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Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by chelseagouxx, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. chelseagouxx

    chelseagouxx New commenter


    I have recently accepted an offer to start my PGCE in september, I am just looking for some advice on how to prepare and what I need to buy before turning up on that FIRST day?

    Thank You
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Primary or secondary?
  3. chelseagouxx

    chelseagouxx New commenter

  4. PersianCatLady

    PersianCatLady Occasional commenter

    Are you doing your PGCE at a university or through a SCITT?
  5. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Get plenty of rest.
    Familiarise yourself with the National Curriculum requirements for KS1 & 2
    Top up your subject knowledge for the subjects you are less familiar with- GCSE passbooks are useful for this
    Read the books the children will be expected to cover for "pleasure" its always useful to discuss them from a basis of knowledge
    The university will send you reading lists etc. but be aware that you don't need to buy many of the texts- use a library or second hand bookshop
    And congratulations!
    pepper5 and chelseagouxx like this.
  6. chelseagouxx

    chelseagouxx New commenter

  7. chelseagouxx

    chelseagouxx New commenter

    Thank You
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You can prepare yourself by getting organised. Here are some of the things you may need:

    1. Sketch out a daily timetable for yourself. Sketch in the time you will get up, have breakfast, travelling time, times for classes, etc, time to go to bed etc. You might not have all the details yet, but sketch those out and you can fill those missing details later. You MUST makeup your mind even before the first day that you will not exhaust yourself to the point of being ill and must makeup your mind that you will eat well and get plenty of rest. Try to have one day off each week where you don't work at all. A tall order I know.

    2. If you are going to rely on yourself to make your meals, plan some healthy meals in advance that you can cook in a slow cooker. Things like stews and chili. You can throw things into the slow cooker in the morning, turn it to low and you will have a healthy mean on your return. When you come home after a gruelling day, a good meal with restore you physically and mentally.

    3. Ensure you have a thermos and lunchbox to take your drinks and lunch to classes with you.

    4. Write out a budget and stick to it.

    5. Follow Welshwizard's advice about the subject knowledge where you are weak and also the NC. Behaviour management and the theories regarding children's learning at primary are good places to start. Get the reading list then go onto Amazon and read the reviews on them. If you do buy any books, buy the ones that you think you will use after the course - ones that you will refer to again as handbooks and reference material. The Lazy Teacher's Handbook is a book that you might enjoy as it outlines practical ways to reduce workload. The Pivotal Education web site had free tips and advice on behaviour management. The Craft of the Classroom is another classic and you might enjoy that.

    6. Organise your clothes for your school placements. In primary, trousers are practical and you can mix and match the tops and cardigans, jackets and shoes. When you get your placements, ensure you have a warm coat for duty. When you choose clothes, choose items that need no ironing since you are not going to have time for it. Make sure you do look smart ( I am sure you are!) since children do notice.

    7. You will have many pieces of paper etc, so make sure you have some type of filing system organised. When you do have your own classroom, organise it neatly and keep it tidy. If you have a golden rule that you tidy the classroom every day then things will stay tidy. Teach your classes to tidy as they go and keep things in order. It isn't always possible, but you will save time by not having to dig around and search for things.

    8. Make lists. Have a To Do List every day and write all the tasks you have to do then label them A, B, C. As are the priority as they have to be done first. Bs also have to be done but not so urgent, and Cs are "nice to do" but they are not absolutely necessary. At the end of the day, spend five minutes looking through your list and crossing off your tasks, adding ones or moving them around the categories as your priorities change. Make time management into an art form and look for ways to save time on school tasks and even in your home life.

    9. Do not compare yourself to other people since all you can do is your very best each day. Remember your teachers on the course will have taught many years and you can only get that kind of experience by being in the classroom. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become accomplished in an art. Don't expect too much of yourself and mentally accept that you will have set backs, but you have to get up and start again.

    10. Once you are on the course perhaps make one or two friends so you can support each other.

    All the very best for September.
  9. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    There will be a settling in period. Prep would be reading key currriculum docs, getting a Twitter accôunt and following key people and hashtag' reading up about common SEND and EAL approaches, conditions, strategies and I think you would do really well to re read a range of literature from your preferred age ranges.
    Other things will be reviewing grammar terms, handwriting strategies and possibly some basic mathematic concepts. It sounds condescending, but it will have been a long time since you worked with the really basic stuff and articulated the most simple of terms with complete clarity to another.
    A lot of this depends on the age ranges, but you have to do two key stages so you are likely to hit both ends.
    Lolaforever, install and pepper5 like this.
  10. cys2017

    cys2017 Occasional commenter

    Hi chealsea
    I’ve completed my pgce like 3 weeks ago. It’s so tiring but I do feel relieved now.

    Here are some things I found useful

    - keep all handouts from teachers at uni
    -the resources of other teachers where u teach, get ideas from them don’t always reinvent the wheel
    -Pinterest was my life saver when it came to thinking of creative activities
    Maybe start an Instagram teaching page I’m planning on making one even though I’ve finished now.

    If you want to stay in touch for support feel free to pm me
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. gladys_changun2

    gladys_changun2 New commenter

    I have accepted an offer to do a PGCE-PCET at Birmingham City University in English, Literacy and ESOL. I have read a lot of threads portraying the intensity of this course which equals to no work during training. Does anybody know about the funding available for trainees like me. What forms of finances are available for trainees to make ends meet while tackling this course. I have applied for student finance which I suppose is not enough for mature students like me.
    pepper5 likes this.
  12. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Apart from the student loan I don't think there is any other specific funding for post compulsory courses - ask student services at the university for advice and help they are most likely to have the expertise.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. baldeststudentintown

    baldeststudentintown New commenter

    Starting one myself in Sept at the ripe old age of 35 and have just printed this out! Seems like a great post
    install, pepper5 and blueskydreaming like this.
  14. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    @pepper5 is amazing! She gives great advice.
    install and blueskydreaming like this.
  15. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    @pepper5 is one of the best people on TES! :)
    pepper5, install and celago22 like this.
  16. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Thanks for the kind comments.

    It makes me happy that I what I write sometimes helps someone.

    You are all amazing too.:):)
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    A lovely post. I wish the tes team gave trophy awards for supportive posts like this
    blueskydreaming and pepper5 like this.
  18. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Maybe you should write a book!
    pepper5, blueskydreaming and install like this.
  19. gladys_changun2

    gladys_changun2 New commenter

    Thank you very much for your response, I do appreciate. I will certainly enquire from student services. It seems I must brace myself for tough times ahead.. Thank you again
    pepper5 likes this.

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