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What should i be doing/buying in preperation for my PGCE?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by vuittonprincess, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Hello there :)
    Im starting my PGCE in September and i'm starting to wonder if there is anything i should be doing now before i start. Also what i need to buy? And practical things like will i need a new laptop? (to take to school with me) or will schools provide me with one? If anyone who is currently on a PGCE or has completed one could offer any advice it would be greatly appreciated by me and probably many others too.
    Vuitton xx
  2. Hi,
    Just finished my first year on teaching practice and all you need is lots of sleep!
    Seriously tho I am happy to share any lesson plans and ideas with you throughout your PGCE.
    Take care
  3. Hiya
    Am doing my primary pgce at the moment and loving it :)
    It would be very rare for a school to give you a lap top! If your primary i would say its not worth it, most classroom have a computer set up for you to use. If your secondary it might come in handy to have a laptop: depends on how much you like to use a computer in your lessons. I personally wouldn't buy one especially for the course.
    One tip i have is to buy loads of folders. There is a lot of paper work and keeping everything organised is really important. I have about ten full ringbinders and several box files full already and i'm only about 2/3 of the way through the course. Also, loads of pens (green biro's are always nice to mark in), post-it notes and notepads for lectures.
    Don't worry about buying loads of books. Wait until you start the course and you'll get an idea about what you really need and what you really don't.
    I hope that helps. If you have any more questions i'd be happy to help :)
  4. plenty polly pockets (plastic wallets)
  5. Thanks everyone :) great help!
    Teresa that's really kind of you thank you, i will keep you in mind if i ever need any help :) Thanks so much xx
  6. Sport22

    Sport22 New commenter

    Good topic Vuittonprincess!!
  7. Sport22

    Sport22 New commenter

    sorry about last post... computer messing up! so i was saying im thinking about buying a laptop for september, would like to buy some books now in preparation... any recommendations books for secondary let me know!
  8. quietlydetermined

    quietlydetermined New commenter

    vuittonprincess you're going to YSJ aren't you? I read on an old forum that it is a good idea to get a laptop because there can be big gaps between lectures at YSJ and its difficult to get a computer on campus. I was thinking of sticking to my desktop but I will be commuting from Leeds so if there are big gaps between lectures I may as well use them to do some work. It's my birthday in August, I wonder if I convince my boyfriend a laptop is a necessity based on this argument...
    Also, I agree, excellent thread idea!
  9. Hello!
    1) Dont buy any books they might send you on a reading list, just buy them when you need them (bitter experience lol)
    2) Any thing that will keep you organised big wall charts, diary ect
    3) I would recomend buying one of the smaller laptops (notebook?) and an exernal hard drive. That way you can make notes at uni and then take your hard drive to school
    Good luck
    Gem x
  10. lou_lou84

    lou_lou84 New commenter

    Really good post! Thank you for everyone that has posted suggestions. I have a little notebook kind of computer so I will look into the hard drive option.
    I cant believe the amount of folders that you have filled already! I will have to stock up.

  11. Thatsmyloaf

    Thatsmyloaf New commenter

    I like this post, I'm prepping too for a PGCE at Greenwichand so far lots of good ideas
    I already bought 3 text books but I wont buy any more, instead I'm going to use my school contacts to get a collects of DFES to get my EYFS and phonics book, its free and they come with DVDs and CD that really help you get the basics right.
    Now I need to lose my cockney voice to perfect my phonic blends :)
  12. Thatsmyloaf

    Thatsmyloaf New commenter

    *Great Tip* - If you have Itunes, start downloading Teacher TV podcasts, their great for "What can I do to prepare for phonics?" ect, I just learnt about circle of friends and thats really helped me with my SEN behavioural issues
    Can I add, I am going somewhere I may get a city-school placemen, I have non-city experience and cant arrange a placement as I'm a full time TA (who is getting married in May so no time off left)

