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Observation prior to starting PGCE in MFL

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by CelticRabelais, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Hello there,
    I've just been made an offer of a place on a PGCE course conditional on me doing a few days' observation in a classroom. The course starts in early September. I need to find somewhere pretty desperately that will let me sit in and observe. I am based in Manchester
    Any offers and suggestions would be gladly welcome,
    Cheers
     
  2. Hello there,
    I've just been made an offer of a place on a PGCE course conditional on me doing a few days' observation in a classroom. The course starts in early September. I need to find somewhere pretty desperately that will let me sit in and observe. I am based in Manchester
    Any offers and suggestions would be gladly welcome,
    Cheers
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Email lots of local schools now. Follow up with a phone call as soon as term starts.

    We are too far away for you, but have been getting emails and phone calls from people in this position since about April.
     
  4. Unfortunately lots of people struggle to get observation placements, so it may have to come down to who you know rather than what you know. Can you contact your old high school, especially if any of your teachers would remember you and help you? Do you have any friends working in schools, even if they're not in your area, that you could ask? Any friends of friends?
    Another couple of ideas to try:
    I've heard the TDA can sometimes help with placements, so you could give them a ring, espeically as MFL is a shortage subject
    Can you speak to your PGCE provider and see if they can place you somewhere for a few days? They will have a network of schools that take their trainees, so maybe one of those could take you. If you have only been offered the place recently it seems unreasonable not to help with finding a placement when it is such short notice.
     
  5. I completely sympathise. I am in roughly the same position - I would have had no observation experience, had it not been for a very generous Head of Dept locally.
    It's an uncomfortable thing having to email and cold-call but it seems to be the only way. Some never replied, some were quite abrupt in their refusal.
    (I kept a list of all those I contacted in case I was asked to prove how much effort I had made.)
    Given that it's a pre-course requirement, it seems unusual that many schools are unable to accomodate the next generation of teachers.
    My advice: Look on all the relevant schools' websites and identify each MFL Head of Department by name (and email address) then write a polite, business-like email, explaining your case and acknowledging that you understand just how much pressure schools are under (because they are). Ask for the minimum time possible to begin with - a few hours here or there.
    Writing to a general school email address seldom yields results in my experience.
    Is the university able to recommend some schools they use for student placements?
    Good luck!
     
  6. Is there any family member you could possibly stay with whose area doesn't have an MFL training scheme? My line of thinking is that the department wouldn't be inundated with other students either on placement or trying to observe.
     
  7. Thanks for the above. Just to update yous all on my progress. One school has replied with a suggestion but nothing more. I have explained the situation to the provider and they still seem to be insisting upon having the observation before the induction. If that's how it's going to be, I may well go somewhere else. Some places still have MFL vacancies and they may need to fill them urgently.
     
  8. Thanks for that. Just found out today that a very good school in the next LEA is going to offer me a few days' observation and just as the PGCE is starting. It's very good news and I'm really looking forward to it. I emailed a few schools at the w/end across Greater Manchester and two or three came back with more positive responses. Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
     
  9. Are you doing the PGCE at Manchester University or Manchester Met? I'm starting a secondary MFL PGCE at Manchester in a couple of weeks and am currently doing my compulsory two weeks observation. Have you found somewhere yet? If not, I may be able to pass on the names of the schools which have let me do the observation. I also had quite a lot of trouble finding places that would take me!
     
  10. @Babymonkey,
    Hi there. Thanks for that. I'm doing the MFL PGCE at MMU. Speciality is German. What about yourself? The course waived the requirement for observation though got into a school in Trafford LA to do a morning's observation. Have you started yet? We're all supposed to be going on our first placements next week. Hope all is well with you
     

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