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PGCE Horror stories putting you off ???

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by efitzpat, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Horror stories ekkkk.

    I have a place at Goldsmiths to do Upper Primary PGCE starting in Sept. I'm working full time as a TA in a London primary. I love my job and enjoy the mad pace of school life and the daily challenges...

    However, I've read so many horror stories about the stress of PGCE and have been warned off by current students that I'm now seriously freaked out about training.

    Any supportive words?? Has anyone been known to actually 'like' their PGCE???

    Thanks from a very confused TA !
     
  2. Don't panic! I'm currently doing my PGCE at Goldsmiths and while it IS tough, especially during your first placement, it's not impossible. Just be prepared to work harder than you ever have before and you'll be fine!
     
  3. Thank you! How have you found the tutors at Goldsmiths? I'm not scared of hard work as have been slogging my guts out in the charity sector for 6 years and now being run into the ground as a TA. However, the horror stories of bullying on placements and people talking of nervous breakdowns are sending chills up my spine!! Its only March and I'm getting very worried already :( any advice is REALLY appreciated x
     
  4. Hi there,

    I'm a current PGCE student and like you I was scouring through this forum to get a understanding of what the PGCE would be like. Like you I read lots of horror stories but I'm glad I did as it gave me a real grounding on how tough the PGCE would be but also what I might face. Unfortunately, I did not have a nice first placement and did experience some bullying. However, we it started to happen I wasn't at all surprised. Not that this made things easier but for my own sanity I just put it down to having a horrible teacher rather than - teaching isn't right for me and I cannot cope. Also I thought about how hard I've had to work to get on the course and also the amount of people who get rejected.

    I see many of other students on my course give themselves such a hard time and start believing they are not cut for teaching. Although this could be a possibility I just remind them that the likeliness of them having a rough school experience is often down to how supportive the teacher and mentor are.

    Don't let peoples' horror stories put you off. Just look it as an understanding of the course MIGHT entail. You enter the course with a greater understanding of what might in be involve and this will be put you ahead of the game as some people will enter the course with no clue what's actually involved. I would say as long as you have family or even other students on the course to talk to you will be fine. If its what you've always wanted to do and you know deep in your heart it is the job for you, just go for and never forget why you went for the course :)
     
  5. Hi there
    I know how you feel - I'm doing the PGCE and sometimes scare myself witless reading the NQT pages.
    I just wanted to add that whilst there is no escaping the hard work on the PGCE, it is not all doom and gloom. I've not experienced any bullying - and I don't think many on my course have either. My tutor is fine, my mentor at my first placement was AMAZING and overall it has been a very positive experience. Yes, there will be people on your course that will get on your nerves - my particular bugbears are those who have no children complaining relentlessly about all the work - try doing it with 3 young kids! - but it is all good practice for life in school where you will have to learn to get along with people that you might not choose to. And as a TA you already have lots of experience with this :)
     
  6. The tutors at Goldsmiths are amazing- all of them are friendly, approachable and always willing to help out in any way they can. Please don't be put off by horror stories- as I said before it IS a tough year, but as long as you are prepared for that and remember it when things seem rough then you'll get through it :)
     
  7. I honestly can't thank the people on this thread enough!!!
    I'm suffering with the flu and with time on my hands looking through people's reflections of PGCE on these forums.... Suddenly a dream is starting to feel like a dark storm approaching. However, people's positive comments here (esp about Goldsmiths) have lifted my spirits!

    I have already set up my desk, have lots of folders ready and getting as much exp as poss from my full time role as a TA. I feel the pressure already from being in a school and am pushed as a TA but I'm using this time to learn how to not take it personally! I love the kids and love learning so will cling to that as much as possible.

    My boyfriend who I live with is totally prepared to not see me for the 11 months and hes getting prepared for that. His main advice has been 'stop listening to everyone's negative stories and go on your own journey' I think he might be right ......

    Thank you SO much for all your comments x
     
  8. jaimexuk

    jaimexuk New commenter

    Don't let what you read put you off. I found out that I had got on to my PGCE 9 months before the start of the course and spent the next 9 months reading online PGCE horror stories.. I made myself really ill in the few weeks before the course having hot sweats and being sick. What a fool I was. Whilst I acknowledge that the PGCE is hard work (lots of long days and weekends planning/marking/essaying etc) I wouldn't say that I've found it stressful.

