1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Should I quite the PGCE?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by jarndyce, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Stick it out. We all have moments even in the job itself when we think "I really can't be bothered with this".

    The second placement might be very different, and you might find that you do very well at a more challenging school. Quite a few teachers are at the most challenging schools out of choice.
  2. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    If you're in receipt of a bursary, I think that's reasonable advice.

    But if not, and you're simply building up more debt as time goes on, what's the benefit?

    If it's not for you, why continue - you've got some very tough times ahead and to what end?
  3. Reading this, I thought it sounded just like me, except changing primary to secondary. I'm finding that people can't seem to understand that it's not the case of finding a better school etc, it's simply that there is no joy in it. I'm trying to work out if the financial side of it will make it worth me quitting or not. Have to contacted your student loan office to see if you will need to pay back the loan you have received so far immediately or not? I'm waiting to hear back if this will be the case. If I don't I think my decision to quit will be made easier. Good luck with your decision!
  4. I thought about quitting after week one of my first placement. I posted on here, and some of the advice that was given, was that the PGCE qualification will assist if you decide to go into a training job. Try to think of this as experience, and the more experience you get, the closer you will get to your dream job.
    If you have been rated well, then my advice would be to stay, finish the course, and then decide what you want to do. It has also been suggested to me that employers may look unfavourably upon someone who has left a course part way through - completing the course shows that you will fulfill your obligations, and not leave a job after a short time.

    I hope this helps, but ultimately, this will have to be your decision. Life is too short for regrets.
  5. Normal




    /* Style Definitions */
    {mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
    mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
    mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";

    Hi rhisscott21.

    Sorry to hear that your not enjoying it :(

    I think teaching is one of the few jobs in life where you can, pretty much,
    have a correct gut feeling to. I would suggest, first of all, trying teaching
    in a different age group, I trained in secondary but love FE.

    But as for completing the year, if you can, try and get through it. The
    skills of time management, planning, preparation and presentation development
    is incredible ,and, if you can demonstrate your ability of any of these in an outstanding
    capacity, it really impresses employers. First of all, working with kids is
    hard, and I have worked in further education and in young pupil and adult
    services and these skills really impresses people.

    There are very few Masters, post graduate and other vocational training
    courses that allows you to develop these skills in such an analytical method.
    The opportunity for constant feedback and opportunity to be innovative don’t
    exist in many other careers that require specialist training. I'm not saying it
    doesn't entirely, but it is rare. If it's not costing you an arm and leg, then
    try and get through the year.

    I completely understand the demands upon your life, but, having completed my
    PGCE in secondary science teaching last year and taking a break from it, I now
    feel more confident of my skills and more able to apply for different sorts of
    jobs outside of my past work experiences.

    I was the sort of person who was really risk averse, since completing
    my PGCE it’s really changed my approach and outlook to how I can overcome a
    problem. Am I beginning to sound like an add for the TDA?!
  6. F1sydney

    F1sydney New commenter

    I can totally understand where you are coming from, as from the start I have felt this way and have nearly quit on several occasions. I was told by many people to stick with it and an equal amount who thought I should quit. I decided to stick with it and have just finished my final placement. It has been the most challenging experience of my life, but the last six weeks have been the best part of the whole experience. In having the class to myself I was able to build good relationships with the children and got to know them and their abilities and they got to know me.
    I am not ready to go into teaching as yet. I have had a tough time with my first placement being a nightmare, which gave me negative feelings about the whole profession. I will be going into a support role and see where I go from there - BUT and I guess this is the advice part - I now have more options than before, more doors can open because of the qualification. If you can hold out then I would advise to stick with it, especially if you have no job to go to.
    Good luck
  7. Lots of useful advice above. My pennyworth would be to carry on doing the PGCE and, if possible, start looking around at what else might suit your profile without quitting the PGCE. Once you have decided what suits, you can line it up, get the timing right & move 'seamlessly' onto it.
    It means that you don't jump ship before there's another one along side & you have a new direction to follow.
    If you quit, without somewhere or something specific to go to, you may have a 'gap' in your CV which could count against you later on.
  8. I am in a similar situation, although secondary, and quit yesterday.

    I'm still in a bit of turmoil, but I know it was the right thing to do. I didn't even see it coming myself, but after having to take a day off sick and as a result being sent a nasty email, berating me for not doing things I never knew I had to, and letting me know that as a result of the one day I basically now won't pass my course (all feedback on my progress so far had been that it was excellent, yet clearly one day and a stressed out teacher changes all that).

    I pointed out that the lurgy I caught was from their school, that they do not practise what they preach (qualified teachers can take as much time off as they like, and moreover can dump a lesson on a traineei teacher at lesson minus 5 via email if they choose to, and that's ok), and that if this is teaching, then it is clearly not for me.

    In my case this is a career change, yes I get a bursary but still trying to work out why it hasn't arrived yet, tho my fees have been taken out of my account, and ultimately I have a number of strings to my bow, this is costing me money so I've decided to quit and cut my losses to my health, self esteem and bank balance.

