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Pgce dilemma

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by nw141, May 20, 2016.

  1. nw141

    nw141 New commenter

    Hi all

    I am a tracher trainee who has deferred the training after 2nd placement because I was finding it extremely difficult to do lesson planning which was taking about 4/5 hours for one lesson and even after spending so much time the lessons were not exciting, were not pitched at right level and there was not enough progress in pupil's learning. Behaviour was another big issue and my presence was also not that great.

    I think I am not cut for teaching and have chosen a wrong profession for myself as I dont think I can pass this course in final placement. I had most 3bs for my Spring term report. If I think about leaving it it makes me look towards myself as a failure and not a good model for my own children. But if I think to carry on I feel so much paniced that I wont be able to pass it. Please help. Can anyone adviseme that what should I do? Is there anyway, I can pass it? If yes please give your ideas about what can I do to progress my teaching or do you think that I am not cut for teaching?
    Thanks in advance
  2. nw141

    nw141 New commenter

    Sorry for wrong spelling. I meant teacher trainee
  3. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    I'm a big fan of lists, personally. Write a list of all the positives that you've achieved this year - have there been any 'lightbulb' moments where your class has learned something and you felt pleased with yourself? Has a colleague paid you a compliment about something you've done? Did you finish a day and feel it actually went pretty well? Have you enjoyed any part of the teaching? If so, which bits?
    Then you need to weigh up whether you feel that these positives outweigh the negatives. You should understand that as a trainee, your lesson planning isn't always going to be quick (or even brilliant) but you get better over time. I'd be asking my colleagues for suggestions for lessons, resources, schemes of work, ideas for differentiation, anything that could lighten the load. There are also good resources and lesson ideas on this very website that you can use and adapt to save time (why reinvent the wheel if someone else has already done it for you?).
    I don't think it's a bad example to set your own children if you know if your heart that you won't become a teacher. I think it's a bad example when you're utterly miserable, doing a so-so job but keep ploughing on: it will make you unhappy, stressed and your family life will suffer.
    And finally, don't be afraid to ask for help to get you better at teaching if you decide it's what you want to do. I was OK at teaching as a trainee but it definitely helps to get precise feedback when people observe you and to build a list of what you do well and what needs work.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree with much of what secretsiren writes.

    Sometimes the training you are receiving is rubbish - I think if you ask a lot of teachers they would say their training was rubbish. What to do? Teach yourself. You can teach yourself how to plan lessons and use some of the strategies secretsiren mentions like using this website and asking colleagues for help. I am not saying your training is not good, but you do have to help yourself. If you don't have any decent books on lesson planning, go over to Amazon and have a look to see what is available preferably in your subject area. Also, try to observe some lessons being taught by experienced teachers in your subject.

    Go back to your books and examine some of the strategies for lesson planning. You can get better at it, but it takes practise and observation.

    As for behaviour management and presence, these are also things you can teach yourself. There is a book I would highly recommend called Taking Care of Behaviour by Paul Dix of Pivotal Education. Pivotal Education also has a web site where you can get free resources. You can create a presence, but you have to start with belief in yourself: belief you are capable, belief you do have presence, belief you are in charge.

    I think you should try again because it is a good qualification fall back on in hard times even if you go on to do something else. Someone, somewhere must have seen some evidence of your ability to teach or you would not have made it onto the course. Are you primary or secondary?
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I train teachers and one of the most common conversations we have is with people who are not cut out for front line teaching. They like education, care about kids, want to be involved but front line teaching is a very specific job.
    My honest answer is it sounds like you've chosen the wrong role in education. There are many other roles which would suit your skill set and you are better advised to identify a role which suits you rather than persist with teaching. Don't feel bad about it - better you find out now. Teaching gets harder, not easier. It will all work out fine and don't beat yourself up over this. Better to find a role where you excel and enjoy yourself than drag along, just about coping and feeling miserable.
    John_in_Luton and pepper5 like this.
  6. nw141

    nw141 New commenter

  7. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    If you're knackered, you don't teach well. I tend to plan lessons that involve a lot of silent working for days after Parents' Evenings because I am simply too tired to teach all-singing, all-dancing lessons for the whole day - it's true of most people that the more tired and stressed you feel, the less well you do.
    Nothing wrong with a worksheet but you do have to change it up a bit. Try putting questions to discuss on tables and getting groups to talk about the topic - it's halfway between a worksheet and other stuff! If you've been fine at teaching whilst doing the joint planning then that's a positive. It sounds as if you've had a dip because you're finding the lesson planning hard, making you tired, making you feel stressed and making you less effective.
    Whoever was doing your observations and giving you endless targets should not be mentoring trainees! You need a maximum of five (and I never give more than three, personally). Where are the common targets (i.e. ones that were repeated over several observations)? Identify your key areas for development. Some things are easier to work on than others; presence often comes with time and experience, for example, whereas 'refer to your learning objectives' is easier to do.
  8. nw141

    nw141 New commenter

    Secretsiren thank you for pushing me to remember the times when I enjoyed my teaching and work with children. This revived my motivation for teaching once again. I will focus now on reading about lesson planning strategies. Would you and anyone else like to recommend any good literature about that?
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Are you training to become a primary or secondary school teacher?
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I don't think you need to spend more time reading planning strategies. You need more practice and to spend more time with children so that you get a better idea of what their capabilities are. If you're going to do reading, look at textbooks for your subject/age and get a feel for the kind of learning and activities are pitched at each age group.
  11. nw141

    nw141 New commenter

    Pepper 5. I am doing primary.

    Thanks Flere-Imsaho. I would share a bit more detail about lesson planning issue. I think I find it hard to have an idea and present it in an engaging way because I start overthinking about assessment, behaviour and other things too. I also find it difficult to choose right activities to develop children's learning.
  12. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Start with the most important premise for every lesson: what should the children be learning? That's the key bit. Everything else is secondary at that point.
    The next step is to decide what activity will best get them to learn it. Does it require an explanation from you to begin, could they read some info for themselves or watch a cartoon that explains it? Then think about how they consolidate what they're learning - what task do they need to complete to show they are learning?
    After all that, consider how you'll check they've learned it.
    Get someone else to check your plans for a bit until you've gained confidence.

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