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Wanting to give up PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by BowsAndBats, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. BowsAndBats

    BowsAndBats New commenter

    This is my first time posting on here but really wanted some help and advice.
    I am on my second to last week of my final primary pgce placement. My final observation is next week with the deputy head and my link tutor from university. They will give me my final grade and write up my report.
    I do not feel anywhere near ready or good enough to pass. I had a really terrible first placement where I received no support and basically had to teach myself everything.
    This placement has been so much better. I am in a year 1 class with an amazing teacher and one of my best friends is the teacher in the other year 1 class.
    I do feel however that the reason I have got this far and passed so many observations was because my class teacher was observing alone and was being quite understanding of me. I am left alone to teach now so I can't ask her for feedback on my lessons, she just checks my planning and gives advice.
    As I had such a bad first placement I feel really behind and that this is my first placement. I have had to learn everything in 9 weeks. I just don't feel good enough. My class teacher has given me 'good' for every standard but my differentiation is poor and I find it hard to structure my lessons. She tells me that it something that will come with experience but I need to be good to pass my final observation.
    She observed me today and I felt that the lesson was bad but she passed me. However she then told me that I need to improve as I am making mistakes that I shouldn't be doing this far along in the placement. She says my questioning is good and so is my behaviour management but my differentiation is poor.
    I really appreciate all the work and support she is giving me but I just can't help feeling she passes me out of sympathy. I have been observed by the deputy head twice before this and she has passed me both times while she was jointly observing with my class teacher.
    My link tutor however said I was RI for two of the standards but nevertheless gave me a 'good' for my mid placement review (which was about 5 weeks ago)
    I just don't know what to do. I wanted to quit the course at Christmas and every day I still think about quitting. I just don't feel good enough for the job and find it really different to get things right. I'm not sure that this is the career I want anymore. I have accepted a job for September but I am really dreading and petrified to have a class on my own.
    I am so close to finishing but I just have this gut feeling I will fail next week and then fail the whole placement.
    Anyone been in a similar situation to me? Would like an advice please.
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    The teacher is right - you are not expected to be perfect at the end of the PGCE, you are just expected to show you will be able to do the job. You will improve with time and experience, and you know what exactly it is that you need to improve.

    Is it possible for your friend in the other class to observe you informally, even just for 20 minutes? Or is there someone else in the school who can do informal feedback? The could offer a fresh perspective and boost your confidence.

    You'll feel different in September - you begin the year with the class, so have control right from the start. You will make mistakes, but that's fine, it's not the end of the world, and you'll learn from them.
    emerald52 and pepper5 like this.
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    If there were problems then the university would have picked them up by now. Deep breath and sprint for the finishing line
    emerald52 and pepper5 like this.
  4. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I think it's normal to be terrified and slightly petrified - I am and so are most other trainees I've spoken to so you're in good company!

    We're not supposed to be the finished article by the end of the year. There's plenty more time to learn! Differentiation is hard to get right - it's definitely one of my targets for next year.

    Also, putting feedback aside... She's still responsible for that class's progress and it likely affects her pay increase. The fact that she is prepared to leave you on your own with them the majority of the time shows that she has faith in you! Perhaps you should have more faith in yourself?
    emerald52, pepper5 and wanet like this.
  5. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Crikey. You're in a bit of an emotional spin just now so don't make any rash decisions.

    There's no point in quitting this close to the end, especially when the school are passing you. This is just nerves and worry and the general stress that comes from placements. Take WelshWizard's advice, do the best you can and be proud of what you have done.
    emerald52 and pepper5 like this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Definitely do not quit this close to the end. You can do it. Have faith in your abilities.
    emerald52 likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Finish the course. It's two more weeks and you walk away with a qualification that can get you a job in any country around the world. After a holiday, you can start refreshed in a new environment where you will have time to develop.
    emerald52 likes this.
  8. surfblue33

    surfblue33 New commenter

    Absolutely agree with everyone. I too have only two weeks left to train and have been graded as good but I feel far from being a "good".
    Trust those that observe you though. Teaching is a craft which takes more than a few training months to perfect so mistakes and imperfections are allowed. Differentiation is hard! I teach one class with 35 pupils who have 6! different target grades and can honestly say I have not yet managed one lesson where all where equally supported or stretched. I'm trying though with varying degrees of success and that is all we can do I think.
    Be nice to yourself. The fact that you have come this far is awesome! Do not quit now!
    emerald52 likes this.
  9. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    this is the key weakness of much of the current training for me. Too short, too pressured. Not enough time or variety of experience to give a good start in teaching. I was offered a 2 year B.Ed or 4 Year b.Ed Hons. I opted for the 4 year as I did not think 2 years would be long enough. I feel really strongly that 1 year, in effect 9 months, just does not give enough grounding.
    Hopefully you finish and qualify. Then you can make the decisions. Maybe you should immediately go on supply for a bit to build a body of experience in a wider variety of settings. You will also get to teach a lot of different teachers' planning and classes. No obs while you are on supply either! Just lots and lots of teaching experience and time to reflect in evenings free of endless piles of marking!
    emerald52 likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Honestly, don't fret so much. Not many people finish their PGCE thinking they know it all, and you'll start in September having forgotten everything anyway!

    Your new school will point you in the right direction. Yes, you'll make mistakes, but you'll learn quickly and before you know it, you'll feel like a confident teacher.

    Which is to say - you 'STILL won't think you know it all, will still make mistakes and will be struggling to get everything done.

    Bottom line - if you couldn't teach, you would not have completed the course. They would have removed you. Now you need to have a good summer and get back knowing that passing the PGCE just qualifies you to learn on the job.
    Kartoshka, sabrinakat and emerald52 like this.
  11. teachRE17

    teachRE17 New commenter

    I hope the observation went well? I am sure you did great. I agree with all the advice given - you would not be with the class the majority of the time if they didn't feel you were capable. As for the observation with your class teacher where you are "making mistakes" it's all part of the learning process. Keep striving for the finishing line :)

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