    When I started the course, I started to read about employment and again convinced myself that I'd made a disastrous choice and that I was doomed to be unemployed at the end of the course. Much to my delight, in January I secured an NQT job starting at the end of my PGCE


    I really should have learnt my lesson about online forums by now, but I just can't help reading the NQT pages and convincing myself that I will fail next year. So, do as I say, not as I do, haha
     
  9. Jamiexuk! - thanks your post made me smile :) my boyfriend thinks I'm crazy looking on forums and getting stressed haha. Im sure youll make a fantastic NQT. I think people will often complain about things and get crisis support on forums ( which I think is a good thing and can be supportive) but people don't tend to write up when things are 'ok' 'normal' or even 'good' . I'm def trying to prepare by being in a school full time beforehand and I will give it a shot. My own highs and lows will come. I remember when I signed up for a 13.5 mile run. I had never run that far before and everyone was filling me with dread . It was hard yes, slowly but surely I made it to the end and I actually secretly enjoyed ever step of the way. Anyway, I'm trying to stay positive and just keep my fingers crossed for a good placement - hoping for a good tutor at Goldsmiths too . Thanks again everyone x
     
  10. Great Louizewood! Im glad im not the only one freaked out, actually feel loads better today by starting this thread. Where are you doing your PGCE? I think we need to be as thick skinned as possible and not freak out off the back of other peoples challenges. Good luck to you too :)
     
  11. Great thread efitzpat!! :) it's great hearing all the different walks of fellow PGCE'ers, I think as long as we are putting in our best, we will handle the rest. I think we often put too much pressures on ourselves that we forget that we are at the baby steps of embarking on a new career, we are still learning/ trainees and sometimes we may tumble a little, as long as we know to seek help for it! We may not lives outside of PGCE we will be meeting like-minded students who understands exactly what we r going through. I'm so excited!! I wish that Goldsmiths could give us a heads up as to what our assignments would entail! Lol then I can make a start! :) let the geeky side of me emerge! :D
     
  12. Hi everyone,
    I've also been reading some PGCE horror stories too, but they haven't put me off yet! With so many people each year training to be teachers unfortunately there are bound to be some bad experiences to report, but I've heard lots of good feedback too! Pleased to read that everyone is being positive about Goldsmiths, as I have a place on the Upper Primary course there!! I'm just trying to prepare myself as much as possible - and getting in school experience when I can. Although I teach at the moment, it's just music teaching. I'm expecting it to be totally exhausting and stressful - and then if it's not so bad I'll have a nice surprise! I guess we'll just all hang in there and support each other...I think the worst thing (for me, anyway) would be if the school placements weren't good for some reason. But, there are two of them, so the odds are that at least one will be OK!
    Not so long ago I was basically working 7 days per week, so my husband is used to not seeing me much - having said that I think he's going to get a shock come September. His comment 'how hard can it be!?' (mostly joking, I should add!) was not received particularly well by me (or my mum, who has been telling me 'interesting' stories from her teacher training many years ago!!).
     
  13. Magsbrown - best of luck being accepted, I am sure you will be.
    I didn't mean to imply I had made assumptions, but that's the point really: we shouldn't make assumptions about other people, their workload or their family life based on the little we know of them. I'm 100% behind parents cmpleting PGCEs or other forms of teacher training (I would be, my own mum did so when I was about four) but I do think if you choose to do that, then you do need to accept that a certain amount of juggling is involved and it doesn't mean that others have it any easier.
    My PGCE was a terrible year, not because of the schools I was in but everything that could have gone wrong in my personal life did. I came out of it fine but the point is, anyone from the outside might have thought I was a 22 year old without responsibility and therefore what do I know of hard work - an upsetting assumption to make given the circumstances (which I won't bore you all with!)
    Just remember everyone brings with them individual circumstances and responsibilities and children are a huge part of this but don't mean people without them have a scot free life (if only!) x
     

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