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Struggling Second Placement

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by ams00, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. ams00

    ams00 New commenter

    I have started my second placement, I have only been there for 2 weeks and my mentor has been off ill this week so I have felt quite lost. My mentor wouldn't allow me to teach her classes while she was absent, so I have only been able to teach one class this week.

    I sent another teacher I work with my powerpoint to look over and she slated it. :(

    She said it was too structured and not interesting. I had to cover a grammar point, so I included some exercises to practise this, but she said she doesn't like teaching it this way.

    She said that it was as if I hadn't listened on my observation week last week. I explained that I hadn't had my mentor here and that I was trying to get used to the school still as it is so different from my first placement, but she didn't seem to understand.

    When I taught for the first time here, I ended my class a little too early and got my timing wrong (like 3 minutes too early) and I saw the teacher roll her eyes at me and she looked annoyed which upset me,

    I just feel rubbish and that I have made a bad impression :(
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Try not to let it get you down. Some people in schools are not very compassionate or helpful, ironically since they're training you. Hopefully when your mentor returns they'll be more helpful. You're a trainee, you're not meant to be perfect, you're still learning - if they don't realise that they're idiots; it's them who have made the bad impression, not you.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. mh41st

    mh41st New commenter

    This teacher sounds like the typical bully the profession can attract. People like that will enjoy making you feel the way you are feeling. Trainees are easy targets, especially if you are a 'nice' person. You are clearly conscientious and want to do your best. However, you cannot get into a situation where you're worrying about making a bad impression because that will make you stress even more. My advice is to focus on what your students need from you rather than focus on trying to please each and every teacher and mentor. Remember why you chose to teach in the first place. Don't be fooled into thinking that all the professionals you encounter during your training period are professional, or even competent.
    curlcurlcurl and pepper5 like this.
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Ah this sounds a shocker. Email your university tutor immediately and set all of this information out. You are paying for this experience. If it isn’t up to standard then suggest a placement change. Be much more demanding. Don’t tolerate this.
    renegade29, pepper5 and mh41st like this.
  5. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    It’s good form to end a class slightly early, to ensure a calm end. Especially for a trainee. she is rude, unencouraging and perhaps never worked with a trainee before.

    I see so many trainees blossom under the right support. It’s so easy to think you’re bad with poor support.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  6. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    Try to see the positives, I know it’s difficult but there are some!

    probably for the best, classes tend to be horrific with the presence of cover as the ‘officially employed by the school observer.

    Also see this as a learning experience. Perhaps you don’t like teaching it her way. Part of training is pairing up with a variety of teachers with different styles. Give her way a go, if it doesn’t suit your style then try to communicate that.

    As echoed above, try to rise above it. You probably have a maximum of around 8 school weeks left on placement, many will include bank holidays and/or half days for the end of term. See it as a way of getting better. I had one rubbish placement which definitely forced me into being more organised and self sufficient.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  7. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    Having had a look at all 3 threads after another poster mentioned them on another thread, I'll give the best advice I can and then even if you're reading and running you have a way forward. It's then up to you if you choose to reflect as there's lots if good advice across the threads.
    1. You need to get used to people with more experience giving constructive criticism. They are there to speak to you about school dress codes, how to plan a lesson etc. That's not being unpleasant and it is not grounds for wanting to report a mentor. Having wanted to report a mentor in placement 1 and then posting 2 threads about placement 2 issues a couple of weeks in, you need to pause and reflect. Is it people being nasty or is it people giving constructive criticism to help you improve weaknesses? (From experience, sometimes the latter can feel like the former and that's why reflection is important)
    2. You say someome 'slated' your lesson and in another thread you've taken an issue with staff speaking to trainees like they are incompetent. You are a trainee with a lot to learn. If colleagues are telling you that you aren't listening and responding to observation feedback then take that on board. They will be giving feedback for a reason & the reason is to enable you to be a good teacher.
    3. If they are giving feedback in a way that is unclear or you don't understand then arrange to meet with them and ask them to go through it with you so you can act on it.
    4. Trainees often won't teach when the main class teacher is away as having a cover teacher in with the trainee is likely to make teaching the lesson more difficult. If a trainee is really good and it's an internal cover supervisor then schools may allow it, but it's not standard practice, and certainly not the norm when the trainee has been in school essentially a few days.
    5. You've said on a couple of posts about people not understanding, you're getting used to the school etc. Equally, they are getting used to where your strengths and weaknesses are as a trainee but you don't seem to realise that the getting to know you stage works both ways. It's good practice to be clear and direct and recap the basics with a new trainee than it is to assume knowledge and competencies that might not be there.
    6. If the school isn't following the ITT guidelines on observations, meetings etc then that needs to be raised.
    I hope it works out for you.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019

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