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Starting English PGCE in September - reading list advice please?

Discussion in 'English' started by DorotheaBrooke, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. I've been lucky enough to get a place on an English PGCE for September. I was made redundant from my TA job a couple of months ago so I've got time on my hands and I want to use it productively. I'd like to focus on getting ahead with useful reading for the course, as I know the workload is going to be huge. I was hoping that people might be kind enough to suggest books they see as essential reading. Obviously, I have been reading all the commonly used texts for KS3 and KS4, and as I've got a teenage daughter I read a lot of current teen fiction anyway - but it would be so helpful if people could suggest the books they thought are essential for a PGCE student to read. Any other tips on surviving the course would also be very gratefully received. I'm a mature student and so overjoyed at getting this place, I really want to make a success of teaching.

     
  2. I've been lucky enough to get a place on an English PGCE for September. I was made redundant from my TA job a couple of months ago so I've got time on my hands and I want to use it productively. I'd like to focus on getting ahead with useful reading for the course, as I know the workload is going to be huge. I was hoping that people might be kind enough to suggest books they see as essential reading. Obviously, I have been reading all the commonly used texts for KS3 and KS4, and as I've got a teenage daughter I read a lot of current teen fiction anyway - but it would be so helpful if people could suggest the books they thought are essential for a PGCE student to read. Any other tips on surviving the course would also be very gratefully received. I'm a mature student and so overjoyed at getting this place, I really want to make a success of teaching.

     
  3. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I'd recommed brushing up on grammar. Crystal's "Rediscover Grammar" is useful.
     
  4. I'd also build up a bank of resources, as once you start teaching, having read the texts won't be enough. Search on TES/Teachit for schemes of work on commonly used texts, as coming up with lessons from scratch takes ages when you start and why reinvent the wheel? it also takes a long time to look for lessons on the web, and there is so much great stuff out there donated and shared by kind people - it will save you loads of times if you have lots of resources already
    Here are the texts we study at school
    KS3
    Skellig, Face, The Witch Child, Animal Farm, Holes, Stone Cold, Abomination, Carrie's war, Buddy, Noughts and Crosses, Ruby in the Smoke, Bugsy Malone, Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty.
    Ballads, News writing, Travel Writing, Controversy
    Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth

    KS4
    Of mice and Men, To kill a mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Franekenstein, A view from the bridge, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth
    other cultures poerty
    Pre 1900 poetry
    Hope this helps
    :)
     
  5. Hiya!
    I'm on my PGCE at the moment and its definitely a good idea to get ahead on your reading as you'll have little time once the course starts!
    You might be in a different situation as if you've been a T.A. then you will have more experience in school but I found that Behavior Management has been the main issue - not subject knowledge. So maybe read a few books on that?
    Learning to teach English in Secondary Schools is very good for an over view as well.
    Depending on how up on your classics you are it might be worth brushing up on them - I'm currently teaching Detective Stories and although the pupils only read a VERY small amount of Sherlock Holmes its important to have a sound basic knowledge as they ask a lot of questions!
    Hope that helps!
     
  6. english.teacher

    english.teacher New commenter

    Those are great suggestions.
    For Key Stage Three, I would also suggest Stormbreaker, Private Peaceful and Brother in the Land.
    For Key Stage 4, I would also suggest Touching the Void (AQA) and Great Expectations. World War 1 poetry. I've seen Great Expectations even taught to quite weak sets, but it works! So easy to just pick out the most important bits!
    Oh, and An Inspector Calls, Wuthering Heights, The Crucible and Purple Hibiscus.

    Good luck. It's impossible to have read everything you might have to teach. If I were you, I'd relax and enjoy life. When teaching starts, esp. English, you won't have much of one - not at first at least.
     
  7. Thank you everyone. Those are very helpful suggestions. I'm not sure about behaviour management, my job was in an EBSD unit so the challenges were a bit different than they will be in a mainstream classroom and the learning was very personalised, so my only experience whole class teaching comes from a few weeks of work experience in a mainstream school.
    The tip about building up resources is great - I will try to do that for every book I read. I've joined NATE as well and got my first magazines from them this week, which were really fascinating. The David Crystal book is in now my Amazon basket, with a few others as well!
    I'm so excited!
     
  8. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    That was going to be my next suggestion. Classroom is a brilliant publication and EDM takes a much more academic approach, but is equally fascinating. Make sure to keep an eye out for NATE events in your region (and save up for conference next year!) It's also well worth looking at NATE publications - The Full English is a fab book, and full of really practical ideas which actually do work!
    (PS I am a NATE member, hence the somewhat shameless plugging!!)
    :)
     

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