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Struggling.

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Kartoshka, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Only two more Sundays to go... try and stick it out if you can. If you decide to pull out of the placement, all your efforts so far will go to waste, and you'll have to repeat the placement, which will mean you end up graduating later and not starting your NQT year until January (or later). It sounds like you are doing ok on your placement despite finding it tough, so it really makes sense to see it through and have it over and done with.
    Rather than thinking of it as 'complaining' about your mentor, think of it as giving your university some constructive feedback on her. Emphasise that she has been helpful in some ways, but that some of her comments have unhelpful to the point of making you doubt your ability to teach. Give examples so the university mentor can judge for herself whether you are being reasonable. I wouldn't mention your dad's and grandad's illnesses in a conversation about your mentor, as if your mentor's comments are unreasonable then they would unreasonable be regardless of your personal circumstances, and bringing personal circumstances into it may cloud the issue at hand - which is that your mentor is not providing the support she should be. You wouldn't want other students to suffer, which is why it is important to say something to your university, so that they can make the decision to retrain your mentor, not to sendother students to that school, etc.
     
  2. You need to tell your Uni lecturer so that they can support you through this.
    You have a hell of a lot going on and you need some support, you need to talk to somebody!
    Okay, I was in a similar position to you on my PGCE and had some serious problems, I tried to deal with it on my own and I nearly ended up having a nervous breakdown at Easter. I didn't want to speak to my Uni teacher or anyone else about it but ended up having to. The support I received was first class and I would not have finished the course without it. try and take each day a period at a time, you really do not have long to go - if it makes you feel better, i am in my NQT year and am doing exactly the same thing as you as I am having problems as well. You can do this but you do need help, dig deep and take deep breaths, a break at half term will make you feel a lot better (get plenty of sleep), and you will soon start a new placement. You CAN do this!
    With regards to complaining, personally I would say nothing to the school, teaching is a very small world, but tell your Uni teacher who WILL listen to you!
    Now go and arrange a meeting with your Uni teacher, get some rest, chin up and if you want to vent, feel free to pm me at any time! look at my posts i do it all the time and I am still teaching!
    [​IMG]

     
  3. oscillator

    oscillator Occasional commenter

    I just wanted to say - be careful!!! I had mentor issues, changed mentors and then was put down on a cause for concern because the first several months of my GTP I was effectively the blind leading the blind trying to teach myself. This, in turn has lead to a pretty negative spiral of lack of confidence. Nothing has happened with my original mentor, who glares at me from across the office. There will be no reprocussions for him. It has just seemed to put more pressure on me by complaining. Keep your head down. Get on with things and get out. I am left in the horrible position, even though I was constructive in my complaints, offering solutions or improvements, but the school now sees me as uncooperative and negative, because I complained, even though it's been a viscious cycle of ignoring the fact that student teachers need training for the past few GTs that they've had...
    BE CAREFUL. Also, stop worrying about the people who come around next - take care of yourself and stop worrying about the future. Sometimes, even when we think we are doing right by ourselves and other people, we might be making the situation worse. If I could doit all over and take back my official complaint, I think I would.
    Good luck!
     
  4. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    I completed the PGCE last year and had similar experiences.
    At my first school placement my mentor went from nice to nasty all the time. After being off for a couple of days due to stress after her treatment towards me and my friend dying, I went back in to teach a lesson and she literally screamed at me for 10 minutes about all the things that went wrong in the lesson. In the end I complained about her and was going to leave but I struggled through until my second placement in February and things were then completely different and I was able to enjoy the remainder of my PGCE.
    I ended up speaking to an old trainee and she told me she had put in a written complaint about this teacher. Apparantly she wasn't the first and despite me adding to this long list of complaints, another trainee ended up going there after me. The teacher started failing this other trainee despite her doing well at her first placement and in the end she was removed from the placement and I have found out that this year they are no longer using her as a mentor for trainees.
    My only words of comfort are that the time will go quickly and you will be out of there, definitely make a complaint though as it is not acceptable and if the next trainee has similar problems and has to complain, it will show there is a problem.
     
  5. F1sydney

    F1sydney New commenter

    I totally sympathize with you as I too had some issues with a teacher who was luckily not my mentor. I was shouted at by her and treated like a child, criticized beyond belief and she hadn't even seen me teach. I was lucky I had support from a few others in the school. Basically I was ready to walk but had a lot longer to go than you currently do. I cried for about a week while I considered my options. After a meeting with the head, I turned it around and decided the ***** would not stop me getting the PGCE (whether I decide to teach or not). I went back in school held my head up high and showed her she couldn't get the better of me, even though two of her students had quit. I was the better person in the end and that got to her more than she did me.
    I understand that you are having family problems but honestly stick with this two weeks, Post on here everyday and we can support you through the next 10 days. Having encouraging words from those that have been there will help you get through - trust me!
    Maybe you should consider taking a break after the placement to be with your family, but please just get this done. Complain to uni and your tutor but not until the end, in my experience visiting tutors stick with the schools as I don't think they want to break up the uni/school partnership, in their eyes you are just another student and more will be along soon.
    Post tomorrow and let us know how you are - PM me if you want.
    Take care
     
  6. F1sydney

    F1sydney New commenter

    Great to hear from you. What are you doing for PE, we may be able to give you some advice. I had a observation by my visiting tutor for PE (Year 4). If you like I can PM you on his comments for things I could have improved on, that way you can make sure you cover all aspects to get a good obs.
    Are you sure that you can fail the placement at this stage? My understanding is that unless the school have a cause for concern and unless meetings have been arranged between school and uni that highlight problems - you can not fail a placement. If you are meeting the standards (first placement WITH SUPPORT) then I am sure you can't fail. Others will put me right on this.
    Contact me if you need help and only 6 days to go [​IMG]
     
  7. Hello Everyone again,

    I have had a bit of a blah day today - I asked her straight up if I was going to fail this placement and she said she couldn't tell me. I said that I felt awful and like I was being left 'hanging'. I know I probably should not have said, but I am at my wits end. I know that she went to see my senior mentor afterwards and now I am in a panic. More of a panic than before.

