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PGCE Workload

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by CharlotteBickerton, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I have recently had my PGCE interview and, although I have yet to get a place, I have been put on a priority list at my first choice of training college. I am going to find out for certain along with the rest of the country some time after Christmas.

    I am so excited and desperate to do the PGCE. Teaching is all I've ever thought of doing! I realise that it isn't a regular 9-5 job that you can leave behind.

    HOWEVER, having read on TES about the workload of the PGCE, I have become a bit nervous. I realised it would be hard work and time consuming but some of the threads on this website have put the fear of God into me!!

    I am envisaging working all day whilst at school or Uni (obviously!!!!) and after Uni perhaps an hour or so each night reading and sorting stuff for presentations and stuff at Uni. When on placement I realise the workload will be heavier. I am thinking I would be working all day at school including lunchtime, leaving school at about 4.30 (?) and working for 3 hours an evening and one full day at the weekend.

    Does this sound about right? Or am I way off the mark and completely naive?!

    I really want to do the PGCE and won't do it if I'm not sure I will give it my all. However, having read the threads on here it has made me quite nervous... I don't want it to completely take over my life!!!! I'd still like to be able to spend time with my friends, family and boyfriend each week.

    Also, my first choice is Newman University College in Bartley Green... Has anyone had first hand experience of training here? If so, how did you find it?

    Thanks!! Just need a little reassurance I guess...
  2. barnaclebrain

    barnaclebrain New commenter

    You've got the workload pretty spot on. I left school at about 4pm most days, but that meant I took my marking home. I then had to plan for the following day. some nights I went to sleep at 9pm but most nights it was well past midnight. But it's only a year long. I had no idea about the workload, but I managed!
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    When I had a GTP student 18 months ago, he did spend vast amounts of time and had 2 large carrier bags of files of evidence when his tutor came.
    It is tough but gives an idea of the commitment teaching involves.
  4. ellie_rose

    ellie_rose New commenter

    It is hard work but I think it depends on you as a person. At uni, the workload was fine (9-5 days, occasionally finishing at 6. I then caught the train home, arrived home about half 7 and worked for an hour.) If there was an essay or presentation due, I would have to spend longer working after uni. Placements were when the workload increased. I would get to school for about 8am, work all day including lunchtime and leave around 4.30-5pm. I would then work a few hours in the evening on marking/planning/assessment and usually spent all weekend planning. I tried to be in bed by around 10.30pm as I had to be up at 6am and I usually managed this. Some of my friends, however, said they worked until 2am and got hardly any sleep. It depends on how well you can prioritise your work. I enjoyed the PGCE and found the workload manageable. It is finding a job afterwards that has been the struggle for me as it's a horrible feeling that you've done all that work for nothing.
  5. The very nature of these forums is that people generally come on for a bit of a moan, you don't get many people saying "I am loving the PGCE it is so lovely and easy" etc etc, but that doesn't mean that there aren't thousands of people out there coping perfectly well with it.
    If you manage your time well you will have time to have some sort of life. I did it with a two year old which was really tough but manageable. I kept my socialising for half terms and holidays, as many people do anyway when they are teaching properly. Good luck!

  6. I did my PGCE last year and I absolutely loved it! Yes there were days when the workload was alot to do and yes there were days I felt drained, but overall it has to be said I was glad to have done the course.
    Finding a job is the hard bit as I am now finding out!
    Good Luck!
  7. I didn't find it too bad, and i juggled a part time job at the same time, however, it is hard to catch up if you let things slide.
    On placement, I'd usually get to school for 8am to set up for the day and finish anything that was outstanding. I'd spend half my lunch break marking that morning's work and used the other half to recharge my batteries for the afternoon. I'd leave school between 5:00 and 5:30, I did all my marking in school as I don't drive and didn't fancy lugging all the books on the train!
    I'd spend a couple of hours each evening planning for the next day. At the weekend I'd try and plan as many as my stand alone lessons e.g. history, geography etc. as I could. I would make a general planning sheet with ideas on for my weekly numeracy and literacy lessons and then plan them in detail during the week, as they were dependent on the performance of the previous lessons.The latest I ever went to bed was 11:30pm, it does get easier the more you do it.
    I think it's important not to be too eager and volunteer for too many things in the first couple of weeks, just volunteer for 1 extra curricular activity at first then add more if you think you can cope.
    During the uni weeks my workload wasn't too bad, I had two large assignments and a dissertation. I also had mini tasks for different lectures but they'd only take about 30 mins each night.
    You'll be fine, just stay organised and try and get things done as they appear before they build up.

  8. To be honest I think I am just worrying stupidly. I go to a good Uni and am studying English with Education so the type of writing expected for the essays should be fairly familiar to me. However, I'm not very good at being motivated every evening...
    At the moment I am doing my dissertation for example. I can work all day on it but the evenings I like to have free. If I imagine myself working 3 hours a night whilst on placement bar perhaps 2 nights a week, all day Saturday (8-5) and Sunday for 5 or 6 hours do you think this is reasonable?
    Also, another issue I think I'm worrying about is the fact that my training provider sends you on one 6 week placement before Christmas in which you're expected to teach 50% of the timetable and then a final 10 week placement at the end where you're expected to teach up to 80%
    My issue is that this 10 week block seems a very long time and with only 6 weeks experience already under our belts do you think this will be difficult? My boyfriend is going to be in his final year at Uni so when May comes round he will be finished (which is the time the final placement starts!) It is so much more difficult to spend time working all evening if he has been waiting all day for me to get home!
    The travelling is also a bit of a bother to me. I do drive but I share a car with my sister... What do I do? Do I tell them I drive or say I don't? I can't be placed in a school miles away if for half the week I don't have a car!!
    How far were people's placements in general?
    Thank you soooo much everyone for your replies!
  9. It's all about prioritising. I'm quite surprised on this course with how some people can be extremely intelligent and capable but get so behind because they cannot prioritise properly. Be efficient and productive, to ensure I have enough time to spend the whole weekend with my family I work extra hard during the week. So you'll have to do the same regarding your boyfriend, make sure when you are seeing him that you've done everything needed so you can enjoy it. And he can always help you out when you're making resources! I'll be honest though, when you're at school the evenings are the only time you can really get things done so you will have to work then but small price to pay!
    Make sure you're organised and an essential item is definitely a academic diary, it will keep you on track of everything.
    As for placements they tend to build up to the teaching and the 10 week placement will probably be proceeded by planning days in which you will be able to see what you need to cover and then start planning from then.
    For driving it's probably best to say your exact circumstances, then you could drive the first half of the week and then public transport for the rest, it's better for them to know as public transport is more expensive than paying a driver.
    I really enjoy the PGCE course and I don't think the first term has been that awful, it's full on, but then we're training for a career that's full on so it's what we're going to face in the future so may as well get used to it now!

    You'll be fine! x

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