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Is anyone actually enjoying their PGCE?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Omletgirl, May 4, 2012.

  1. I probably shouldn't look at this forum but there is only one post about actually enjoying the PGCE. Everyone else posting on here seems to be at breaking point. Is it really that terrible? Can anybody say anything positive? According to this forum doing a PGCE and then teaching is hell on earth. Should I withdraw my application for a secondary PGCE?
  2. I probably shouldn't look at this forum but there is only one post about actually enjoying the PGCE. Everyone else posting on here seems to be at breaking point. Is it really that terrible? Can anybody say anything positive? According to this forum doing a PGCE and then teaching is hell on earth. Should I withdraw my application for a secondary PGCE?
  3. I guess it depends, what do you think teaching is like?
    I thought there would be some actual science involved. I was wrong, it was 99% crowd control.
    That's not to say you should withdraw, it suits some people down to the ground.
  4. Plus, people tend to only come on forums like this to have a whinge. Noone wants to hear how well someone else is doing when they're stressed.
  5. MizUnderstood

    MizUnderstood New commenter

    People on forums tend to vent if something is getting them, it'd be the same if you went on any forum for anything there would always be more moaning posts that happy ones. I am enjoying my PGCE on the whole, and I thought with my background I was well prepared. However, there have been times that I have been unsure whether I made the right choice, this time of year can feel very low for everyone as it's job application/interview season and it's incredibly competitive, in my area there are around 150-300 applications per post so it's proving difficult even to get an interview. I love being in the classroom but it's all the extra stresses on top that are getting to me at the moment, these past couple of weeks have been assignment, planning and constant looking for jobs, of which there haven't been many.......this is all I've wanted for years, and every decision I made over the past 10 years built towards this and yet at the moment I'm feeling a bit pants. Just be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster and you will be fine! Don't give up a place based on other peoples feelings!
  6. I read these forums much more than I actually post, but reading this I felt obliged to write something.
    I'm 3 weeks away from finishing my PGCE and I'm really enjoying it.
    There have been plenty of crappy days, when either the hours put sorting resources out have been ignored by the students or I've felt I've done a rubbish job of explaining something. But there have been plenty more days when the lessons have been ok, or I've felt things worked really well.
    I wouldn't say the PGCE is difficult, it's more relentless (in my opinion).
    And ignore all the people who say, "forget about [whatever stage you are at], the [whatever the next stage is] is much harder". All you can do is concentrate on whatever you are working on.
  7. My first placement I hated due to the lack of time my curriculum mentor had for me, as well as my professional mentor being second in my department. I was also teaching a huge amount of French, and the professional mentor expected me to be an expert on Paris, when she was Parisienne! My subject specialism is Spanish, which simply wasn't given to me. I received a Cause for Concern and seriously considered quitting in December.
    My second placement has been a lot more enjoyable, I'm teaching more Spanish and ideas are actually flowing. I've thought outside of the box on several occasions in terms of being creative. I've got four weeks left, and I know I will cry when I leave and I'll be sad to leave my classes and colleagues behind. However, I've still got a lot of work to do if I want to be graded "Good".
    I'd say the whole experience has been such an emotional roller coaster that it certainly does make you realise that teachers are worth their weight in gold and will be quite prepared to argue (strongly) with anyone who says that teachers work from 9-3 everyday.
    Some friends and I have said that we enjoy school, not all the paperwork and administration that goes with it, to the extent that we may even have considered battling for a GTP/SCITT placement. Writing an assignment on something that isn't particularly interesting to you, doesn't exactly fire up the imagination.
    I'm looking forward to actually having a life again in a few weeks time.
  8. MizUnderstood

    MizUnderstood New commenter

    Be under no illusions, SCITT placements are paperwork heavy too!! The main differences with a SCITT (which is what I am doing) and uni-based PGCE is that you work in the schools from 1st September-end July, start teaching placements with higher %s of teaching time whilst at the same time dealing with all the paperwork and the assignments! We still have to do 3 page lesson plans for every lesson we teach (although after half term we can drop those and use whatever format we like...I can't wait!!), weekly evaluations which we have to cross-reference with all of the QTS standards, as well as 3 5,000 word assignments and a presentation. We have to do all of this whilst being in the classroom everyday (apart from uni-based seminar days of course!), we've been allowed 2 study days across the whole course for assignment prep, but one of those was on the last day of term before xmas and I wanted to be in school with the children, so I went in anyway! When some PGCE students were in my first placement school observing and taking small groups, I was in week 3 of teaching 60%! Whichever route you take it is a rollercoaster!
  9. Thanks for all the replies. I've spent 20 years in industry but I am a single parent with 3 kids so I am wondering how I will fit in looking after them in the evenings as well as preparing for lessons and doing assignments. I am used to hard work but I am wondering if this would be too hard. I think I need to speak to someone who has done the PGCE in similar circumstances to myself.
  10. Herringthecat

    Herringthecat New commenter

    I also have three kids (but also a husband) and have spoken to plenty of parents doing PGCE. I think the conclusion has been that you work as much as you can - but I think that as parents we are already used to saying 'right, enough is enough, that'll do'

    I don't know how old your kids are, but I have just started training mine good and proper to be a whole lot more helpful around the house than they have been up until now. My 11 year old is in charge of the dishwasher - every time it needs emptying, that's his job. My 9 year old is in charge of hanging out the washing, and taking it in, folding it up and distributing it (sometimes with me!). My 7 year old is in charge of putting the washing on (when I tell him to) and helping to stack the dishwasher. I'm also trying to get them to take much more responsbility for their own stuff - tidying up after themselves - rather than me spending quite a lot time each day sorting out the whirlwind they've left behind them. I've even told them that this is what's going to have to happen for next year and explained all the benefits of my becoming a teacher - but the downside is that I will expect a lot more help around the house. (I have been working part-time for the last 11 years!)

    It'll be OK. I think. Good luck.
  11. I have 7 weeks left of my PGCE and 3 kids. It has been hard work - my first placement nearly broke me just in terms of the work load and mentor expectation. I have also really struggled with missing my children - weekend planning is the pits, and Christmas was especially hard. They have been fab though and are behind me 100%, and very much looking forward to seeing me (hopefully!) graduate in July.
    The kids in my second placement are hard work but amazing, and make it all worthwhile. And I have an NQT post lined up for September that I am really looking forward to.
    It will be a rollercoaster ride for you, but it also goes so so fast. Hold on tight!
  12. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    Another parent PGCE-er who has loved it here!
    I freely admit that I could not have done it without my husband's full support and there have been the downs of the roller coaster as well as the ups ... but I do not regret doing the course and am very happy that I made this life-changing decision. I found the assignments hard going (6,000 over Christmas /New Year was tough) and have been more tired than I ever was dealing with sleepless babies, but I LOVE what I'm doing when I'm in school.
    Go for it!

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