down at some point and they explained to you that you were in danger of failing the placement? And gave you things to work on? Then, when these things weren't addressed in the time, they sat you down again and explained why you were being failed for that placement? You don't seem to understand where it went wrong and I find it hard to believe you were never told. Just being professional isn't enough to get you through. You have to meet all the other standards too.

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