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Is a PGCE really so hard and stressful?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Twinkle1234, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Hi Natterz, I'm starting my PGCE Secondary English in September at UWIC - is there any advice you could give me in order to prepare for the course? Im worrying that its going to be stressful and i'd like to get ahead of the game if possible.
    Would you say it is more important to read books on the curriculum or to brush up on grammar etc...
    Should I buy resources or wait to see what I need?
    Any advice will be very welcome!!
    Thanks
    Elimay.
     
  2. Hi Natterz, I'm starting my PGCE Secondary English in September at UWIC - is there any advice you could give me in order to prepare for the course? Im worrying that its going to be stressful and i'd like to get ahead of the game if possible.
    Would you say it is more important to read books on the curriculum or to brush up on grammar etc...
    Should I buy resources or wait to see what I need?
    Any advice will be very welcome!!
    Thanks
    Elimay.
     
  3. Thanks for that post Sam, it's really positive [​IMG] I'm starting my Primary PGCE in September and sometimes the forums put the fear of god into me!
     
  4. I am doing PGCE secondary and I hate it. I am in a rubbish school with children from a council estate though, and my mentor is a bored woman with lots of crazy ideas how to keep me busy. It depends on the school and the mentor, if you are lucky, you may even enjoy it, if not, you will hate it and regret you ever started it.
     

  5. My brother-in-law is a primary school teacher and he told me that the best experience I could ever get is teaching in a 'bad' school. He said that you HAVE to learn how to get the b*ggers to behave and so learn excellent classroom management skills more quickly than you would at a 'good' school. So, although you hate it now hopefully you will look back in years to come and realise how it made you the teacher you are today!!
    I am starting my PGCE in September and although I am dreading the thought of going to a school with rough children with no respect and no self discipline, I will try to remember the prospect that I will be forced to practice external confidence' and control immediately!
     
  6. amarantine

    amarantine New commenter

    I am almost halfway through my second placement for my secondary religious education PGCE, and I have to say, this placement, and the amount of work I have to do compared to my first placement, is still a bit daunting!
    Some of it is utterly dreadful, I make no bones about it! There will be times when you feel like you just can't teach a decent lesson, the kids aren't learning anything and your mentor thinks you're full of rubbish. But then there are times, like I had yesterday, when something goes really, really well and you love it again! I think you've hit the nail on the head with the bits you've talked about - you need to be very confident in 'what you're about' (though actually, as long as you can look like you're confident about 'what you're about' you'll be fine!) and you do need to be very thick-skinned - though part of that depends on the kind of school you're in, and the kind of mentors you have. You need to be incredibly resilient to criticism and realise that, at the end of the day, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! And a lot of it is about improving your teaching and making you the best teacher you can be.
    Not all mentors are supportive; I've been relatively lucky so far! But you just have to think about the fact it's only a year, then you've got the qualification and you're good to go :)
    There are a lot of negative comments on here, but as my mum very wisely says, people don't tend to talk about what goes well, just what they've struggled with. People don't tend to post about the good stuff because they don't want to seem like they're boasting. But I'm going to buck the trend here and say that when it goes well, it goes very well indeed! I'd had a tough couple of weeks adjusting to my new school, and was feeling a bit rubbish, then my uni tutor came in to observe me yesterday and said that they're going to try and push me to Outstanding, so, every cloud and all that!
    Basically what I'm trying to say is yes, there will be times when you wonder why on earth you did this in the first place, and there will be times when you feel really down on yourself, but there will also be times where you really get through to the kids, you inspire them, your mentor says something really positive about you or you feel like everything's just clicked into place. And if teaching's the thing for you, the good times will massively outweigh the bad, even if you don't have many of them!
     
  7. josiejosie

    josiejosie New commenter

    Er... is this a joke? If you are only willing to teach children from particular socio-economic backgrounds I think you've found the wrong profession. No doubt that attitude will be obvious to the children you're teaching...
    Kids growing up in inner-city areas on estates are often very sharp, streetwise and curious. If you don't like that, why not go into teaching in an independent school?
     
  8. josiejosie

    josiejosie New commenter

    The above was in response to ABU22's post, not yours amarintine!
     
  9. amarantine

    amarantine New commenter

    Haha no worries, josiejosie, I sort of guessed, because I was wondering the exact same thing!
     

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