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School Direct trainee, feeling doubtful?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by louiseh215, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. louiseh215

    louiseh215 New commenter

    I'm a few weeks into my school direct training course for secondary English, and whilst I'm in the school I feel confident and happy, but as soon as I leave (and all weekend, too) I feel really doubtful and really nervous to come back! Is this normal? I struggle with feeling stupid, and I'm finding that a lot of the time I walk around feeling a bit clueless as to what is the 'right' thing to be doing.

    I know it's early days yet but not many of the other trainees have said they feel the same way, so I'm starting to wonder if maybe it's not right for me (even though I so badly want to do it!)... Any advice?
     
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Even if other people don't feel the same way as you, it doesn't mean there is something 'wrong' with you or the way you're feeling. As you say, it's still early days - most trainees don't really know what they're meant to be doing yet. Some people won't be bothered by that, others will worry a bit but take each day as it comes, and some will feel very anxious.

    I think it's a good sign that you feel happy and confident while you're at school. When you're in the classroom you know what's happening and you can cope with it. When you're at home you can start to worry about things that might happen, about potential lessons you could plan, etc, and then you feel doubtful. I think that as you get more experienced, you will become more confident in your ability to cope with the mights and the coulds, and you will start to feel less nervous when you're at home. I could be wrong, but give it some time and see.
     
  3. amygriff92

    amygriff92 New commenter

    I feel the exact same Louise. I've just started on a schools direct English course and I feel so overwhelmed by it all. I feel stupid as well, as though I don't know enough and I feel sick thinking about going into school on Monday and uni on the Friday. As soon as I get into school though I feel fine, its just when I come home.

    I've decided that i'm going to give it a good try and keep at it until I officially start teaching and see whether I really can manage the paperwork etc. Keep positive. I'm sure it's going to click into place at some point and we'll be wondering why we ever found it so difficult! :)
     
    hpindz likes this.
  4. W3bby

    W3bby New commenter

    I am really struggling too. I feel as though I can't cope with the amount we have to do already.
    I am doing my PE teacher training and already planning and teaching 7 lessons a week that I'm really struggling to keep up with. Really starting to question whether the profession is for me. Every morning I wake up with dread and hate the journey in to work. I try to put a smile on my face to get through the day. When is enough, enough?
     
  5. bettinaboo

    bettinaboo New commenter

    I understand completely where you are coming from. I am 3 weeks into my schools direct secondary English placement and I am solely responsible for 15 classes. I have been their only teacher from day one and it has been really really hard going. I think there are many people in the same situation as us im afraid :(
     
  6. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    What kind of outrageous courses have got your teaching load up so soon? On a PGCE we work on getting you to teach good lessons first and then gently scaling up the teaching load until you teach all your lessons well.
    I tell them, I don't want to know that you can teach 10 mediocre lessons, I want to know that you can teach well. That comes from developing your pedagogical knowledge slowly and having the space and time to plan and take risks without being swamped by workload.

    These teaching courses are shocking. Really shocking. You are paying hard cash for these and are working unpaid as unqualified teachers rather than getting £9000 worth of high quality training.

    For the OP. The answer will come through better group dynamics. Establish a FB private homepage for the group and encourage each other to post regularly for support and advice from each other. This reduces isolation and helps you construct a clearer philosophy of education as a group of student teachers.
     
    toshmcg likes this.
  7. toshmcg

    toshmcg New commenter

    I'm amazed by what you guys are saying. I'm also on a schools direct course (doing English) and have only this week done my first starter activity - my first full lesson will be next week after planning it with the regular class teacher. In terms of struggling, I would hope you could talk to your mentor about this? My university provides subject audits so we can assess our weaknesses in our subject and work towards improving the gaps - could you ask your provider for something similar? I told my mentor how awful it was and she was great, said everyone has gaps and the important thing is to work on filling them. I really hope it gets better for you guys!
     
  8. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Bettinaboo - you're being used as a cheap teacher. I'm appalled.
     
  9. HCampbell91

    HCampbell91 New commenter

    Im also on the Schools Direct course, in Primary however. But I get that exact same anxious feeling over the weekend for the week to come but Im fine when Im there. I'm shocked by the workload a lot of people seem to be getting so early on too but I think this is down to the flexibility of the course from school to school and every mentor is different. I've only just done my first full lesson yesterday and one again tomorrow and the odd starter here and there. Full classes to have you as their only teacher at this early stage sounds intense!
     
  10. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    Early on it's really common for student teachers to feel like that on a range of courses.

    When students sign up to SchoolDirect/SCITT they know that they're not signing up to a university style PGCE course. Though for what it's worth, the course I mentor on has training sessions on certain days and their school/training split in the first half term is very similar to what the local PGCE courses offer.
    Our trainees started delivering sections of lessons over the last fortnight and will be teaching a 60% timetable next half term. Yes, it's a bit more than PGCE courses but then that's the decision you make when you choose to do a school based training course.

    As for being 'cheap teachers', they are not being used as 'cheap teachers' because all class teachers are still employed, still responsible for the classes and are not allowed to be unavailable in those lessons so whilst they can go to the office down the corridor, they can't be used for cover or meetings etc because the class taught by the trainee is still 'their class' and the buck rests with them.

    Our school based provider does that. Most training providers I know do this. As a mentor I then meet with my trainees, discuss their perceptions of their needs and then based on the audits, school based and LA training is given to close the gaps.
     

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