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PGCE shopping list

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by helloteaching2019, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. helloteaching2019

    helloteaching2019 New commenter

    Firstly, apologise if I am duplicating something here. I saw a really good thread but can’t find it anymore.

    I’m starting my School Direct PGCE end of August and wondered what you would advise buying in advance?? Or any other preparations you either made or wish you had made before starting :)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    The only thing I would buy in advance is folders and dividers. I made the mistake of waiting to see how I might like to organise things before I bought anything, and I ended up with piles of paper everywhere and it was twice as much work to get everything organised in the end.
  3. helloteaching2019

    helloteaching2019 New commenter

    Thank you, that’s a great tip - I guess I sort of assumed everything would be paperless
  4. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    My PGCE was paperless.

    There's nothing you need to buy, and nothing you need to do, except have a rest before the course starts, and try to organise your life as much as possible e.g. sign up to online shopping from Sainsburys or similar, buy birthday cards for people in advance because you won't have time on the course, sort out your finances, and so on.
  5. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    I wouldn't advise you get lots of things or spend a fortune, but would recommend:
    A notebook for CPD
    A folder for whatever you want to carry in school
    Academic diary or teacher planner - page to a day so you can write your lessons in

    I don't know your age and living situations but when I trained I found a slow cooker was a good investment.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Definately a slow cooker. A good school bag. Also depending on what you teach, school clothes. Look in the sales in Sainsburys etc for work clothes if you have been a student and only have casual stuff.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. helloteaching2019

    helloteaching2019 New commenter

    Thank you!! These are all brilliant tips :)

    This is a massive career change for me having worked in the charity sector for the past 10 years since graduating and I’ve got a small family so I’m just trying to be prepared as possible.

    In my excitement I had already picked up a diary but wasn’t sure if it might have been a waste of money.
  8. Bouncyb22

    Bouncyb22 New commenter

    The school I trained at didn't provide anything in the way of stationery so I would say:
    A page a day diary ( as suggested by purplecarrot)
    Whiteboard pens
    Red pens for marking
    Possibly some stickers or stamps?
    A way to keep track of your never ending to do list! I had a to do list book from Paperchase but now use a bullet journal.
    I also used paper folders (the fold over wallet things) to keep printing for my different classes organised. I was always having to swap rooms so a way of keeping lesson plans and resources together and sorted was really useful especially as you can keep an entire days worth in a good sized bag.
    Lunch box
    Water bottle (plus a spare for milk for the communal fridge if it is not provided)
    Coffee cup with lid
    Hand sanitiser (and maybe stock up on cold and flu tablets!)
  9. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Yes stickers. Sometimes you get free ones with papers etc. I remember Year 10 boys getting excited about Harry Potter stickers for good work once!!!!
  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    "There's nothing you need to buy, and nothing you need to do". Well, thank you for what might perhaps be a slightly inaccurate and misleading comment from blueskydreaming.

    Now it was quite some time ago that I did my PGCE, so maybe everything is different now and maybe I am completely mistaken. However, I do recall that we had this thing called "teaching practice" (TP for short) and one of the lecturers from our teacher training college would come into school and watch us teach a lesson. Then the lecturer would fill out a special report form, giving details about how well (or how badly) you taught the lesson. Well, that was a good few years ago, so maybe now there are no more TPs or teacher training colleges or anything like that.

    So do you have to buy anything or do anything? Well, let us just suppose, for the sake of argument, that students at teacher training colleges do still get TPs. And let us pretend that, from time to time, someone is going to come into the classroom, watch your teaching and write a report about it. Now let us also imagine that you are in a classroom where there are not enough colouring pencils, but your lesson is going to be observed. Let us imagine that there is not enough of this or enough of that and none of something else, but you are pretty sure that you are still going to be observed. Someone will write a report about your lesson and another one next week. If those reports are rubbishy, then maybe you will fail your TP and then you will never qualify as a teacher. You will have failed your PGCE course and wasted a year of your life.

