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How to prepare for your PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Lamantin, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. I've just found out I have been offered a place to do a Primary French PGCE at IOE, which I'm very happy about.

    However, rather than spending the next 8 months floating around happily romanticising about my promising teaching career, I thought it might be a good idea to get some advice from people already doing it.

    I have read several posts on here and heard from NQTs and Teachers that the PGCE can be pretty stressful and tiring with a high workload. With the hope that preparation may help to reduce this stress, I am posting to see if anyone has any good advice about how to prepare for the PGCE?

    For example, perhaps you frequently think 'If only I'd read that/done that etc before starting my PGCE'? Do you know of any great books that give sound theoretical knowledge or practical advice? Perhaps you'd recommend doing a booster course on your weaker areas (if Primary) or even weekly yoga!

    Oh, and one Teacher recommended I get voice training - what are everyone's view on this?!

    Hopefully this thread can be of help to everyone starting their PGCE in September. Thanks!

     
  2. I've just found out I have been offered a place to do a Primary French PGCE at IOE, which I'm very happy about.

    However, rather than spending the next 8 months floating around happily romanticising about my promising teaching career, I thought it might be a good idea to get some advice from people already doing it.

    I have read several posts on here and heard from NQTs and Teachers that the PGCE can be pretty stressful and tiring with a high workload. With the hope that preparation may help to reduce this stress, I am posting to see if anyone has any good advice about how to prepare for the PGCE?

    For example, perhaps you frequently think 'If only I'd read that/done that etc before starting my PGCE'? Do you know of any great books that give sound theoretical knowledge or practical advice? Perhaps you'd recommend doing a booster course on your weaker areas (if Primary) or even weekly yoga!

    Oh, and one Teacher recommended I get voice training - what are everyone's view on this?!

    Hopefully this thread can be of help to everyone starting their PGCE in September. Thanks!

     
  3. 1. Get lots of sleep.
    2. Then sleep some more.
     
  4. If only sleep could be bottled...
     
  5. you cant, just rest
     
  6. Every single morning I wish I had Bernard's watch so I could get more sleep!
     
  7. hehe it's true how massive the workload is but it is so much fun and amazingly rewarding when all your hardwork results in a great lesson and the kids tell you how much fun they've had.

    I had a year off before i started this year and wish I had spent some more time in schools. I always saw experience as just a way to get on the course which was silly, and think I would have benefitted from more experience across the age range.
     
  8. books about teaching will do nothing for you. when read before the course it is too abstract to be of any use.

    i suggets that you spend as much time as possible getting school experience. see more than one teacher. know what you are getting into and you'll be ahead of some on your course.

    definitely think about voice training but this should be covered on your course. definitely get your subject knowledge up to scrath you wont have time next year.

    but the most important one is getting loads of experience so you have something to refer to and compare with.
     
  9. On my course I have to do a reading diary, where I write about children's books I have read, might be useful getting some out of the library before you start, and get reading reading reading! It seems every lesson at the beginning of the PGCE you are asked to read up on this and that! I would just read a book about teacher training and then read up on areas that interest you.

    If you get any advise from your uni (should do over the next couple of months) I would do what they suggest as there is a reason they send it. The PGCE is stressful at times, but is really rewarding so worth all the hard work!
     
  10. When I got sent the reading list before my course I dutifully went out and purchased several books on "How to teach English", "The essential guide to the PGCE", "How to manage behaviour" and other similarly named titles. I have not looked at a single one of them since starting the course! The theory stuff will be picked up as you go along, especially in your uni sessions and you can't deal with behaviour by reading a book.
    Make sure your subject knowledge is up to date and like everyone else says...SLEEP!
     
  11. You can collect all the online resources for your subject and put in different folder.
    for primary as key stage 1 and 2
    then from reception to year 6
    Then get all the resources useful for teaching. This help you to build your subject knowledge and your collection.
    Folders: Buy lots of folders, and all other items you think may be useful.
    I think if you observe some lessons in a school, you canthink about how they teach and what all resources needed.
    Hope this will help, enjoy now and relax. I think only you can prepare well for PGCE once you know ,what you have to do.

