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Should I defer?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by annabellina, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Hi - I wonder if anyone can advise me: I am a mature student due to start PGCE in September. I have a 10 year old son. My father is dying in hospital. He has been for weeks but keeps rallying and then fading. He has been in poor health for many years on and off and is a very very difficult person. My mother requires a lot of support with him. At the moment I am with them in the hospital about four times a week for approx four hours at a time. The stress of the situation is reaching a critical point. I am unable to concentrate on any pre-course reading for example ( and obviously I have my son to look after as well).
    While my father lives it is simply impossible to turn my back on him and most particularly my mother. It seems to me my duty to them is incompatible with doing the PGCE at this time. However, if he dies, things may be very different. My mother will need a lot of support then too (and I should think I will be pretty shattered with complex emotions) but I could imagine the PGCE would be doable.

    At the risk of sounding very cold, the timing of his death is the problem. Should I defer before I start the course or start it and then 'interrupt' my studies? There are big financial implications within the choices but I am not clear about them. We are not at all well off and will be very stretched this year - next year, with fees of £9000 may well put it beyond us. However, I am the possessor of a First and have over twenty years experience in a profession closely associated with my PGCE subject, and I believe the inestimable Mr Gove (!) has said something about bursaries to be offered for potential trainee teachers with a First. Perhaps I shouldn't get my hopes up about that.... ?

    I would be grateful for anyone's objective take on my situation and any advice about what you would do in my shoes. Also if you know anything more about the state of teacher training and funding for next year.
    with thanks
    a.

     
  2. Hi - I wonder if anyone can advise me: I am a mature student due to start PGCE in September. I have a 10 year old son. My father is dying in hospital. He has been for weeks but keeps rallying and then fading. He has been in poor health for many years on and off and is a very very difficult person. My mother requires a lot of support with him. At the moment I am with them in the hospital about four times a week for approx four hours at a time. The stress of the situation is reaching a critical point. I am unable to concentrate on any pre-course reading for example ( and obviously I have my son to look after as well).
    While my father lives it is simply impossible to turn my back on him and most particularly my mother. It seems to me my duty to them is incompatible with doing the PGCE at this time. However, if he dies, things may be very different. My mother will need a lot of support then too (and I should think I will be pretty shattered with complex emotions) but I could imagine the PGCE would be doable.

    At the risk of sounding very cold, the timing of his death is the problem. Should I defer before I start the course or start it and then 'interrupt' my studies? There are big financial implications within the choices but I am not clear about them. We are not at all well off and will be very stretched this year - next year, with fees of £9000 may well put it beyond us. However, I am the possessor of a First and have over twenty years experience in a profession closely associated with my PGCE subject, and I believe the inestimable Mr Gove (!) has said something about bursaries to be offered for potential trainee teachers with a First. Perhaps I shouldn't get my hopes up about that.... ?

    I would be grateful for anyone's objective take on my situation and any advice about what you would do in my shoes. Also if you know anything more about the state of teacher training and funding for next year.
    with thanks
    a.

     
  3. Sorry to hear about your father's condition..
    I'd say you should defer now, to concentrate fully to be with your father and for ongoing support for your mother. Your parents are much more important than PGCE, which will still be there a year from now, and a delay of year isn't significant in the great scheme of things. PGCE is demanding and requires your full dedication and concentration, and I feel your family deserves them from you at the present time.
    Your training provider I hope will be understanding and allow you to defer for a year. As you are a deferred student, you should only pay this year's tuition fees rather than the much higher 2012-13 fees. But do confirm.
     
  4. I am really sorry to hear about this.

    If I were you, I'd definitely defer as the PGCE will be intense enough (especially having children), let alone having a lot of other stress to deal with.

    Good luck with everything

    :)
     
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I too am sorry to read this, sounds like a horrible time.

    However don't be too quick to defer. Your course doesn't start for nearly a month yet, things may be different then. Don't make a decision until much nearer the time. When is the latest you can leave things? don't fret about the pre-course reading, much of it is theoretical nonsense and will be of no earthly use to you anyway.

    I think partly it depends on you and how you deal with things. For me, doing the PGCE this year would be the right thing as it would give me something else to focus on and take me out of the situation. Only you would know if it is the best thing or not for you.

    The PGCE is not necessarily stressful at all, but is definitely busy. This may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on you.
     
  6. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    It is not just that the fees will be larger, but the whole structure of paying them back will be different. You will pay less per month to begin with, but it will take a LOT longer to clear any debt and they have a much less attractive interest rate system attached to them.
     

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