    So do you really think that blueskydreaming was absolutely right in his or her assertion, "There's nothing you need to buy, and nothing you need to do"?
  11. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

  12. annascience2012

    annascience2012 New commenter

    *Comfortable* smart clothes, ideally machine washable!
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Of course you will not have to buy anything, if the school where you will be doing your TP has all of the resources that you will need. But what happens if it doesn't?
  14. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    A good looking brief case always looks good.
    [I got mine from car boots and second had shops]

    Several usb sticks
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, a USB or an external hard drive would be a good idea, as well as a scanner, a laptop and a printer. It might be easy to get things scanned, printed and laminated at your teacher training college. Then again, it might not.
  16. helloteaching2019

    helloteaching2019 New commenter

    Thank you :) these are all incredibly helpful tips!!
  17. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    Comfortable but smart shoes (I have always worn Clarks Mary Jane styles, usually from Ebay)! Smart but comfortable. Or you may need the male equivalent! Must have got through 7-8 pairs haha
    Smart jacket (Charity shops)
    Smart trousers

    Work bag
    Pencil case, some basic stationary supplies
    Check good working laptop with MS Word etc
    One folder to start with
    Teacher diary (or use A4 folder, photocopy a page of diary or make own). For NQT I used a big diary, one A4 oage a day!
    A4 notepad for meetings
    Hole punch

    Helpful but not essential to have own printer, plus paper
    agathamorse, Gsr25 and purplecarrot like this.
  18. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    You may not need your own laptop for placements. Many schools won't allow trainees (or anyone external) to connect outside personal devices to networks and those that do will not be ok with student information being on unencrypted personal devices. Some training providers have laptops they loan to students and otherwise trainees tend to get computer/laptop access from their placement school.
    A laptop is useful for personal study, but I wouldn't expect to be using it on placement.

    I'd also say not to bother on a printer unless you prefer it for printing articles and assignments out. I always advise against trainees printing class resources at home out their own pocket. It isn't fair on them, but maybe I'm long in the tooth these days.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. cer1924

    cer1924 New commenter

    I would check with the school before buyng any USB sticks - my school has disabled the USB ports so they would be a waste of money.

    I would suggest (am doing SD this year) not to buy too much. My department uses purple for marking and green for student reflection/improvement work so the red pens I got in advance are not as needed as I thought.

    Things I've bought myself that I use everyday are: laptop bag (school provided a laptop but not a bag - but I didn't get this till after I started), a nice sturdy canvas shopper style bag, water bottle, hot drinks cup with lid, packed lunch bag, plastic popper pockets for organising any class notes, seating plans etc, some multi-coloured pens - the bic ones where you have 4 colours on one pen.

    Other useful things: school planner (check how many lessons a day the school has - I got a planner with one more lesson per day than school so I can use the space for after school things), notebook, be careful with whiteboard pens as I bought some then got into the classroom and they cant be seen from the back of the room - so maybe one or two but wait till you get in to see what the other teachers use. Maybe an arch level folder and plastic pockets for portfolio - but your University but be going online for paperwork (we were meant to be doing that this year but it was pushed back). I don't print any school/class resources at home just things for my PGCE top up. I print and laminate any school resources at school.

    I hope some of that is helpful and good luck!
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. StewieJazz

    StewieJazz New commenter

    I'd like to thank everyone who has written on this thread, because I am going to start my PGCE (School Direct) in a couple of months or so (my goodness, how the time has flown since I first attended a Train to Teach event at the end of February!). This is really useful information. I already have sufficient paper and notebooks, as well as a lot of index cards of different colours, but I know I will need some more stuff.

    For me, the list is as follows:

    • Academic year page-a-day diary (probably Pirongs - they have a nice range of colours)
    • A couple more suits (TK Maxx)
    • A few more shirts (TK Maxx, or TM Lewin's five-for-100-quid offer)
    • A couple of pairs of good shoes (Clark's or heavily discounted Loake)
    • Some ties (having not worn one regularly for five years, I have only one left that isn't frayed or otherwise damaged)
    • Ringbinders and polypockets
    • Get the brake pads replaced and a few other bits done on the car before the 400+-mile-per-week commute begins
    • New laptop (my current one is nearing the end of its life)
    • A multipack of Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V7 pens (black, blue and red)
    That's about it for now but I'm sure more will become apparent as the start date draws closer.

    I have a highly understanding and supportive wife, I'm happy to eat pouches of tarka dhal or tins of veggie chilli every night, and the commuting will mean massive diesel-related Nectar point potential, which will save us a few quid on the Christmas shopping. I can't wait to start.

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