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Preparing to start a PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Lemon Tea, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. I'm sure there are other threads about this - sorry if I have duplicated questions!

    I have just been offered a place on a Secondary English PGCE for September. I'm working at the moment and have a bit of free time so I wondered if any current PGCE students or NQTs could offer any advice as to what I could do to prepare for September. I think I've got the CRB sorted and I know what I have to do about the finances but I'm sure there are other things I could be doing with my time.

    What would you have done differently (or what did you do and are glad you did) if you had seven months to go before starting your course, knowing what you know now? Should I be reading up on the National Curriculum or learning to use PowerPoint or taking up weight lifting or meditation? Should I ask everyone to buy me folders and paperclips for my birthday?

    Any thoughts very gratefully received!
    Lemon Tea
     
  2. I'm sure there are other threads about this - sorry if I have duplicated questions!

    I have just been offered a place on a Secondary English PGCE for September. I'm working at the moment and have a bit of free time so I wondered if any current PGCE students or NQTs could offer any advice as to what I could do to prepare for September. I think I've got the CRB sorted and I know what I have to do about the finances but I'm sure there are other things I could be doing with my time.

    What would you have done differently (or what did you do and are glad you did) if you had seven months to go before starting your course, knowing what you know now? Should I be reading up on the National Curriculum or learning to use PowerPoint or taking up weight lifting or meditation? Should I ask everyone to buy me folders and paperclips for my birthday?

    Any thoughts very gratefully received!
    Lemon Tea
     
  3. Hi

    Im in my second term of my secondary science PGCE. My advice would be to make the most of not having loads of work to do while you can! I dont mean to frighten you, but it gets hectic! Just so you know.

    Also, I guess just keep reading the forum on this website. Its excellent for getting advice and teaching ideas. I use it nearly every day.

    Hope this helps

    emma
     
  4. I completely agree. There'll be enough work to do once you get started. Enjoy your free evenings, read for pleasure, see your friends......aahhh how I miss those things!
    MM x
     
  5. Get plenty of sleep!
     
  6. yeah, the reading for pleasure idea is the best one, i REALLY miss having time for that. There's not a lot to be done before you get to uni and find out exactly how your course will work. Possibly read some behaviour management books, a light-hearted one like 'Getting the ******* to behave' is a good start. if nothing else it'll start to get you thinking how the kids think. otherwise, make sure you have enough files, plastic folders, pens etc (although there's plenty of time), and a good sturdy bag. make sure you have all the documents you need (exam certs and the like) as they can take an age to come through the post and make sure your finance is sorted out (ha, easier said than done when dealing with the Student Loans Co.). but to echo everyone else, take the time to chill, safe in the knowledge that these opportunities will be few and far between
    J x
     
  7. However, if you want to do something worthwhile, then you could volunteer at your local school, if your job is flexible. I was a TA for a year before starting my PGCE and I learnt SO much in that year about school life in general. There is no substitute for that real experience.

    It also looks good on a CV!!

    Good luck

    emma x
     
  8. Congratulations on getting on the course!

    I'm in the middle of the English PGCE, and loving it, but you do miss having free time at this time of year, so make the most of it! It seems to get busy in phases, and this phase is a bit knackering!

    Depending on what you did at Uni, you might want to brush up on your literature knowledge or grammar so your subject knowledge is up to scratch, as colleges tend to like giving you subject knowledge audits, or assignments on that sort of thing.

    Read some teenage fiction, like Stone Cold or the oft-used Holes etc

    Oh, and buy a big bag.

    But most importantly, make sure that you are well-rested and happy, and have fun!

