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School placement Query (commute and subject)

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by peanut333, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. peanut333

    peanut333 New commenter


    I've just started my PGDE in French and so far so good.
    I initially applied to do both French and Russian, but long story short the russian side of things didn't work out, so I'm now doing only French.

    I was distraught about not being able to do russian and have been feeling sorry for myself for months between the interview and now.

    However now that I've started the course and have got myself into an 11 month house contract, my tutor has told me I can do one of my placements at a private school with russian if I want to.

    Initially, I couldn't stop smiling at the news, but it turns out the school would be a 2.5 hour commute each way which concerns me in terms of both time and money (I don't have a car).

    Now I just feel like which ever decision I make, I loose. If I accept the offer, I'll be spending 5+ hours on the train every day, and I know I can do my work in the train, but it'll never be as productive as being sat at a desk. I'd also be spending £400+ a month on transport. If I say no, I know I'll constantly wonder what if. I know I'll still be able to teach Russian (albeit via a club) in the future without this experience, but I can't help the feeling that this would experience would make it much more possible. And I would love to be able to see how it's taught by an actual teacher, instead of just winging it on my own.

    I've been so upset over the past few months, about not being able do Russian, and now that I can, I'm not sure if I want to.

    Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated.

    Thank you
  2. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Don’t do that. Teaching Modern Languages is what you are learning. The experience of teaching Russian will be wholly similar in terms of the pedagogies and techniques. Once you have obtained your qualifications you will easily find you can develop experience teaching Russian. You will learn very little extra from doing the teaching of Russian in exchange for all the money and hours. See yourself, philosophically, as an ML teacher not a teacher of discrete languages.
  3. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Agree - you'll be able to adapt if there is an opportunity for you to teach Russian in the future.

    You could, maybe, arrange to go and spend a week at the school with Russian in July once your course is over.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Realistically finding a job teaching any Russian at all will be difficult. As a Hod I would be looking for someone who can fit into the timetable in a school where French is the main language. Russian club? Yes lovely but any more and you will probably be looking at the independent sector. Learn your craft with French first. The methodology is more or less the same
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    5 hour daily commute, costing you £400 a month?!

    Forget about it.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I had an acquaintance who had a degree in Russian and French. She was rather shocked when she found out that the vast majority of schools only offer Spanish and French. Even German - a staple when I was at school in the late 80s/early 90s - is dying out. When it comes to non-European languages, the key one now is Mandarin. As you've found out, the only schools that will offer Russian are the odd Indie or Grammar school.

    Do not undertake a five hour commute. You'll be exhausted, you'll be broke, and end up jacking it in.

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