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In desperate need of advice

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Jack_H89, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Hi,
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    </font>I&rsquo;m hoping someone can offer me some advice, as at the
    moment I&rsquo;m very much undecided. My situation is that I&rsquo;m currently registered
    on a PGCE course (Science: Chemistry) to start September 2011 (having deferred
    entry from last year), however over the last few months I&rsquo;ve been having some
    major doubts about going into teaching and I don&rsquo;t want to start a course that
    is going to push me down a route where I will be unhappy. I have been thinking
    long and hard about teaching for a while now, ever since I was told I would
    make an excellent teacher by some friends at University. This lead me to take
    part in a SAS scheme as well as going part time at my job to work in a school, and
    I&rsquo;ve really got to see what teaching is like. I have to say there were good
    points and bad points, I really got a kick out of teaching a class and can definitely
    see the attraction of the &ldquo;light bulb&rdquo; moment, however then there&rsquo;s all the
    behaviour issues and the long hours and heavy work load which I have read a teacher
    must go through. So what I want to ask is: What kind of hours are teachers
    usually working per week? Is teaching, especially the PGCE and NQT year really
    the horrible, stressful, no social life, life it&rsquo;s made out to be? If I were to
    cancel my place in September would it hinder my chances of getting onto a
    course in the future after I have had a bit more time to think about it and
    maybe explored some other career options? And finally does anyone have any
    advice for me or maybe been in the same situation? Any help would be greatly
    appreciated as I&rsquo;m trying to get as much information as possible before making
    this massive step. Thanks for any comments
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    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

  2. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Try it. It's often pointed out that unhappy and stressed people are far more likely to post on forums so it's a distorted picture painted on forums like these. Teaching is exhausting but it's a great job if you enjoy it. Science departments are often the best departments for planning - ours has lesson plans and resources for every unit and they have science techs running round getting everything prepped. And whereas we English teachers seem to always be marking, the Science guys whiz through a pile of books. You may not have it so easy and the stress of putting on a show lesson after lesson can be draining but the teaching load for PGCE is manageable if you're organised, NQT year obviously tougher but you do have a lighter timetable than other teachers. Biggest factor is the school. Beyond your control in PGCE but for your NQT year, a supportive school in a department of people you love working with makes all the difference.
  3. Kidders

    Kidders New commenter

    Why not start in September and see how you get on. You really will only know if you;re the one doing it. We can offer all the advice (both pros and cons) but we don't know you so it will all be bias. However a major point to consider is this: Funding!! As a chemistry PGCE student you will be amongst the few that ARE getting a bursary this year. Next year and beyond who knows if this will go for Science also. Next is tuition fees: these ARE up for next year so you will never (or very unlikely to) get the opportunity to train for this cheap again.

    A few do drop out during the year- but at least they can say they gave it a go and will be less likely to have that 'did i make the right decision' moment later on in life. A further (final point) is that science is a relatively easy subject in terms of lesson planning and marking due to text books and the curriculum being quite specific. Marking is either a right or wrong option- so not too heavy (unlike the essays for English)
  4. Two years ago, I was in different position ('mature' student, giving up a support job in school that I loved) and had the very same doubts as you. For many of the reasons already listed, my advice would be give it a go.
    I have just finished my NQT year (Secondary Science) and have had a rollercoaster two years, but so glad I stuck it out.
    My PGCE was hard (nearly quit at Christmas), but in hindsight, it was a real mismatch between me and the school I was placed in. Nothing I could do about it, just grit my teeth and keep going - but I learned a lot.
    My NQT year has been hard work too but a much more positive experience as I have a brilliant, supportive depatment around me. It's not been with out its challenges (behaviour in one class was the bane of my life for a while!) but I have got through it, with flying colours. In terms of work load, the sooner you realise that teaching is a job that will expand to fill every hour of the day if you let it, the sooner you become very good at deciding what HAS to be done and what can wait. With three children and a home life to keep on top of as well friends to see, organisation and knowing when to STOP work was the first thing I had to put in place. There is no getting away from the planning, marking, paperwork etc. but keeping it in perspective and setting aside a set amount of time to do it in has been a life saver for me this year.
    The PGCE and NQT year are hard work - so much is happening for the first time so you are constantly learning yourself, but they are manageable without giving up your entire personal life if you stay organised and strict with how much time you give to it. don't be put off by the negative tone of the posts on here - everyone has bad days and need to sound off about it! You will never really know if it is for you until you try it. If you don't you may regret it.
    By the way,at least as a chemist you get all the cool experiments that the kids love!! That's the great thing about teaching Science - there is always something to catch their interest!

    Good luck!


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