    What can I do to prepare for these scary schools?
  13. Thank you everyone for your ideas!! Yeah im going to YSJ in Sept to do lower primary! Ive been looking in the library at York St Johns and they actually have nearly all the books there!! So im thinking of joining up as a none student member and borrowing them over summer!! :) (I live close by so this works for me) so i'd recommend anyone near a library check out books in there before buying any!! xx
    Scary Schools-Go in with an open mind, expect the unexpected and the experience will be good :) do some research online about these schools and talk to anyone you may know who's worked in this sort of school before. Lastly, don't worry! Youll be fine! :) xx
  14. Hope you dont mind me joining in, theres some really good advice for me too. I am starting an early years pgce in September and wanted to try and get as well prepared for this in advance as I could, knowing how hard work its going to be ! Good luck with your course.
  15. Hope you dont mind me joining in, theres some really good advice for me too. I am starting a lower primary pgce in September and wanted to try and get as well prepared for this in advance as I could, knowing how hard work its going to be ! Good luck with your course.
  16. Laptop? Yes - buy one. You can then escape from your house/flat/room in halls and work in the library if you want to. Ideal if you have a horrible essay on inclusion you just can't get started with, and when even the washing up is more appealing. You can also take to school when you are in observation weeks, and crack on with uni tasks at lunchtime/after the kids have gone.
    If you are doing primary I would recommend a book by Davies, Goulding and Suggate called Mathematics for primary teachers. I worked through quite a lot of this in my waiting time before starting the course. Even if you are brilliant at maths, because it helps to get your head round how to be a teacher of Maths rather than a learner. You will feel much better prepared.
    Read lots and lots of children's books: it is fun, and will never be time wasted. You will have NO time to do this once on the course. Investigate phonics - as you don't necessarily get taught much about this before you have to teach it. scary.
    Watch lots of Teachers TV: especially the bits on behaviour management. It helped me some absorb some simple strategies that are a real help when first going into a classroom. I am very grateful to the teachers who were prepared to expose their practice on film, warts and all, for our benefit. Simple things like praising the children who are behaving well, and not focusing on bad behaviour. They seem so obvious. But it really helps to see how it works from outside the bubble!
    Finish any DIY jobs you have pending. Warn friends family etc that you will have no life for 9 months - and then when you can spend some time with them it will be a nice surprise. Book some tickets for something like a concert at odd moments in the coming year, and then you will have something to look forward to - and means you will make time to go out occasionally.
    Once on the course: stay as organised as you can. Try to file lecture notes as soon as you can. On primary you have so many different strands of things (in Uni weeks: maths, english, sci...will all give you loads to do - foundation subjects less so hopefully - but still fiddly things to do. In school observation loads of tasks (for each core subject - plus a load of stuff like SEN or early years). And actual TP: planning to the nth degree, evaluation, making resources... oh yes and just in case you had forgotten. several QTS assignments plus masters level assignments even if you don't want to do the masters). It can be really hard to keep on top of, and it can all get manic very quickly. Don't leave little tasks to do later. Keep a list, and tick things off. The little things add up into a whole pile of big things very quickly. There will never be a better time to do it than straight away.
    Hope I'm not putting you off! - I have had a great time in school - it makes the uni slog worthwhile. Just be prepared.

  17. Thanks sunpainter! :)

    That's really helpful and i will take on board everything you have said and do this :) cheers! xx
  18. goatherd

    goatherd New commenter

    And remember to back everything up on the computer - two on my course have had hard drives die - one an external one. DO NOT TRUST THEM.; ideally if you are storing all your info on an external you need two :(

  19. Get plenty of printer paper when it goes on sale, same for folders if you are doing primary. You wil be amazed how much you will end up printing off for lesson plans, medium and weekly plans. Buy some stout bags for fitting 30 exercise books so you can take your marking home.
    Warn everyone you know that you will not have spare time, I regularly work until 11 and later when assignments are due in and at weekends. I am not alone, most of us on our course are doing these hours and some are doing more! It is a good course and do be prepared for tears at some point, you will work very hard and wil just want to get to the end. Book your QTS tests as soon as you can.

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