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Really considering quitting my EY PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by TrialandTribulation, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. I have been on a PGCE Early Years course from September, and up until Christmas fairly enjoyed what I was doing. The placement (in a reception class) before Christmas was mainly observing the class teacher and doing a few adult led activities, however going back onto placement this week, I am now expected to teach half of each day. This has equated to either rhe morning or afternoon session and it has all got a little too much.
    The week leading up to going back onto placement I hardly slept or ate due to nerves and the anxiety of having to be the teacher for half of each day. I had hoped that on my first day back there would be some small glimmer of hope, just a little thing I enjoyed to get me through but I honestly struggled the whole day. I now feel that going back into school is something I dread, which isn't how I should feel at all.
    My tutor and class teacher have told me to take the week off now to think things through and try to relax, however the whole experience has made me doubt whether this is a career for me. Feeling such a sense of dread about going into school, and in all honesty feeling very unhappy this week has made me think that I really wouldn't want to go into teaching as a career and has made me consider calling it a day with regards to the course.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I don't want to stop and regret it later, but I also don't want to keep doing something that makes me unhappy if I don't want it as a career.
  2. Hi, I started a SCITT course in September, and have recently finished my first placement in primary school. I know how nerve-wracking it is, going from feeling like a TA, observing and helping out in groups to teaching a whole class.
    Just a few questions I wanted to ask you...
    How long into your placement did you start taking the whole class? Did you go straight from groupwork to whole class teaching or did you 'break you in' gently with a few sessions on your own first? I started whole class teaching from my second week (prob about 2/3 lessons a week at first) it was the scariest thing everat first, but once you get used to it, and the more you do it, its gets easier!!

    Good luck :)
  3. quietlydetermined

    quietlydetermined New commenter

    I just wanted to agree with this. I just started my second placement in Year 1, after an initial placement in Year 6. I am finding it really difficult to get my head around teaching Year 1 as it is so different in terms of style and behaviour management etc. However I know I felt like I didn't know what I was doing at the beginning of my Year 6 placement and by the end I had got the hang of it, so I'm going to keep trying to improve one thing at a time and fingers crossed it will all come together. Take small steps! Good luck!
  4. FOB


    Firstly, it sounds as though you have a very supportive tutor and class teacher, so that should make things a little easier for you.
    I am in the final yr of a BEd and have been teaching 'full time' for some time now. It is REALLY nervewracking when you first start to teach the whole class for substantial periods of time but it really does get much easier and quite quickly if you have a supportive class teacher to help you develop.
    Personally, I think a week out is probably not the best idea - 'stewing' on something like that will build anxietys, in my opinion only of course. Could you not go back into placement on a level you were comfortable with previously and then very slowly build on that success? I think you need to decide if your nerves are insurmountable or just forming an understandable barrier at the moment.
    At the end of the day you should try to remember that you are training, no one will expect you to be an Ofsted outstanding practitioner right now, so now definately IS the time to be making mistakes and learning from them.
    Best of luck with everything xxxxxx
  5. Thank you for the replies everyone.
    I do think that if I stick at it, it will get easier, however the main thing I'm battling with is the fact that I seem to dread going into school. This has made me think that it's just not a career for me and I'm battling with whether that it really is just not the right thing for me, or whether it's something I will overcome.
  6. Hi Bryony26, thanks for your reply
    I had four weeks in the same school before Christmas in which I only taught small groups mainly from the teachers planning. The only whole class bits I did were the register. Now I'm back in I'm expected to do 50% teaching, so thats either the morning or afternoon session each day of the week. I got in on Monday and just thought it's so much to deal with, and after I had done the session, felt no better at all, no confidence boost whatsoever.
    Now I feel like I literally couldn't bring myself to be the teacher for half a day at a time.
  7. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Are you teaching your half day from the teacher's plans, or are you planning as well as teaching?
  8. I have to agree that you are probably just hitting a wall of nerves and the 'unknown'! I'm on a EY PGCE (although I have more placements in KS1 but that suits me fine!) had a 3 week placement in November which was really nerve wracking! The uni built what was expected of us up slowly, so week 1 observations and helping with activities, week 2 teaching 1 maths, 1 english and 1 foundation subject and week 3 a bit more again! It was terrifying starting to teach but once I got into the swing of it, it became ok and eventually fine really, although still a bit scary! We go on placement in 2 weeks time for 8 weeks this time and I will be in EY for this placement and we have to teach 50% by week 3 and 75% by week 4 onwards ... and it scares the life out of me! I have no idea at the moment how I am going to take on the role of the class teacher but the university are supporting us and I know i'l get the hang of it hopefully! I think part of the problem with a PGCE is the amount of time you spend away from school inbetween placements, it really builds up anxiety again and you almost forget how you coped and managed and hopefully how well you did in your previous placement! I personally would get yourself back into school, give it a good shot and see if you feel the same in a weeks time! Allow yourself to be nervous, tired, to have good lessons and bad ones (you learn more from these!) but just give yourself a chance to get back into school and enjoy it! I think a week off will just make you dread going into school even more, you will feel out of school life, even more worried and find it more hard to get into the swing of it! Good luck with whatever you chose! :eek:)
  9. I know how you feel it is terrifying. It sounds like you have a good mentor though which is much better. I have had some real problems with mine. I didn't get to teach small groups, plan with a teacher, or co teach, before I had to plan and deliver a lesson to the whole class while being observed. That was my first experience in front of the children. And I was so nervous and criticised horribly afterwards. It hasn't got better, and I don't know if I'll complete the course. Keep your chin up and enjoy the children, they're the best bit. [​IMG]

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