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Placement problems, struggling to cope, any advice?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by KeLoWa, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. I'm on my second PGCE placement and have been placed in a school 65 miles away from my home. I don't have a car and getting to and from school from home would mean leaving at half past 4 and getting home at around 7 each night. I was told by my Uni that I just had to get on with it and take it on the chin.
    I have had to take a room with a housemate in a nearby village to my school and I'm not coping well with the situation. The financial hit is stressful enough as it is but I am feeling really really depressed and upset. I am very isolated, have no family or friends nearby and I miss my husband desperately. I find myself in tears several times a day, I can't concentrate on my planning and feel like I can't cope. I don't know what to do because I don't feel like I can pass this course the way I feel right now.
     
  2. I'm sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. Teaching practice is hard enough without the added pressures of being away from home.

    Do you have a tutor or uni link? When I did my PGCE we have a tutor from uni who came to visit us sometimes. If I had a problem I could email her. I think it would be a good idea to tell uni how you feel because it is their role to support you. It might not necessarily mean that they find you a new placement but they should have some advice and support to offer you. Most PGCE providers take their pastoral role very seriously and if one of the students is having a horrible time like you are they will do what they can to help.

    Meanwhile, keep in touch with your friends and family and make sure you take some time out at the weekends. Lots of fresh air and exercise, long baths and whatever makes you feel human again after a long week at school.
     
  3. rc07

    rc07 New commenter

    Really sorry to hear you are feeling like this- it's horrible to go through this sort of thing and feel so alone.
    Couple of suggestions - can you get together during the week with people from your course? I am assuming that as you have had to move closer to your school you are also closer to uni and other people on your course Even if it is just to get together to do planning together it would maybe keep you more focused on the work and distract you from feeling lonely. I know you say that you haven't got friends near by but maybe try and get to know some course mates and give it a go.
    Also, are you able to get home at weekends? Try to get as much work as possible done Monday to Thursday and go home Friday as soon as school is out.
    Finally, is it worth deferring until next year (not sure this is the best option and you could find yourself back in the same boat of course but if you're really feeling that bad and unlikely to pass it is one possibility).
    Take care.
     
  4. Thank you to both of you for these replies. I've contacted the course convenor (who organised the placement) and my actual tutor came to observe me on Monday. The response from both of them was pretty much the same "It's not for long, just get on with it" Even though I was practically in tears, I didn't really get any sound advice other than to just get on with it.
    I would love to get together with people from my course but unfortunately my placement is about 30 miles away from Uni and getting up to see course mates would mean a bus ride of 1 1/2 hours :(
    I do go home for weekends, in fact I leave on Friday evenings and go straight there, I do tend to do as much planning as I can so I have time to spend doing non-school things, which is pretty much the only bright spot.
    I have considered deferring but I've come this far I just feel like I want to get it all over and done with to be honest, I just hope I can pass it!
     
  5. rc07

    rc07 New commenter

    How much longer is the placement? Do you think you can stick it out, one day at a time? You are right that it is probably better to get it over and done with, deferring should only really be an option if you are so down it is affecting your chances of passing or living away no longer becomes financially possible.
    If it's bearable, spend as much time as possible in school so you can get as much work done there and have nothing to take "home" Spend the evenings that you are in the house away from home trying to do something that you enjoy - be prepared for some large phone bills! Cross each day off on a calendar and keep busy, and Fridays will come round in no time. You'll soon be there!
     
  6. Hi
    Living apart during the week is a strain. My wife has recently retired but for 19 years she worked away, either in London, or abroad, (we live in Dorset). It may not have been your choice to have a placement so far away but it cannot be for much longer.
    My advice is to use your spare time in your digs during the week to prepare and mark up to the hilt so that you are as free as a bird to be able to enjoy your weekends. It means compartmentalising your life but it is possible to live this way. In fact each weekend becomes a treat. Just don't spend it moaning about the rest of the week. Spend it really enjoying each others company. If poss, get your other half to do all the domestics during the week so that you do not have to waste the precious time on shopping etc. I managed to do this even as a teacher so it is possible.
    Look forward to Friday night!
     

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