Hello everyone, So this is a huge shocker and definitely not something any of you have ever heard before. *sarcasm* I really, really, REALLY hate my PGCE. I loathe every second of it. Well, not every second, there are a few occasional ‘good’ seconds that I try to cling to but they’re too few to matter. I have done some teaching and mentoring outside the school system and I absolutely loved it, hence the PGCE. But my god. The crushing conformity of schools (or at least my placement school) is absolutely killing me. The impossibility of actually doing anything creative. They show us all these lovely activities/teaching methodologies at uni and none of them are in any way realistically applicable in a school environment. Not just in my placement but also in the schools of my colleagues that I’ve spoken to about this. The workload and expectations are absolutely shattering and I feel I get very little support. My mentor certainly does not care as long as I do not bother her. I feel like I am doing my very best but it’s never enough, I barely sleep but all I get a reluctant acknowledgement of some good bits I’ve done and then a loooooong list of everything I’ve done ‘wrong’ along with the expectation to always get it right from then on. Some of the feedback I get implies I should have just magically known what to do and what is even wrong with me. I keep getting told by my uni tutor that I shouldn’t worry about not always getting things right, that it’s normal at this stage, but that’s not the reality of it when I’m in my school. I was told to prepare a medium term scheme of work without being shown or explained how to do it beforehand, surprise surprise it’s no good. The teacher who asked me to do it said my mentor would go over it with me, my mentor said the other teacher would do it, in the end nobody did but the fault is still mine for trying and failing. So yeah, apart from the crushing, suffocating conformity of the system, I am also overwhelmed by the hypocrisy of it. The teachers are free to tell me exactly what they think of my teaching and then discuss it among themselves, but god forbid I talk back or discuss *their teaching* with my fellow trainees. The general expectation is to be as little bother as possible, keep my mouth shut and just magically know what to do. They are allowed to cancel or reschedule meetings, fail to meet deadlines we had agreed on and ignore my emails, but god forbid I so much as breathe out of turn. This hierarchy, this expectation to always ‘know my place’, which is clearly at the bottom of the food-chain, is disheartening to say the least. In every office I have ever worked in I’d have taken this sort of attitude to the management and reported it as bullying, except this seems to be the norm in schools. I have left the office to try and dedicate my life to something meaningful but feel I am pouring all my time and efforts into a system that doesn’t appreciate it and never will, and that I could lay my life down but it would hardly matter to anyone. Also I have come to realise you must be a specific type of person to thrive in the school environment and I am just not that person, nor do I ever want be. All of this, but especially the waste of my time and effort, just makes me angry. I really want to quit, but I can’t until I have found a job, and this close to Christmas it’s a tough gig. The actual teaching’s fine. It’s just that it’s barely 10% of the job. Sorry for the long rant. To summarise how I feel, I pray somebody calls me tomorrow and gives me a job and I can just leave this hell behind and forget it ever happened.