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Student teacher - Advice Please!

Discussion in 'English' started by pink_daisy, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Hi all! I'm about to start my PGCE Secondary English in 3 weeks time. Basically I wanted to ask if any of you had a student teacher in your dept, what would you be horrified if they hadn't read? I'm trying to read everything I can think of, and have completed the 'teen fiction' reading list provided by my Uni. I just want to hit the ground running really - I have a two year old daughter so don't want to be rushing through books when I've got the time for extra reading now. Also, has anybody got some 'pearls of wisdom' or any major dos and don'ts for a (very) nervous student teacher? Apologies for lack of paragraphs, apparently my iPhone doesn't like them. Thank you :)
  2. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I wouldn't be horrified at all, but it's as well to have read Holes since everyone seems to teach it.
  3. <font size="2">I'm planning on starting my PGCE in English next September and my approach will probably be to find out which board the schools you will be placed in are actually using. For example WJEC have a list of poetry and fiction in their specs or possibly online too (though I think the website requires a school login?) </font><font size="2"> Also, considering you have until October and the term starts in September, give the schools a call at the start of year and speak to the head of English for some extra advice on texts. At the very least you're showing your commitment!! I have a whole year to get texts read and I'm freaking out about stuff so I know you must be really nervous! Good Luck with it all though! </font>

  4. I've just read Holes - was on the reading list from Uni. Thank you for the reassurance, I'm hoping that I'm just over thinking it all. Ped89, fab idea about ringing the school, can't believe I didn't have the common sense to think of that!
  5. I just finished my PGCE and am about to start my NQT year. Before I started my course I read a couple of teaching 'guides' like Teaching Secondary English by Mark Pike and The Complete Guide to Becoming an English Teacher by Westbrook, Dickinson and Clarke. These were quite useful to me because they gave me ideas which I then used in my teaching practice but also because they gave me an idea of where I stood in terms of where I stand in terms of teaching.
  6. DalekTeacher

    DalekTeacher New commenter

    When I was completing my PGCE, during the summer, I tried to read a variety of fiction from different authors and traditions and with a focus on children's literature. 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas', 'Stone Cold', 'Oliver Twist', 'Skellig', 'Of Mice and Men', 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Macbeth' are some of the texts that I came across during my PGCE year when I was on placement. 'An Inspector Calls' was also another one that I came across as well.
    I also brought some useful additional texts as well. Two of them in particular that I used: 'Becoming an English Teacher' and 'How to be a brilliant English teacher' by Trevor Wright. I found the second text, although, a small text, quite useful with some of the approaches to how to introduce the study of a novel, play and poem. I also found Gibson's 'Teaching Shakespeare' useful for teaching approaches for Shakespeare to pupils.
    You could continue to read your fiction texts up until the PGCE course starts and then start to begin secondary reading either now or from the start of your course. One of the learning experiences that I had when I was doing my PGCE was, especially, on my first placement was making it 'active' and reading up of different methods now, will help you as they are easily adaptable to any text or topic that you may be teaching.
  7. I had a panic before I started training and spent about &pound;50 on kids books - Stig of the Dump (!), Tom's Midnight Garden...needless to say I didn't read them all and nor have any of them appeared since I started teaching. Of course it's wonderful to have read as many books as you can, and personally I do try and steer kids in the direction of classics, but to be honest it's more important that you're familiar with the GCSE novels than anything else. I taught both Holes and Private Peaceful during my NQT year and just read them as I went along - most of the time I was a chapter ahead of the kids, and that didn't do me any harm. However I'd read Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies since I knew they'd all appear at some point, which they did.
    Don't worry about not being "well read" though. Nobody's going to give you a test. If you've done a degree then teaching any novel shouldn't be too difficult whether you've read it or not. What you need to do is learn the techniques for teaching a novel and the activities the kids can do, and that's something you'll pick up as you train.
  8. Wow, this has made me feel so much better! Out of all the texts mentioned I've only not read 'Stone cold' and 'Lord of the Flies' - they will be the next two I read! Luckily I haven't spent any money on 'kids books', thank goodness for my local library. I also have two of the three textbooks mentioned (they were the two essential ones on my Uni reading list). A lot of the texts I studied myself, I'm 22 so it's not too long since I was in school. I was worried it would all be very different but I guess if it ain't broke... Thank you all so much for your reassurance!
  9. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I wouldn't hold out too much hope for contacting the school before you start - I'm the subject and professional mentor in my school, and the trainees rarely seem to know more than a couple of days in advance where they're going!
    As far as pedagogy goes, all of the aformentioned are good - but my number one recommendationis for The Full English by Julie Blake. I also heartily recommend joining NATE.
  10. You will be observing for a number of weeks before you start teaching. It's a good opportunity to find out what you will be teaching, look at schemes of work and borrow from the stock cupboard anything that you might need.
    I'd also recommend looking on here and Teachit for resources, when you have an idea about the units you will be covering.

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