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So we got in! Now what...?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by becksldrt, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I've just accepted my unconditional offer of a place to study secondary english at the IOE. I came to work today (yup, I'm a career changer) and counted out how long before I start, and how long before I get to give my notice in, and I was super disappointed to realise I don't actually get to hand in my notice for 19 weeks! Gosh. That feels like forever when in my head I'm already a student teacher.

    So. What are you doing to pass the time? Anyone got any recommendations on books to read or ways to prepare? Anyone know when we'll hear from the universities? I want to start arranging my primary school visit, but feel like I need more info first.

  2. Excellent question...I've just posted on my Uni thread too. Been accepted to my primary PGCE at Leeds and would quite like to know if theres anything I could be doing to prepare. Or if there's anything we actually should be/need to be doing.
  3. natbar

    natbar New commenter

    I've been on a PGCE primary course before, I had to leave 3 months in due to childcare arrangements. The best advice i can give you is to PRACTICE your QTS standards tests from now onwards so that you are ready to take them asap when you have your number. They aren't particulary hard but the maths one can be a bit tricky, and the ICT one is odd as the software used isn't the same as any you are used to.
    Also read up on your particular area and teaching theory in general, saves you lots of reading when you don't have a minute to do it!!
    I'm just waiting for firm acceptance on a PGCE at Canterbury, and/or the GTP also at Canterbury.
    Hope this helps
  4. shoegal44

    shoegal44 New commenter

    Hi becksldrt, IOE secondary english here too!!
    I'm studying like crazy to complete my degree (I have had to take on four short courses as well as my main two so that I can complete the credit requirement in time)!! Even though I am super busy, like you, I want to know what I can be doing in preparation for September. I really want the IOE to give us a reading list so I can hit Amazon! I have a primary school placement lined up whenever I want to go, I just feel like I have been waiting for an answer for so long, I need to get on with things now!! See you in September!!
  5. Hi Shoegal,
    Great! Good luck finishing your course. How did you set your primary school placement up? I'm thinking I should just start contacting a few, before everyone else starts rushing in too.
  6. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I did my PGCE at the IoE (albeit Primary) and my advice is not to buy too many (or any) books beforehand; the library is well-stocked and you will be able to access journals from home. I didn't really use the few books I bought. If you do want to buy books, get them from the IoE bookshop, because you can get some cheaper if they're used. Plus, after the course they buy books back, either for refund or exchange at excellent percentages!
    You can get a head start on your QTS test, practising now and then booking them to fall early on in your PGCE year. Then you won't have to worry about them when you're doing teaching placements and essays all at the same time. I found them quite easy! Or, if you struggle, you will have lots of time to re-sit them before the end of the year.
    Finally, enjoy your time before it starts! A PGCE is intense, as I'm sure you're aware, so take the time to see people, relax and have fun. It's not much help, as I know what it's like to want to get going, but it really is something you'll wish you'd done this time next year!
  7. shoegal44

    shoegal44 New commenter

    A friend of mine is a TA in a local primary school, I bribed her to put in a good word for me! I would start to contact schools, I found a copy of a letter you can send to primary schools on the IOE website, but I can't find it now! Have a nosey around, it's there somewhere!
  8. shoegal44

    shoegal44 New commenter

    Thanks for the great advice Sillow, I just had a go at a practice test, I'm not looking forward to the numeracy!
  9. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    <ol>[*]Your PGCE year is likely to be the toughest year of your life - so, if there are any trips or special events you are thinking of doing, do them now because next year, you won't have the time.[*]Spend some on-line time looking at videos on http://www.teachers.tv/ Don't take them too seriously (no class you teach will ever be that well behaved), but there are some good ideas in there and any you think you like you should bookmark as you might want to try them out yourself when in your placements.[*]As an English teacher, get a head start on the set texts. And read as many teen books as you can - you can use your knowledge of Twilight, the Cherub books, Percy Jackson, etc. to show the kids there are books outside the curriculum they'd enjoy. Take a look at some graphic novels too - one way to get a book review done that means the class can't just copy it from wikipedia is to have them re-write the story as a graphic novel.[*]Despite what others have said, don't worry about the QTS tests. As an English teacher, you'll not have a problem with the English test and the ICT test is easy if you do the on-line practice tests and ignore the microsoft short cuts you're used to. The maths test might be more challenging but the only things there that are outside normal "adult" use of basic maths are the statistics questions so, if you're not already confident, get someone from the maths department to show you how box and whisker plots work.</ol>But really, mostly, enjoy the time off you currently have - you wont get much of it next year!
  10. Hi becksldrt and shoegall44,

    I've just accepted an unconditional offer for IoE Secondary English too. I know what you mean about wanting a reading list. If you go on the IoE Secondary English PGCE page and click the link for those holding an offer for 2010/11, you can view last year's reading list. I haven't bought anything from it (except a 2nd hand copy of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which I wanted to read anyway!) as its contents may change, but I have borrowed some of the recommended fiction from school.

