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nightmare placement unsupportive mentor

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by tah14, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. i am currently doing a flexi primary pgce and finished my first placement before christmas. i chose to study part time as i have 4 young children, for the same reason i did my placement part time. i have had a nightmare with a really unsupportive teacher (single and childless!) who couldn't understand why i didn't get to school at 7.30am and stay untill 5 like she did, despite my promising to do all neccessary preparation at home and the fact that i always arrived by 8.15 in plenty of time to set up before the children arrived , she made my life hell! told me off and put me down in front of the children and TA, criticised my behaviour/noise management because the children were getting a bit over excited during some practical activities ( i have never known a reception class be quiet -but she wouldn't accept any noise at all?!).then when my mentor from uni arrived to observe she spent 20 mins talking to the class teacher before observing me for 5 mins, her first words to me were " so ,not going too well then?" she had obviously had her mind made up by the class teacher beforehand, the 2 of them then proceeded to attack my committment , and suggested maybe teaching wasn't for me if i wasn't prepared to put the effort in. i am really upset by it, i loved the children and even the teacher conceded that i had a good relationship with them, i have wanted to be a teacher for as long as i can remember but put it off untill all my own children were at school, i now feel like jacking it all in.to top it all off i failed an assignment that i had to hand in before xmas, mostly because i was so stressed out with my placement that i couldn't do it justice. has anyone else had any similar experiences?
  2. Hi
    There will be many others who have similar experiences inj some, most or all aspects.
    The key here is to attack problems not people and this is what the mentor is forgetting. She is attacking the person rather than any perceived problems.
    If there are genuine issues with your teaching and things were not going well I would have expected there to be notifications by the mentor to the uni about issues and requests for extra help and support perhaps even a 'cause for concern' report sent in.
    Look at your handbook and see what is detailed as the procedure for support. make sure that the emntor is doing this and/or the uni. If they are not ask the mentor to specifically tell you what apects of the work she feels is not being done by you and how staying in schoool longer or getting in earlier would help. In general my advice to trainees is to start school when the majority of teachers start and finish when the majority finish. It is not necessary for a trainee to be the firts in and last out. If you can pin down the mentor on this issue and demonstrate that the time you spend in school is adeqaute for meeting the demands of the QTS standards that would be a start.
    If you can, ask to observe her teaching so that you can judge the 'acceptable' noise level. After observing do a lesson debroef and ask to chat through her approach as you want to learm from her (the Michael Gove method of ITT) but be sure to bring out instances where the pupils chat and diplomatically point out that some chat can be positive as it shows engagement (e.g. in the debrief say things like 'ah yes I could see that the pupils were engaged as they were animated and wanted to do X - that's a good sign isn't it...').
    As for the failed assignment - don't worry - you should be gioven specific feedback that will allow you to resubmit and correct any deficiencies - so find out when resubmission takes place and plan to work towards that. Seek a meeting with your tutor to discuss how to remedy the fail. Also do convey the issues you are having to your uni tutor - there are always two sides to every story!
  3. thankyou for your sound advice. i completed the placement and passed it , so the teacher obviously had no specific reasons to justify failing me. i felt that i was in school enough to do everything i needed to but i got the impression the teacher just didn't want to go home! as for my uni tutor ,i haven't yet aproached her but when i do i will be making her aware of the fact that i was disappointed with her lack of support, that is after all her role isn't it?

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