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PGCE and RMR: taking on too much?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by flo4nig, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. <font size="2">Hi, </font><font size="2">Currently I am a Special Constable in the Met- sadly this is something I need to give up in order to move to my PGCE. I was quite keen to carry on a 'reservist' type 'extra curricular activity' and am attracted to the Royal Marine Reserve which demands about 1 week night/week and 1-2 weekends/month. However, I have heard nothing but how time consuming and hard the PGCE is. Whilst I am reasonably good at organising my time to make my commitments, I have to be realistic. </font><font size="2">Would this work or would I be spreading myself too thinly?</font><font size="2">Would it be any easier in my NQT or second yr ?</font> Thanks.
  2. Mackem85

    Mackem85 New commenter

    Hi flo4nig.

    Although not in the reserves myself, I am an instructor in the cadet forces. This involves me parading 2 nights and week, and about 2 weekends a month too. I intend to carry this on throughout my time when doing the PGCE as I am sure I will need some kind of release from the stress!

    To join the RMR will take a while anyway, for your medical, paperwork and selection weekend to be undertaken (you could be looking at up to 3 months). Then what you need to do is basic training. Im not sure how this works for the RMR, but for the TA this involves a couple of weekends followed by a week long residential period. This is in addition to parading one night a week (although there is some leniency if you can only make 3/4 parade nights). Then you move on to trade training.

    It will be worth finding out how long basic training takes and what the requirements are. You may find that being in the specials is less time consuming.

    I have known of people who have done TA alongside uni work and other requirements. If it is what you want then go for it. However, once you have finished trade training, you are liable for call up, so be aware of this when applying for jobs, as you (I think) need to inform your employer that you are in the Reserve forces.
  3. Hi,
    I am just finishing my PGCE, and it was harder than I ever could have imagined. I have no work- life balance - just work and more work. On placement I have to be at school at 8am and I work through my break and lunch times (great for weight loss!) doing more marking. I then go home at about 5 and work unti 10pm planning and doing lesson evaluations etc. I wish I had been warned! Then, of course, at this time of year there are the school visits, and job applications (which take ages) and interviews as well.
    I would think twice before taking on anything extra. I hardly ever send any time with my family at the moment. Only a couple of weeks left and then they will get me back :eek:)
    Good luck with whatever you decide,
  4. When they say at interview that the PGCE year is hard, time consuming and you will not have much of a social life - they are not lying!
    I'm just finishing my PGCE and its been tough, especially during first placement when I was spending several hours planning each lesson.
    I am a rugby player and in spetember had every intention to keep playing but have had to give it up for now because of the time commitment (and the black eyes!)
    I also spend most of my evenings with my laptop planning lessons or marking work and my weekends are generally a well earned break/catch up with friends/family (saturday) followed by lesson planning/filing/assignement writing (sunday).
    I'd say it's possible but I reckon you would run yourself into the ground by taking on too much and your lessons and assignments are likely to suffer. You also need some time to relax, see your family etc. and having weekends and some evenings taken up is going to limit that.
    Hope this helps, good luck with your PGCE!
  5. robmusicman

    robmusicman New commenter

    In terms of how much freetime you have, it also depends on the specific PGCE course you do, andwhat subject you teach. I seem to be quite lucky, as my institution seems to demandmuch less paperwork than others in the area. Also because I teach music, I only see my classess once a week (i.e. only one lesson to plan for each year group - sometimes two if its KS4/4). They my school works means that my classes are only formally assessed (i.e. summative) once a half-term, so there is very little marking to do as well.
    I live really close to my placement school so I generally get there at about 07:00 and work before school, through lunch/break, and free periods, meaning that most of the time, my evenings and weekends are pretty free.
    If you are lucky like I have been, than I reckon it would be quite do-able, however I think I'm the exception to the rule, so like I mentioned earlier, think about your subject and how much marking/how many times you'll see the class to perhaps help give you an indication of how busy you will be.

  6. <font size="2">Thank you everybody I think this has all re-enforced what I felt may be the case. I will at least wait until I start the PGCE so I can judge for myself how my timetable is looking and most likely reassess a bit further down the road!</font><font size="2"> </font><font size="2">Thanks all!</font>
  7. I would definitely wait until you start your placement.
    I am just finishing my final placement and I get to school for 8, get 30 minutes work done, work in my free time and often through lunch and then stay at school till 4/5pm. I do not do work at home or at weekends. Some people seem to find it a lot easier than others to adjust to the changes that a PGCE brings but some people on my course regularly stay up till all hours during the week and spend all day sunday planning.
    IMHO I think having an escape would force you to be organised, but it depends how you deal with stress and pressure. Several people on my course maintained evening and weekend jobs but a couple are having a year out as they found this year horrific - judge for yourself in september/ october :)
    Good Luck!
  8. In my experience very few trainees can cope with a PGCE and externbal work of the type you describe. It is very intense and is not forgiving when it comes to taking time off.

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