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tips on things to buy before starting PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by bhatti00, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. save yourself some money and time and speak to the course tutors that will be teaching your course.

    ASK THEM for the reading list - usually comprises of 30 + books that the University recommends.

    Get your self the basic stationary, pen, pencils, folders, plastic wallets, binders etc.

    a photocopier/printer/scanner all in one if you can off ebay (usually no more that £25 -30) for a decent one...

  2. I got myself a laminator during second placement as the school I was at didnt have one. I found it really useful and you can get them for about a tenner now - I paid 30 quid for mine!!
  3. If you are secondary - cheap pens and pencils, loads of them! It's just easier to be able to lend the pupils a pen or pencil (if there are some boys who like to think they are really tough, I like Disney princess pens with pink fluff) than to have your lesson interrupted every single lesson with the kerfuffle that goes along with them asking friends for a pen.

    And lever arch files (I have filled 8 so far!)

    I haven't used my laminator yet, but am about to embark on a major laminating mission - I'm making traffic light cards for an interview lesson.
  4. Books are a waste of money as the tutors at uni just change reading lists as you start. (I bought loads and have used 1) If you are really keen buy: getting the ******* to behave and trainee teachers survival guide. 'How to survive your first year in teaching'is really for NQT year rather than PGCE

    Files, plastic wallets, dividers....galore

    revise - if primary, and note what you have done...although your course may differ.

    Try not to do much, however excited, get rest and prepare your body for the mamoth year ahead

    memory sticks for pc are essential!
  5. i would never have thought of buying a laminator. for those of you that have - have you got the use out of it? is it not an option for you to use the one(s) at school?

    other than buying 'grown up' clothing and stationery i didnt think i'd need much else.

    why pay a fortune for books when you can borrow them from the library for free? i only ever buy books which i love and will refer to time and time again - and only then after ive borrowed them from the library, so i know that i love them. i photocopy the useful chapters from the other books for reference - why pay circa £15 for a book that you only need one chapter from when you can photocopy it for a £1?

    if you have a printer, stock up on cartridges. the amount of ink ive gone through during my degree is obscene. likewise for printer paper. cheap £3 ream from tescos does the job just fine. make sure you have a usb stick for easy file transfer too. 512mb - 1gig is ample for word documents, powerpoint etc.

    i toyed with the idea of buying a cheap laptop, so that i can do my presentations etc at home. then i realised theres no point if i end up in a school which isnt mad on ICT in the classroom. suck it and see - they are easy enough to get hold of if needed. (of course, if you dont already have a PC or laptop, then it may be a shrewd investment! you'll need something to write your assignments on).

    if you dont already have one, get a decent tuppaware/lunch box, flask etc for taking your packed lunches. much cheaper than buying out/from the canteen.

    a sensible sized handbag/manbag/backpack for carting all your gear back and forth.

    a diary/planner to keep track of your work, assignments, appointments etc.

    i also plan to making an 'emergency kit' to keep in my bag. it will be filled with tissues, tampons, plasters, painkillers, pound coin for the vending machine, mini deodorant, throat sweets and lemsip. the type of stuff you would keep in your desk if you had a classroom, just in case. nothing worse than feeling grotty but not being able to go home. at least with the right equipment you can numb the pain and get through the day!
  6. Hiya,

    If you really want to read a book or two (secondary) then try:

    "Key issues in secondary education" Beck and Earl (2003)

    "Learning to teach XXX in the Secondary School" (where XXX is your subject) Author dependant on subject.

    But pink-tink is right. Course tutors change their minds about books. Use the library (local one might have a few books, your Uni one will have TONS) wherever possible, as buying books is an expensive waste of time. I've bought 2 books since I began my course (so 8 months ago) and have only flicked through a couple for an essay.

    As for other stuff:
    - a good, solid USB flash drive (keep backing it up!!)

    - a scanner/printer/photocopier. Lexmark do cheap ones

    - I've not used a laminator at all (although I'm sure there've been many opportunities when I *could* have done)

    - a pair of COMFY school/work shoes as you walk miles around the classroom! Trust me. Gives you some time to break them in.

    - Plastic pockets and Lever-arch folders (mini-ringbinders are only effective for about the first week - after that, there's too much paper!)

    - One of those coffee mugs you can transport about. I spent sooo much on coffee on my way to work (at the train station) till I purchased one of those. It cost about 2xcoffees from train station. Bargain.

    - A diary is useful, but if you wait till the Unions do the rounds at your uni (which they do quite early on), then you'll get a nice free one from NASUWT (I think it was). Also, some schools give their trainees a Teaching Planner.

