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What do I do?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by anon2047, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. I don't know what to do, I am studying for a PGCE. I am in my second placement school and dread getting up in the morning. I don't like it and have more or less been told I have to just get on with it as I won't be moved.
    I don't feel i'm getting the support I need, When I ask about stuff I need to do - QTS standards and weekly targets etc and ask my mentor if they want to look at them, the answer is no.
    Some of my assignments are based on what I need to do in school as well. Tried to speak to my tutor about it and basically annoyed them, now I feel I can't ask anybody for help and have cut myself off from everyone and tried to just get on with it.
    The thing is, it isn't working.
    At the risk of sounding like a whiner and having a 'can't do it attitude' can anyone suggest anything I can do to try and last until June?
    I can't talk to my mentor about issues I have because at the end of the day I have to work there.
    I don't want to fail because I love teaching and I have worked really hard to get where I am. I'm not depressed either.
    Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
    Thanks
    J

     
  2. I don't know what to do, I am studying for a PGCE. I am in my second placement school and dread getting up in the morning. I don't like it and have more or less been told I have to just get on with it as I won't be moved.
    I don't feel i'm getting the support I need, When I ask about stuff I need to do - QTS standards and weekly targets etc and ask my mentor if they want to look at them, the answer is no.
    Some of my assignments are based on what I need to do in school as well. Tried to speak to my tutor about it and basically annoyed them, now I feel I can't ask anybody for help and have cut myself off from everyone and tried to just get on with it.
    The thing is, it isn't working.
    At the risk of sounding like a whiner and having a 'can't do it attitude' can anyone suggest anything I can do to try and last until June?
    I can't talk to my mentor about issues I have because at the end of the day I have to work there.
    I don't want to fail because I love teaching and I have worked really hard to get where I am. I'm not depressed either.
    Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
    Thanks
    J

     
  3. Get in touch with your uni tutor and discuss your problems. If lack of support is an issue, your tutor can intervene and improve the situation. You have a serious communication problem if you cannot even talk to your mentor. Regardless of blame, this cannot continue and the sooner you get your uni involved, the better it will be. In any case, keep your cool, don't get personal, stay professional, and be positive, and concentrate on how best you can be supported to be successful on this placement.
     
  4. Thanks for the fast reply, I really appreciate it. I don't feel I can talk to my tutor (long story) and I don't want to be flagged as someone who can't cope.
    I just feel like I've screwed everything up really and i don't know how to fix it.
    I'm dreading tomorrow - let alone having to last until June.
    Thanks again
    J
     
  5. It wouldn't let me edit.
    I go in all bouncy and professional and i don't get involved in any conflict, but it's not how i feel on the inside.
    J

     
  6. Is there anyone else you can talk to who isn't directly involved with your course, such as student service, student union or teaching union? The last has a student teacher divison staffed with people with experience, so is bound to be helpful.
    You shouldn't really carry on in your state of mind. You'll be heading for a breakdown, with still 3 months to go. Get help quick.
     
  7. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Your student support service at Uni have trained counsellors please get in touch with them
     
  8. Thanks to everyone for the replies, I really appreciate them.
    I really don't want to go down the whole counselling Drs route.
    Helena, the Uni Tutor said that we can't rely on them all the time which I now take as 'go away and don't bother me' .
    I do have a holiday booked but can't think beyond the next day at the moment.
    I start teaching next week and have been told I will be 'left to it'. I just hope I can give the kids what they deserve.
    Thanks
     
  9. <font size="2">This is going to sound like a harsh message and I know from personal experience that having a horrible placement seems to deflate you and stamp on your confidence but you will learn from this experience. Horrible placements teaches you the ways in which you will never teach and the atmosphere and approach that you will one day have towards students and this experience will make you stronger. The best way to approach a placement such as this is to put a smile on your face from half past 8 until half past 3, keep your head down, show the school how well you can teach and even if you encounter events during the day that you may not agree with learn from it! In the long run it will make you a stronger teacher with a better approach to training students in your future teaching career. </font>
    <font size="2">Emma</font>
     
  10. I understand and appreciate what you saying, the problem is I have got an awfully long time to keep it up and I'm not sure if I can. I think I could be a really good teacher given half a chance , but I also have to pass my Uni stuff which i'm not getting any help with. There is so much I don't know and want to know, and it would be lovely to go to a school where the teachers are really good and supportive for a change.
    Thanks
    J
     
  11. You really have to get this sorted once and for all. If you cannot see yourself getting anywhere on this placement and the very thought of going into school every morning is making you feel ill, you should ask your uni to terminate the placement, ask for a deferral/intercalation, and then come back refreshed to complete another placement. This will mean having to delay your graduation, but you'd rather do that than ending in hospital with mental breakdown.
    Pity your uni tutor is so unhelpful and unsympathetic. A good, independent tutor is worth their weight in gold, as they can smoothe over difficulties and get your placement right back on track, or in extremis take you out of your placement to spare you any further damage and arrange another school to take you to continue your teaching practice.Sometimes tutors value their existing partnership schools so much (bearing in mind how difficult it is to place students) and don't want to upset the apple cart, always supporting the school against their students (who, after all, are expendable).
    I'm afraid if you aren't going to do anything, you only have yourself to blame if things turn out horribly wrong. Do something, and get sorted.
     
  12. Hi Jaime
    Talk to your friends on the course and why not try talking to your uni proffessional mentor if the uni subject mentor isnt very helpful or course leader. its not your fault, its bad placement, rem you didnt choose this school. Focus on getting a job! take one day at a time cuz with all the holis and odd uni days there is only approx 12 weeks of school left.You've come so far dont quit! you can do it.
     