    I'm slightly puzzled as to when I can fit my Primary experience in as I'm a TA at the moment and it's difficult to take time off except in the holidays, when obviously the primaries will be closed too. I don't think I'll try to arrange anything until I get some more info from the IoE. I'm also very impatient to start the course. Have either of you heard anything directly from the IoE since accepting the offer on Track? I think I read over on The Student Room that some had been sent an email regarding finance and accommodation.

    Where are you practicing the QTS standards tests?
  11. shoegal44

    shoegal44 New commenter

    Hi Leningrad. I haven't heard anything directly from the IOE, just a confirmation letter from the GTTR. For the QTS tests, they're available on the TDA website, I just googled them!
  12. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    Another career changer waving hello! I have told my work colleagues as I simply could not keep it a secret any longer. I work in a very specialised area so we'll need to plan recruitment & handover carefully. My immediate boss has known of my plans for about 2 years so he was expecting it. Everyone else has been initially shocked, followed by "Oh yes ... of course!"
    Cambridge helpfully send us a long list of things to do, geared towards our age/subject. I had a look at the QTS tests. The ICT one is very annoying, but we'll just have to learn how to do it the way that it wants us to do it. I know that I need to improve my mental maths (I'm doing Primary) so a colleague has confiscated my calculator!
    One nice side-effect of 'coming out' at work - lots of people have said "My partner / sister / cousin / neighbour is doing their PGCE / is a primary teacher. I'll ask if they've got any stuff you can have." :)
  13. Hey from another Secondary English IoE PGCE career changer! I've got my letter from GTTR but I want to wait for any info from IoE before I actually truly believe it! I am very lucky I can line up my primary placement any time as I've got contacts from my old work for the county council in SEN, though the person I'll be contacting is my old Year 6 teacher which is tres handy.
    I remember John Yandell saying that if we want to do our primary placement in the summer term to contact them directly for the information on what we need to do whilst we're there. I'm going to look at the reading lists from last year, nice one Leningrad, I'd forgotten about them! I'm sure we'll all be fine on the QTS tests but fail to prepare and all that, so I'll be looking at that too. To be honest, my main worry at the moment is finances and where to live as I am currently in Essex. And I am going to make the absolute most of the time I have before entering PGCE world because the warnings are clear of how little spare time we're going to have. Bring it on! (I'm so going to regret saying that next year)
  14. Ooooh Nice to see that there are other career changers out there!

    I got accepted onto the ICT PGCE at IOE! Well chuffed!

    I graduated in 2006 and have been working since in a job I have hated since the start! Now i only have to survive another 180 days until i finally get to walk out of the soul destroying grey office and never go back! I am so excited!

    I accepted my offer straight away on GTTR so am now just waiting to get any documentation from IOE to get the ball rolling..and have reminders set for March 16th to start applying for student finance - i will need eveything i can get now that the bursary is gone!

    Congrats to everyone that got their place!

    May I ask - how do you know you have to do a placements in a primary school before you start the course? is this only for english teachers? I don't recall reading anywhere that I would have to do this.
  15. Read this thread last night with a pang of jealousy thinking I wish I could join in. Then checked my email and ioe said you will be made an offer! Was so excited but didn't want to go mad til it came through on track... It just did so yay. See you in September shoegal and uptheranch!
    Oh and I do have a good book to recommend, can't remember title though so will find it on amazon and post a link soon.
  16. Yay for robynsmith! Well done!

  17. Congratulations Robyn! I've just received my offer and I couldn't be more excited. Will be able to bake my Jamie Oliver Brownies this weekend in celebration (Thanks again for the link!)
    The relief of knowing is so great, but really this is just the start of an awful lot of hard work. Can't wait!!
  18. My advice to you all is sit back and do nothing, and enjoy the freedom that you currently have.

    I am on the PGCE at Leeds and they send you pre-course tasks which they basically skim over, if that, so do not fret on these at all.

    The best thing you can do is get as much classroom experience as you can if you do not work in a school now, in different schools, both affluent and more challenging schools.

    This way it won't come as so much of a shock if you get placed in one on placement

  19. oh how I wish that were true!

    Still have a job to go to in the meantime that demands at least 10 hours a day. Plus after doing my sums i may have to get a second job for a few months to try to bump up my savings to try to make up for the lack of bursary! Eek!!
  20. Well in your case, do your ten hours and then leave work at work by putting your feet up and not even thinking about education!

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