    She also asked me about what I was going to do at the end of my placement - and I said that I had bought everyone a small present. She said 'oh - nothing else planned then? On my placement I did a huge Roman banquet party' and then she started going on about all these thigns she had done and as more or less forced me into doing a party for them next Friday. Arrggghh!!! lol! The kids will love it, though so :) That will work out well.

    I need to make sure it ties in with everything I have done this week - kinda like an enhanced/continuous thing so I am making it into a Toys Tea Party (I said Teddy Bears Picnic and she was like, 'why would you do that?!').... so it is a party on Friday!! :) Need to think how to do it and fit everything in - should be fun though :)

    so sick and tired though - and totally paranoid still about failing. I have been advised by several people that she cannot fail me because I have been getting Satisfacotries for everything... but I stil can't help but be terrified esp because I have not been given written feedback from my obs this week. I feel like I am payingmy way to a pass with the tea party - how bad is that?! lol


    Thanks everyone! I really should get some work done!
     
  8. tictactoe1

    tictactoe1 New commenter

    I did my final school placement when I was going through a lot at home and it is my biggest regret! I did not let anyone know and tried to cope but couldn't. Luckily I had a lovely mentor and was in an amazing class and school. But the deputy was head of all SE students so observed me with my link tutor. It was just something about those 2 that turned me into an absolute emotional wreck.


    I agree, that you ought to give feedback rather than complain but also be reflective. Teacher's aren't super human. Personally, if I could do it over I would not have carried on the placement. You may have only 2 more weeks left but it was the last two weeks that got on top of me and I had a breakdown. Looking back I was silly to have tried to cope when I wasn't in a position to handle pressure. I went from outstanding in the first 4 weeks, good, then satisfactory and failed when I had 7 days of school left.



    Yes, you will have to redo your placement and you may graduate later but those are minor details in the grand scheme of things.

    (No idea where my paragraphs are going...?)
     
  9. tictactoe1

    tictactoe1 New commenter

    Ah just read the rest of the thread! Haha :) Good luck!
     
  10. F1sydney

    F1sydney New commenter

    Where are you lauly?
    I am interested to know how your final days at school went.
    Did you pass?
     
  11. There is not long to go, but do contact your university tutor and talk to him/her about any issues that you have. They are there to support you aswell as assess you.
    James
     
  12. Hello everyone!!

    :) I am good, thanks!!!

    .... I PASSED!!!!!! (only just, though and I got some pretty nasty comments on my form but ... hey! that one is over!)

    I went into a KS2 class for a week after 1/2 term and my mentor kept coming up at every opportunity to talk to the teacher I was with (despite the fact she'd never once spoken to him in the whole 10 weeks previous to that) so I was getting a bit paranoid and worried about what was being said.
    In that last week I had several people say to me they wouldn't want to be in my position and that several people would 'hate to work with her'. One person even said to me that they were sad to see me go because (and I quote) 'she will start picking on me again'. I was told that I wasn't the first, second or even third student who had felt like that and I ended the week feeling much more justified and much less like I had actually gone insane.

    This placement has taught me a lot - I know that I need to work superhard to even make a scraping pass and that on many occasions my best is simply no where near good enough. Its a hard job and we are required to constantly improve ourselves on a daily, if not hourly basis. I have learned much from this placement and though I did cry on the bus home about 7 out of 10 days, I feel it has been the most accelerated learning experience in my life and innumerably valuable (even if it did make me doubt who my own aptitudes, abilities and just about everythign else you could care to mention).

    In my last week in her class she got kinda twitchy - kept saying '....I have taught you enough, though, havent I? I have - havent I?' or 'I've prepared you, havent I for your next placement?' or 'This hasn't been too hard for you, has it? I pitched it right, didnt I?' and similar.... so I think she was feeling a bit stressed herself with how I felt the placement had gone. I was unable to tell her, of course, with any degree of accuracy howI had actualyl felt during the placement BUT I did, indeed learn. Lots!

    SO - thank you so so so much for pulling me out of my black spot and making me believe I wasnt quite the total reject that I felt I was. I know I will never meet you, but thank you none the less. I am buying you all an imaginary pint/spirit/wine/coffee/tea/etc.

    Thanks!
    x
     
  13. cate50

    cate50 New commenter

    The university will always question a mentor on why a student has failed. They interviewed you and therefore thought you suitable for the course. It would be a reflection on their judgement if you fail. They are therefore going to question every aspect of your placement. That is why she is twitchy. Nobody does bady without questions being asked. We all know it!! If a student fails the first the SMT ask is why? Did you know? why didn't you tell us? If she has highlighted concerns on your form that she did not early bring up with the uni or attempt address with you then they will want to know why she didn't speak up earlier! Anyhow, Iam on my second time around trying GTP teacher training. I flunked PGCE when I was 21 due to illness and this has been such a weird experience going back. I'm not having the loveliest second placement but reading your posts and everyones comments has put it all into perspective. I just need to plug on through to Easter and then take what I can constructively and forget all the nastiness.
    I wish you every success with the rest of the year. If I could say one thing it would be - KNOW that you are ok. that you do a good job and the when people attempt to make you feel like you aren't good and don't do well you can smile and draw on some inner strength! It would be a bad teacher who didn't care what others think but a good teacher will not let it knock them forever!
    Good luck!
    C x
     

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