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PGDE Retrieval Placement Advice

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by laucat, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. laucat

    laucat New commenter

    Am not sure if anyone can help but I failed my final placement of PGDE Secondary through combination of failing observed lesson and few unsatisfactory areas from school. Now at stage my confidence is on the floor and not sure whether to throw away all my hard work so far....it took me two years to pass maths exam to get onto PGDE and the required paperwork during placement was through the roof yet I got through it all. I do enjoy teaching and did get some good feedback from teaching staff although found my mentors did not communicate all their concerns about me directly to me. I am trying to read as much as I can and also talk to teaching friends yet I'm not sure if I'll just be setting myself up for another fall which I couldn't bear if I failed the whole course after working so hard. Quite a few people have said to me to give it a shot as I've got this far but I just don't know. The PGDE has been nothing like I expected particularly with the lack of subject and curriculum knowledge that I would have expected - one of the department heads told me that I should be doing all the research and finding out about the curriculum, it was NOT part of the PGDE course which I find absolutely insane. I believe many staff on placement felt I should know it all already and forgot I was still a trainee teacher. Any advice/tips or experiences folks can share would be greatly appreciated. Am totally feeling like a failure whilst all the other student teachers seem to have passed with flying colours :(
  2. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    If you have failed a placement then you need to consider the options very carefully. Is there an option of repeating the placement? Should you really consider other things?
    You need to speak with the Careers Advisers at your University to get individual advice because fundamentally it is your choice about what to do next.
  3. Mazod

    Mazod Occasional commenter

    I'm assuming you're in Scotlavd as you're doing a PGDE rather than a PGCE. Unfortunately your mentors are right: if you are secondary in particular you really need to have good knowledge of your subject and the curriculum before you start. There simply isn't enough time for the PGDE to teach you that. In some ways this is even more difficult at primary level as you are expected to get to the same level in one year as a BeD does in four.

    My advice therefore would be for you to spend time working on your curriculum knowledge over the summer and then to do the retrieval placement in Aug/Sep. Remember that will be in a new school so in some ways a fresh start. I also know of several people who have needed to undertake an additional placement, passed and then been able to teach supply for the rest of the year and begin their probationary year the following August.

    If this is still something you want then give it another shot but remember that the onus is on you to make it a success, no one else.
    Flere-Imsaho likes this.
  4. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    hi, i'm really sorry you have had such a hard time of it. With your confidence at its lowest and particularly at this time of year, it is difficult to make big decisions. You have put in so much work so far, it is probably a good idea to see it through. Remember, that failure is the best way to learn - what you are trying to do is hard so failure is a possibility - but it won't kill you. Reading between the lines, I think you probably did not have the best relationship with your mentors and yo don't feel that you have been treated completely fairly as far as observations and criticism have gone. I would really reflect on what went wrong in your observations and generally and decide which bits were down to you and which were out of your control - maybe put these ideas in a table. Scrub out the things that were out of your control and concentrate on the bits that were down to you. If you think you can change these things then there is every possibility that you can succeed.
    i think that sometimes it is not made completely clear that on PGDE/PGCE it is completely down to the student to set their own agenda, decide their own targets and find the knowledge and skills they need to meet these targets. ( oh and beg their mentors to play at least some part in this process). This part of the course is not taught so you have to do it yourself. AS far as curriculum knowledge is concerned, you really need to have this off pat by next term. borrow or buy a student book for the course at the very least and maybe invest in the course books that awarding bodies provide for courses- they all have web sites with schemes of work and other information. study longterm and medium planning that other people have done for the subject. you have put so much effort in so far, I really think that a good old taking stock and rallying over summer will make all the difference. A new school and new mentors might be a completely different experience.
    Good luck.
  5. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    A PGDE teaches you how to teach not your subject knowledge which you should have from your degree.

    Don't worry about being a "failure". Lots of people do the extra placement in August and a different school may very well give you different perspective and help you see how to pass. The summer may also give you time to rest and reflect so that you're not making decisions in the heightened emotional state that the PGDE can bring. Feel free to ask if you have specific questions - you don't say which subject you are but I'm also in Scotland and may be able to point you in the right direction.

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