    Chippy
    x
     
  9. Haha...the meditation one definately :) I think you should take the time to sleep and relax as much as possible really. Like someone has already said though, brushing up on bits and bobs from your degree is a good idea, but don't devote the next 7 months to it. The PGCE is geared to prepare you, so don't worry too much about the NC (oooh - you might like to look up some of the acronyms though, since that's all many teachers use!). When you're roaming round town, if you see things you think would be useful to you, stock up.
    I'm an NQT now and only just starting to loosen up after my PGCE year, though even now I still hanker after my final year at uni and afternoon naps.... Congratulations on getting onto the course and enjoy your time til it starts!
     
  10. play around on the education websites and get a feel for what resources are free and out there. There will come a time when you are planning a lesson and you think "i know exactly how ill do that, ill use the idea i saw on such and such website in the summer"

    it saves time searching through websites at the last minute. You never know when something you see might suddenly be really useful 6 months down the line.
     
  11. Other suggestions, revise for the QTS skills tests, get them done in the first few weeks of your PGCE, there is much less time to revise once you start. Start collecting good articles from the TES is another good one!
     
  12. Congrats on your PGCE place. Yes its hectic.

    Two really big mistakes I made:

    I didn't finish planning my wedding - so I would really advise if you have any big personal projects, do them now if you can. Same mistake - I put off decorating projects, now they'll never get done!

    I worked for myself, so right up until PCGE start date I was working - and I had NO holiday between Christmas and starting the course - however tempted due to finances, don't do that, and if you can, take a nice break before the course. The first term is really long, and is a hard slog because you are getting used to teaching (BTW, second term seems a lot easier in terms of workload than first - learning to do things faster!)
     
  13. Thanks everyone! You've all been really helpful and I feel well on the way to being prepared.

    I think I do need to brush up on my grammar! Can anyone recommend any books or resources?

    V good advice about the tests, I hadn't really thought about them, or about holiday dates. I shall take myself off to a cottage in the Lake District for two weeks with lots of nice books.

    Sweetie - congratulations on the wedding! Hope it wasn't/isn't too hectic. Thankfully I don't have anything like that to worry about but I will try to get the garden sorted out over the summer.

    Thanks everyone! Hope you are all getting enough sleep!
    Lemon Tea xx
     
  14. I'd recommend David Crystal for grammar - 'Rediscovering Grammar'. You can buy books for about £7 each to help you revise for the QTS tests - the Maths one is the only one worth buying really, as the ICT and Literacy tests are pretty simple.
    MM x
     
  15. pgcebabe06

    pgcebabe06 New commenter

    It is hell! Be prepared for sheer work work work work work. Im so sorry to be so honest, but I never realised it would be this hard. Especially teaching in London schools. Mine is more like a zoo and Im not overexaggerating. Id say try to spend some time in a school to see what it is really like. Good luck. Im hoping it will be worth it in the end. xx
     
  16. it's not hell for everyone - i'm doing secondary English PGCE, it is hard but if you're passionate about your subject and enjoy being in a school environment then you'll be fine.

    definitely get some reading done - try looking at the GCSE and A level specifications especially for AQA - they have a website where you can access reading lists for what you might teach at KS4 - if you haven't read any of the major fiction texts on the list then now would be a good time to get them in - i just had to teach an A level lesson on the Duchess of Malfi and i hadn't read it so i had to read it over the weekend and know it well enough to teach asap.

    also think about children's literature as that will be what you will be teaching.

    try to get a few weeks experience here and there in secondary schools just to get a feel for what the job is like, and when you're in the english department office have a look through the schemes of work - they are the types of things you will be working with on a daily basis so the more familiar you are with how it works, the easier it will be for you when you start.

    oh, and look forward to it - i'm really enjoying it!!!
     
  17. I have to agree with pgcebabe06-I expected hard work, but this is on another level! But people keep telling me it's worth it in the end, so hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel...!
     
  18. Actually getting loads of stationery isn't such a bad idea but I would spend the time on the practical things - get your home in order and get a cleaner if you can stretch to it - you will not have time. If you have a family try to get everything you can organised in advance. Good luck.
     
  19. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    be organised - enjoy the breaks too
     

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