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PGCE Illness

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by bethany-13, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. bethany-13

    bethany-13 New commenter

    Hi all.

    I am having a bit of a nightmare on my PGCE. I am currently doing a school direct PGCE, in my first assessed block. I am really struggling with the workload in terms of planning etc. I start school at 7.30 and finish at 6 everyday and I think it's really taking a toll.

    I have the feeling anyway that my mentor does not reckon much of me as she's very critical of everything I do and it is getting me down. Anyway, I've been ill this past week, I was ill over the weekend with a cold and came in on the Monday with no voice whatsoever, stayed while 6, my voice did come back during the day as I still had to teach. I went in on Tuesday until 6. However, I had a day off Wednesday (yesterday) as I have come down with a sickness bug and I am having today off too. Today I was meant to have an observation too. I feel so bad and hope that my mentor doesn't think I am messing her around, especially when I don't think she likes me anyway. It is only two days but even so, can I get penalised for this?

    A very, stressed and over-tired trainee.
  2. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Sorry you are not feeling well but if you are ill then go to the doctor, you should not be teaching and spreading germs in school.
    You need to discuss the support you are receiving from the "so called" training programme. One of the problems with SD is that you can receive very little training but a lot of assessment. The training provider need to be asked to ensure that a good balance is achieved.
  3. bethany-13

    bethany-13 New commenter

    My mentor did get back to me and told me not to worry about my observation as I can do two next week to make up for it. I am not going into school tomorrow either so therefore won't be back until Monday now. I rarely get ill and have time off and I feel so guilty because of, as part of SD I have to do weekly twilight sessions and I have missed two of those now too. I think I'm worrying over nothing and personally think this is all down to exhaustion and stress. Thank you for your reply. Have you also done SD with PGCE?
  4. surfblue33

    surfblue33 New commenter

    Having just finished my PGCE, I know how you are feeling. During my first placement, one experienced teacher told me that you know the training is going well when you shed the odd tear or two...and boy did I cry some nights!
    Please do not overly worry about being ill as you really can't help that. Look after yourself and make sure you are well before you go back. Observations are important but not so much that they can't be delayed by a week or so.

    This is basically to reassure you that feeling tired and emotional is all part of the process. At the end of the day, you are being stretched and challenged every day and you are "growing". Be nice to yourself and you will pull through. I was close to giving up once or twice, especially when my working days stretched way past 12 hours and I felt I just couldn't go on. I am now so glad that I finished my year and I work in a lovely and supportive school. It really can be the best job.
    Remember, if it was easy everyone would do teacher training!
  5. bg31rr

    bg31rr New commenter

    I think most teachers feel guilty about taking time off - especially established teachers who know that even the most carefully organised classroom can be turned into a disaster zone whilst you are away! However, health must come first as you're absolutely useful if you're sick. 2 or 3 days isn't the end of the world.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Loads of people were ill during my PGCE, some had long term illnesses, one had something like rheumatoid arthritis and disappeared for weeks and had lots of time away from placement. One became pregnant and rushed to complete the course ahead of time. They all passed. No problems.
    One of the things hat new teachers have to cope with is germs. The September - December period is full of them. Working in an enclosed environment which is often uncomfortably warm means exposure to all sorts of bugs which your system is not used to. As time goes by you will develop a bit more immunity to these nasties.
    I'm not sure why you are expected to be in school from 7-30 - 6-00 though. I hope that you are not going home and planning after you have done an 11 hour day. If I was spending that long on site I would be expecting to complete all of my planning and marking during that period.
  7. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    Please don’t feel bad about missing your observation. My visiting mentor from uni was supposed to observe me once and I had to cancel last minute because I threw up and had to go home. We just rearranged and everything was fine. You’re a human and you get ill, they can’t hold it against you.

    Like yours, my mentor was critical but actually over time her feedback really helped me and we had a good relationship. It’s early, it’s difficult and it’s exhausting, but it will get better.

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