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Macho war stories

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by kerryjk, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Something I've kept encountering during my PGCE is people anxious to tell me just how hard they had to work when they were training. Fine, teacher training is hard work and a little solidarity helps a lot, but I can't help feeling some of these stories are a little suspect.

    "Through my training and NQT year, I got used to functioning on 3 hours sleep every night".

    "I got by on one hour!"

    "I didn't sleep for two years solid and patented revolutionary time bending technology in order to get the extra hour per day needed to make my lesson plans as good as possible. What, you haven't done that? I suppose some people just don't care enough".

    Of those, two are actual quotes and one pretty much a summary of how the whole thing feels.

    Following more reasoned conversations with colleagues, mentors and tutors, I've come to understand the following:

    - The real issue here is time management. Hardcore levels of sleep deprivation is not a sign of efficiency.

    - No-one is any good to anyone on 3 hours sleep (much less 1), at least not as a matter of course. Maybe in case of the odd emergency.

    - Whatever a quality teacher who positively inspires their pupils looks like, it probably isn't a zombified version of Malcolm McDowell in the shock treatment scenes from "A Clockwork Orange".

    My point is, for anyone reading this who's just embarked on a course, teacher training is hard, really hard, and let no-one tell you otherwise. But beware of taking the macho war stories at face value.
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    A thoroughly sensible post, kerry.
  3. I totally agree. Some people made comments that made me feel so inadequate!! Pinch of salt, eh?!
  4. Love this!
    So much truth in your statements as opposed to those that tell these stories! Seems some people think lack of sleep and working through the night automatically qualifies you as a good teacher. Dont think Ofsted are that bothered about how little sleep you can function on. I do question if those that have to work into the early hours of the morning are quite cut out for the job.
  5. I couldn't agree more!
    I think it also comes down to attitude, I'm on SKE at the moment and majority of my colleagues moans and moans about the heavy workload. But bear in mind they have just finished undergrad degrees when they had around 12 hours of lectures time a week, it's not suprising they are struggling with time management. I used to be quite scared of the PGCe but talking to actual students and mentors turns out that you will be fine as long as you can organise your own time and be prepared to work harder and a bit longer.
    And as you said, there is very little use of tired, sleep deprivated and stressed teacher!
  6. I do not quite agree that working into the early hours means that one is not suited to the job. That is simply the reality for some people, me being one of them. As a single parent of a young child I have, what some may consider as dead time - my toddler does not go to sleep until 7.30 meaning I can get no work done until after this time. I must say - I haven't got quite as low as 3 hours sleep though!

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