    Other tip about Essays, if you are not good at referencing and Essay writing, look for that.
    Reading early is not bad, but look for books only relevant to your area and when reading try to note some useful quotations.

    Enjoy
     
  12. totally agree with kath sleep aleep and more sleep. oh sleep how i miss thee!!!!! also stock up on cold and flu tablets!! ive been off today ill!!!
     
  13. Thanks everyone for the advice. I've got an agency job doing teaching assistant work and have just roped my old comprehensive into letting me observe the French lessons they teach in their feeder primary schools (I'm doing Primary French) so both of these should be useful.

    Also, slightly off topic: Has anyone ever survived purely on a teaching assistant wage in London, or know anyone who has? The agencies seem to pay about £12,000 a year max. no matter where you live in the country, but some schools are advertising TA jobs paying up to £18,000. Not sure why there is such a big difference?
     
  14. Katie777

    Katie777 New commenter

    Firstly, don't worry too much, PGCEs do seem to vary and mine (primary) has not been any more intensive than a full time job - except when on block teaching placement which, for me, is only 3 months total.

    I would recommend reading 'Getting the ******* to Behave', great behaviour management advice.

    This time next year you will be applying for jobs so think about what you can offer a school, maybe you could add a string to your bow - get some experience of sports coaching or something?

    Finally, I have to agree about experience - nothing is more valuable!
     
  15. Ask your uni if there's a course reading list you can have - will probably have some good books to help you prepare - and will be useful for essay preparation.
    Well done on getting your place btw.
     
  16. Yes I expect they'll send out reading lists a bit later. They've told me to revise maths! lol. Will try to get on a booster course. Also, was thinking about doing a maths course with learn direct, anyone done this or any other maths courses to prepare? I got a B at GCSE (albeit 8 years ago) so it's just revision rather than a qualification I need.
     
  17. OP-do you already live in London or will you be staying in a hall of residence. I did my secondary PGCE at the IOE and stayed in their halls-worst experience of my life-not trying to put you off, but if you do intend using halls get in touch and I will give you some advice on how to survive them.
     
  18. I was just thinking about accommodation, I haven't decided what to do about it yet. Which halls did you stay in? What were they like, why so bad? Would you recommend renting a room in a private house?
     
  19. I think it was called the John Adams Hall Annexe-can't quite remember now. It was in Bedford Place. When I arrived I was the only English speaking student there for the first month (obviously the others spoke English, but as a second langauge). Not a racial comment, it's just that it was hard to find friends. The kitchen was disgusting-4 cookers for over 50 students. All the fire extinguishers had been condemned several years before and had never been replaced. I got the fire department onto that so that did get sorted. Also got health and safety onto the kitchen-it was improved. The bathrooms were VERY basic and not very clean and you just had to use whichever one happened to be free, which meant sometimes wandering upstairs in your dressing gown to get a shower-mixed sex as well, which might not be a problem for others but I wasn't too keen on that. The toilets didn't have a sink in them-you had to go into the bathroom to wash your hands. Oh yes, and I had a mouse in my room which frightened the life out of me the first time it made an appearance. When some other British students arrived we all got together and complained to the manager (who was the biggest w~nker in the world) and we were offered £3 a day for the month in which they were doing up the kitchen-he figured we could get 3 meals a day in London for that! This is only one of the halls-the others might be better, but it was a very lonely place to be and the cleanliness standards were very poor. Not sure how much renting a room in a private house would cost, but it might be worth considering.
     
  20. 1: Look after your health. Vegetables are your friend.
    2: SLEEP.
    3: Buy a LOT of ringbinders. I'm on the PGCE now, looking up at my shelves, I've got 13. 5 of them are level-arch. I thought when I started the course that 3 would be more than enough... How wrong was I?!?
    4: Always at least pretend to accept advice from your school mentors, even if you think it's ****.
     

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