    Clearly teaching wasn't for me, as I work with other trainees who have received the kind of treatment i would never have withstood. Their response to me when I question them putting up with it is that they want the final job enough to withstand it. Clearly I don't. Scary times but I do feel a weight has been lifted! Good luck with whatever you decide OP.
  9. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    If you do decide to quit, you would be able to claim JSA Income Based, which allows you also to claim Housing benfit and Council Tax relief as well as free NHS Dental, Optical and prescriptions.
    The JSA would count your student loan as income already coming into your household but the first SLC payment only covers you until Xmas and you would cancel the January payment. Any claim before the end of 2011 would therefore deduct the weekly income from the SLC loan from your JSA entitlement but anything from 1st Jan 2012 would be paid in full.
    Housing Benefit is capped at a rate applicable to each area of the UK. They have taken data on rents in the area and worked out an average for different claimants. A single person in leeds, for example, would get £61 per week to cover rent and would have to make up an extra out of their JSA Personal Allowance.
    Housing Benefit, if you don't get a job soon, would at least solve your dilemma of how to honour the rest of your tenancy agreement. Your landlord may even be interested to know that you can claim free loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, with their permission, when you are claiming a means-tested State benefit. You could also get cold weather extra payments for fuel costs.
    It's also possible to defer the completion of your PGCE. Somene did that in my training year so that they could have a break from education (just graduated with initial degree) and return the following year after Xmas. It would give you an automatic way back in if you find that you actually miss the classroom after sampling other work. If you don't regret leaving the PGCE this academic year, you simply notify them later that you won't be resuming the course.
  10. Oh I take my hat off to you for quitting. I am also a career changer and I have four year old twins who have just started school. Never in my life have I experienced what I am at the moment, I am crabby and short tempered, and resent every hour that I cant spend with my family, and things at school that I am missing. I thought I was prepared for this.....but I know that I wasn't at all, the emotional tug is worse than anything. I'm the same as you, I have had positive feedback, but its not enough. Yet I look at others who are continuing with it (often with a young family too) and think - why can't I be like that? I need to be stronger - twice I have told my tutor I'm quiting and twice I have let her talk me into staying. But......I can't see myself continuing at all. The whol thing is making me quite sad! Sorry that I cant offer any advice, and sorry for the moan.
  11. I'm a Secondary PGCE student and feeling more or less the same. I decided to do the PGCE after trying fot 2 years to get another job and failing - even being told at interview that I was "too nice" to get the job!
    Not sure what to do but think I may just stick it out. but that said, money worries are making it worse, I never see my boyfriend and havent had time to have a night out with friends since september. I am so crabby and miserable all the time!
    I feel like the only person who feels like this but it's good to know I'm not alone!
    Good luck with whatever you decide!
  12. I hated my PGCE (secondary maths) but stuck with it. I then lasted 18 months as a full time maths teacher and hated every moment of it. I finally left with no job to go too. That was three years ago and I don't think there has been a single dat where I haven't woken up thinking "thank god I'm not a teacher anymore!". (I'm a university lecturer now which is quite different).

    It is beyond me how anybody can cope with being a teacher and even more amazing that some claim to enjoy it!

    Having said all that I still think it's worth sticking out the PGCE, it's perceived as a good qualification and might help get other jobs, e.g. prison teaching, that sort of thing or even make you more eligible as a private tutor.
  13. housesparrow

    housesparrow New commenter

    If it's any help in making a decision either way, this blog by "crapteacher" is a brilliant read and all true - https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/538372.aspx?PageIndex=3#7168226
  14. housesparrow

    housesparrow New commenter

    The actual blog is here http://crapteacher.wordpress.com/
  15. Hello again everybody,

    Thank you all for your advice- it was really beneficial for me to have a variety of responses to my dilemma and also to know that there are others out there in a similar position. Anyway, around three days after finishing my last day of placement, I went into University and officially dropped out. Obviously it's still early days and this week has been a bit of a whirlwind in terms of doing lots of organising, but for the time-being at least, I am feeling entirely relieved and happy with my decision.

    Making the decision to quit was absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but as the last week of placement went on, I tried to visualise myself in a month's time, doing assignments and writing reports. But I just couldn't. I looked at the schedule for the year ahead- the reading, the assignments, the tasks to complete on placements and core weeks, and just knew at that moment that I would feel so bad if I continued, torturing myself with thoughts of 'I should have dropped out at Christmas'. I had absolutely no motivation whatsoever to do the work and just wondered how I would get through it all. Even one of the course leaders thinks I have made the right decision. She said that there is absolutely no point, unless you are prepared for an extremely tough time, to continue with this course if you know that you definitely don't want to be a teacher.

    Anyway, I wish everybody on the course, whether having doubts about continuing or not, the absolute best of luck. I agree with the poster who said that teaching is one of the few things that you can have a strong 'gut' feeling about. When I pictured myself teaching, and indeed, continuing with the PGCE, my heart absolutely sank. There is no point wasting yours and everybody's else's time if that's how you feel.
  16. Thank you for coming back to post 'rhiscott21'. Again, your post ould have been written by me! I have also dropped out after the end of my first placement, not because I was failing but because I was sidelining my own children and I couldnt cope with that. I too am sure that although it was a heart wrenching decision I have done the right thing and am already starting to feel like myself again. Need to work out what plan B is now! Wishing you the best o luck and a relaxed, stress free christmas! x

  17. y9840125

    y9840125 Occasional commenter

    There are some lovely, honest posts here. I have been teaching for 10 years and my advice would be if you have any moment of hesitation about the profession, get out while you still can! It won't get any easier; I still find it hard 10 years in. I have made many personal sacrifices as a result of this career (not married, no children) because our profession sucks up so much of our time that it is, at times, deeply unfair on the other person or our family. It is an all or nothing job for the most part as the kids we teach only get one shot and we are that one shot. If you have families and young children, I take my hat off to you because I have no idea how you do it. I love my job (for the most part) but it is all consuming (and she says this as she is sat at her classroom desk on the second day of the holiday LOL). Good luck to all of you, whatever you decide.

Share This Page