  13. My advice (I'm an NQT now employed by my training school).
    1. Have weekly, one period meetings with your subject mentor. Only ask for advice and assignment help at those meetings.
    2. Have monthly meetings with your school professional mentor.
    3. You should be regularly observed with verbal and written feedback. Use these times to discuss areas of improvement and set targets.
    The school get funding for training you and your mentors (both of them) get time off teaching to mentor you. Sometimes subject mentors are forced to train and in that case they can be reluctant to speak to the trainee above the one period a week allocated for mentor meetings.
     
  14. Thank you for the advice everyone.
    J
     
  15. Thanks for your advice and help!
    J
     
  16. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    This is quite clearly against most universities' guidance regarding student teachers taking over classes. The trainee that I'm mentoring has been given a choice: have me in the room while he teaches, or have me nearby in the office in case of trouble. This is the way I've always done it with the 7 or so trainees that I've mentored: I give them the choice. At the end of the day, if the student wants me there, that's my job. At present, I sit in the nearby department office and regularly go along to the classroom to peep in a check things are OK. The trainee is advised to use all of his own behaviour/classroom management strategies, then once he's exhausted his own, to call for me.
    On a basic level, the school is not meeting it's requirements. Upon agreeing to accept a trainee at their school, they agreed to offer the correct support and will be paid handsomely for it by the university at the end. This is why you should seek support from your uni.
    I know you have been 'fobbed off' by your tutor, but if you ring them/go to see them again, you must explain that you do not feel able to meet the standards due to the lack of support. Take with you written evidence of who said what and when, times when support has been refused and any incidents of negligent mentoring. This way, you will be concise and have clear evidence, which reduces the risk of you coming across as a 'whinger'.
    The university have a responsibility to put things right. If you've raised these concerns and then there is later any question about you not meeting standards, they won't have a leg to stand on if they haven't responded to your concerns. It sound to me as though the university is being weak because placements are scare adn they can't afford to lose this school's offer of taking student teachers.
    Finally, if the university won't listen, seek advice from your union. They will be able to advise you on how you can improve the situation yoruself and on what action should be taken by the uni and school.
     
  17. Eva_Smith

    Eva_Smith Established commenter

    This is actually not the case.
    As a mentor in secondary school, the student teacher is timetabled to teach my year 7 class. As a result, this give me time away from the classroom. However, I'm still responsible for that group of children and, in the unfortunate case of having a student teacher who is struggling, I often don't get any 'free' time to just sit a swig tea when he is with my group. So far, I've been constantly withdrawing children from the lesson who have been poorly behaved.
    I also give up one of my precious PPAs to have my weekly mentoring meeting. On the other week (2 week TT) I give up and hour after school since none of my PPAs match up with a 'free' on his timetable.
    Mentors do have to give up time for free - there is no extra payment for mentoring - to support the student teacher. This is the job and should be accepted before taking on the role. Unfortunately, in some instances, the mentor has had the role imposed on them and is actually unwilling to give up their free time. In other cases, the mentor is doing it for purely selfish reasons to have something to put on their CV - a CV cannot reflect how well or not their did their job, only that they've performed a mentoring role.
    I'm sorry that some mentors aren't doing their jobs properly. I LOVE mentoring, it gives me a real buzz to use my teaching knowledge and to help and support others. Some mentors don't feel the same way.
    However, mentoring is certainly not a job that comes with any financial or gained-time reward.
     
  18. I can see how mentoring is a huge drain on an already packed timetable - but as you say some teachers really do resent it. I have experienced at first hand a teacher who was absolutely not going to let me make a dent in her anally organised day. It is fine to be super organised and no doubt allows for teaching to be very precise - if lacking in imagination and creativity somewhat - but when, as part of your job, you are expected to support students it is unprofessional and a dereliction of duty not to adapt somewhat. Heads would of course never in a million years give any credence to a students complaints though! I complained eventually to my university but not until my confidence was shot to pieces and I considered quitting - and the student before me actually did. There was a pattern forming. Get help straight away. we were not born knowing how to teach anymore than we were born knowing how to drive a car. We are all on a journey but too many people forget to hold out a hand to fellow travellers.
     
  19. The key thing hewre is to get the situation sorted and that requires help from the uni tutor and if necessary meetinsg to sort out any issues and problems with the schoiol mentor or others.
    Schools are paid a sum of money to provide 'services' to trainees. There should be a partnership agreement with the schools that specifies what support they will give and what the university expects. The money goes direct to the schools it is up to the school to decide how the money is used. In some instances the school uses the money to release the mentor from timetable so that they can support their trainees, in other schoolls mentors are paid an honorarium, in yet others, the money goes to the department (if it is secondary) for purchasing resources etc. Some schools use the money to appoint a professional tutor to support all the trainees (in which case they should be more involved in the training).
    I agree that many mentors give up free time and many more go above and beyoind the call to support their trainees. Of course if Mr Gove has his way it will be bye bye to university support and it will all fall on the school.
    James
     
  20. Thank you to everyone for the advice. I love teaching and wouldn't want to do anything else - despite being thoroughly miserable when I am at the school.
    I will go back to my tutor and see what happens - I can't believe it is right to be as unhappy as this in a placement. I also like the idea of writing things down so that I have stuff to back up any claims.. I am concerned about meeting the QTS standards and my other work.
    Thank you again for being so supportive everyone,
    J
     

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