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What would you do in my situation!? A messy PGCE situation!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by ps2mint, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. ps2mint

    ps2mint New commenter

    Hi everyone,
    With a few weeks to go until the end of my second placement on my PGCE course I decided to leave the placement which goes down as a 'fail' as far as my university is concerned.
    This may appear on the surface to be a silly decision, but one of the major reasons which influenced me was the daily commute which was 65 miles each way to my school which resulted in a 130 mile round trip each day. The commute in each direction took an hour and a half, which meant that throughout this time due to driving I was unable to work on essays, lesson plans and other matters related to the role of a student teacher.
    In order to manage my time effectively I explained the situation in a sensible manner to my University tutor, and she was unwilling to give me an extension for one of my M-level assignments. Despite telling her on numerous occassions the negative impact that this commute was having upon my performance in the classroom, it refused to register with her.
    On my final observation during the placement, she began to pick up on the fact that apparently I wasn't meeting certain Q standards (bit late in the day in my opinion, if I was in that much of a state in the classroom, surely my subject mentor should have got in touch with the university to explain things, but this did not happen). An action plan was then produced by my University Tutor which in all fairness made no relevance to my supposed areas of weakness. Working with my mentor we decided to challenge the tutor and she then explained the action plan to him in a completely different way as to what was written on the document, and he then said whether I disagree with it or not I had no choice but to go along with it. It was at this point I decided to finish things - firstly the commute was in my opinion ridiculous when other members of the course were located in schools 5 minutes away from where they lived, and secondly because the mentor was unwilling to understand the negative impact that this was having upon my performance.
    Just wandering how I should take things on from this point! I have refused to withdraw from the university, despite my tutor pestering me to get her to sign the withdrawal forms. The course director has informed me that I will be able to retake the placement again but not until March 2012. This to me is not ideal, and in a perfect world would like the chance to re-do it during the Autumn term!
    I know that I want to do teaching as I have invested the last few years of my life working as a teaching assistant, and then making the logical progression up to commence a PGCE course. My first placement was great, really enjoyed it and came out with a 'good'. I was rated by my mentor during my second placement as a good / satisfactory which in turn does not reflect the views of my university tutor.
    So, just wandering what I should do now! Is anyone in a similar situation as me?
    Thanks and sorry about the essay!
     
  2. ps2mint

    ps2mint New commenter

    Hi everyone,
    With a few weeks to go until the end of my second placement on my PGCE course I decided to leave the placement which goes down as a 'fail' as far as my university is concerned.
    This may appear on the surface to be a silly decision, but one of the major reasons which influenced me was the daily commute which was 65 miles each way to my school which resulted in a 130 mile round trip each day. The commute in each direction took an hour and a half, which meant that throughout this time due to driving I was unable to work on essays, lesson plans and other matters related to the role of a student teacher.
    In order to manage my time effectively I explained the situation in a sensible manner to my University tutor, and she was unwilling to give me an extension for one of my M-level assignments. Despite telling her on numerous occassions the negative impact that this commute was having upon my performance in the classroom, it refused to register with her.
    On my final observation during the placement, she began to pick up on the fact that apparently I wasn't meeting certain Q standards (bit late in the day in my opinion, if I was in that much of a state in the classroom, surely my subject mentor should have got in touch with the university to explain things, but this did not happen). An action plan was then produced by my University Tutor which in all fairness made no relevance to my supposed areas of weakness. Working with my mentor we decided to challenge the tutor and she then explained the action plan to him in a completely different way as to what was written on the document, and he then said whether I disagree with it or not I had no choice but to go along with it. It was at this point I decided to finish things - firstly the commute was in my opinion ridiculous when other members of the course were located in schools 5 minutes away from where they lived, and secondly because the mentor was unwilling to understand the negative impact that this was having upon my performance.
    Just wandering how I should take things on from this point! I have refused to withdraw from the university, despite my tutor pestering me to get her to sign the withdrawal forms. The course director has informed me that I will be able to retake the placement again but not until March 2012. This to me is not ideal, and in a perfect world would like the chance to re-do it during the Autumn term!
    I know that I want to do teaching as I have invested the last few years of my life working as a teaching assistant, and then making the logical progression up to commence a PGCE course. My first placement was great, really enjoyed it and came out with a 'good'. I was rated by my mentor during my second placement as a good / satisfactory which in turn does not reflect the views of my university tutor.
    So, just wandering what I should do now! Is anyone in a similar situation as me?
    Thanks and sorry about the essay!
     
  3. Sounds like you don't have much choice, but to repeat the placement as offered by the University. At least you had a good first placement and are still determined to be a teacher. Finding out in good time where your placement will be would help. For my PGCE I got digs in the area of the school, rather than commute from Uni - so the long journeys were on Uni days not school days. I'm afraid it's luck of the drawer where your placements are. I was at St Martin's in Lancaster, my school placements were in Barrow in Cumbria ..... Miles!! The Uni allowed me to have both schools in the Barrow area, so I didn't have to move. Unfortunate, but Uni's have to take the placements they can get. Hope all works out for you :)
     
  4. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I agree with this. We hosted a B placement trainee in the A slot, and it wasn't easy to organise simply because they have very different needs. Having done it once, we would do it again - but only under specific circumstances.
     
  5. R tht sounds really hard. Thats further than ive ben told i will have to travel for placement. Id retake the placement if i wre you. What uni r u at?
     
  6. Best not posting the name of University on here. I do have every sympathy with the OP's situation, but the Uni have offered another placement which is great. Schools are under absolutely no obligation to take students and can end a placement whenever they choose. It's alot of work taking students and students are expected to be flexible to fit in with schools not the other way round.
     
  7. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I agree. DO NOT post the name of the university.
     
  8. Sadly, a withdrawal from a placement leaves you in a weak position as you have elected to withdraw and, as such, broken the terms and conditions.
    Returners are always in a difficult position as they must necessarily take a lower5 place than the new students.
    If it was about finishing academic work, then it is worth noting that there will always, normally, be a route to retrieval on academic work - a resubmission.
    You will have to work with your university and your tutor to resolve this - so try to attack the problem - an unfinished placement that will no doubt attract a 'fail' - which should earn a right of retrieval and a repeat placement. It will be up to the university and schools exactly when such a repeat placement can be undertaken.
    James
     
  9. I can't see why you didn't stick it out for a few weeks. I travelled 3 hours each way everyday to my placement schools and I was happy to do it. I did this for a year. An hour and half each way is nothing. I was at school for 7.30 every morning and at 5.30 every evening. It was a long day. But PGCEs are hard work! Planning etc... PPA, weekends, nights, mornings? You make time.
     
  10. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Is there any option to organise your own placements? - ie, contacting schools to find out whether they can accommodate you for X weeks in the autumn term.



    Do the research now, and start contacting them at the very start of September. Find details of all the schools within the radius of an acceptable commute. You may have to try over a hundred, and will need to email, phone, email again, etc - but it got me through my PGCE!
     

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