    Hope this helps

  7. clare personally i'd avoid any lexmark products like the plague. the initial cost of the machine is cheap but the consumables (even the compatible ones) are really expensive.

    in the longer term you are much better off buying a more expensive machine (epsom or HP are fab), because your consumables will be much cheaper. and those are the things you will be shelling out on time and time again
  8. A mini guillotine!!! Saves me so much time and effort. Small laminator and pouches, although many schools do have them and your uni will have a resource centre. The all in one printer/photocopier/scanner is a good idea. The books from YOUR reading list sent by your course leader in about May. Pens, pencils, felts, crayons, scissors, glue, cellotape... all the usual stuff as if you are primary you may have lots of art weeks/visits to schools where you run projects. A large, day to view diary. BOOKMARKS and lots of them.

    Also, before you start, sounds silly but get your dentist and optician appt for the year out of the way and see the dr for any niggling things - you won't have time really once you start.

    Totally relax for a couple of weeks before you start if you can and enjoy all your free time... you'll miss is when it's gone (am I beginning to sound like the Sunscreen song?).

    My final recommendation: if you have a scrap store near you then join (you can find out on the net). They are fantastic and you can get a huge bag full of recycled materials, includng postcards and arty things, for £3.
  9. I am a definite book hoarder and have spent probably over a thousand on books this year (some are children's books). I live near the scholastic warehouse as well so when they have sales I get a trolley full for £50! I'd say it depends on your uni whether you need to buy books - my campus library is not exactly badly resourced but 1 or 2 copies of a book will not go round 150 students; plus I live a long way from campus so it's often easier to buy, although I obviously borrow some (and usually end up with ridiculously high fines because someone has called the book back and I haven't been told in the holidays until the day it is due, at which point I can't get it back in time - cue £1 a day fine = £12 in total!).
  10. Oh cheap laptop can be a good one because most classrooms have IWBs but not always a laptop for the student to use. My last placement wouldn't allow us to use their laptop and, although you can download the software at home to do work, it's probably just as well to get one ready for your teaching career when you WILL need one.
  11. Lever Arch Files, dividers and A4 pouches - I have gone through so many of them!
    I have 12 lever arch files full, and 9 of the smaller ones! So invest in them!
    I woudln't buy all the boosk they tell you to buy - I did and I've hardly touched them and totally regret it!
    Resoource books always come in handy though, and start sussing out the best charity shops near you for childrens books! In teh summer hit the car boot sales for these too!
  12. Whoever said about not buying lexmark products...couldnt agree more!! Yes the printers may be cheap but they have the most expensive ink and the cartridges are not full cartridges. Best of getting a HP.

    Don't buy a laptop unless you are desperate for one. My school gave me one for my planning and teaching.

    Get yourself on ebay looking for any topic ideas books that you think might come in handy. Make sure you have lots of memory sticks, I have had 2 stolen this year so far.
  13. FPF - good idea about opticians/docs/dentists. i think we can safely add a good haircut to the list as well
  14. ela86

    ela86 New commenter

    hahha some of the posts have made me laugh, i think ill be getting myself one of those "emergency bags" with deodorant, first aids, tampons, femfresh wipes etc hee hee! just in case!

    Thanks will be taking the advice up XX

  15. do they sell sleep??? buy it!!!
  16. I have one of those multi-pocket plastic document holder/divider thingys that I've found invaluable. I use it day to day and then file stuff in lever arches when I'm done with it. I have a pocket for each class with their info, seating plan and lesson plans etc in which means I can just pull it out when needed. If it starts getting fat I know I've got to do some filing!

    Also those post-it page markers are a godsend so you don't lose articles and page references when doing assignments.

  17. I use those expandable multi slot plastic envelopes too. I go to pound stretcher / instore for all of my stationary, folders and pockets so I think they were only about £1. Great too.
  18. I got a really sturdy expandable file, which has been the saviour of my PGCE - find it so useful! I agree with not buying books until you find a specific one you really want and need. Printer / copier is worth its weight in gold!
    A good bag - if you commute on train or whatever it can be a lot of carrying. A normal backpack which doesn't hold lever arch files is no use at all. A big, strong, comfortable one (mine even has a waist strap - looks silly but has saved my back!) is vital. And a smaller, smarter bag for 1st days / interviews etc, that will fit a small file and some pens and notebook etc but that you don't feel like a new year 7 student carrying around!
  19. lots of folders :)
  20. On the subject of bags, I've seen people using those natural material large supermarket-type bags, made from hemp or something similar. I don't have one but they look like a really sturdy option and can take a couple of large files. And eco friendly too!

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