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PGCE = never felt so tired or stressed!

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Applying to uni this year? Check out our new personal statement advice hub 28-11-2014
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    Now into my 3rd month of the secondary PGCE course and i can honestly say i have never looked forward to Xmas quite as much as i currently am! This has been the hardest few months i have ever experienced. Such a massive amount of work to be done all the time. Lesson plans still taking me hours and I'm never more than a day ahead of myself! Assignment due in 2 weeks and not even beyond the introduction. Getting home at 5pm every night due to the distance of my placement school and leaving at 7:20am every morning. Weekends written off and relationship with my partner suffering!


    Anyone else feel this way too?

    Also a little reminder to all those wanting to apply for next year; this is CERTAINLY not an option for you if you're doing it just to put off finding a job! HUGE step up from undergrad degree!! (i think the MA students are a little better prepared)

    Rant over.
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    I'm sure it will get better as you go along and get more training and experience. The first few months of any job/ course are the most challenging.

    You could always be ill and in hospital, or stuck on benefits, or have been rejected and not on a pgce course.

    I think you should realise how lucky you are. Nothing worth doing is easy. Grit your teeth and get stuck in to it!
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    I want to come and give you a big hug! The PGCE is hardcore.. It took me weeks after I finally finished just to sleep and get back to normal after months of flat out working. The amount your expected to take in abosrb and do within a short space of time is crazy. Im not going to lie, Its not going to get any better for a while but I found that when I was down to my last nerve and felt like breaking to remember why I got into it and the amazing things that happen every day that make it worth it.
    After a while things do get easier, planning gets quicker, you begin to build a knowledge base that is easier to draw from..what to do/ideas etc and gather some amazing resources and help along the way. Even the assignments get a bit better (I'd agree on the essay writing wise its definately into masters territory which can take a while to get used to)
    Make sure you give yourself sometime away from it all,otherwise you will go crazy!
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    (Original post by Kidders)
    Now into my 3rd month of the secondary PGCE course and i can honestly say i have never looked forward to Xmas quite as much as i currently am! This has been the hardest few months i have ever experienced. Such a massive amount of work to be done all the time. Lesson plans still taking me hours and I'm never more than a day ahead of myself! Assignment due in 2 weeks and not even beyond the introduction. Getting home at 5pm every night due to the distance of my placement school and leaving at 7:20am every morning. Weekends written off and relationship with my partner suffering!


    Anyone else feel this way too?

    Also a little reminder to all those wanting to apply for next year; this is CERTAINLY not an option for you if you're doing it just to put off finding a job! HUGE step up from undergrad degree!! (i think the MA students are a little better prepared)

    Rant over.
    This is not going to help, but out of interest, what subject are you going to teach?
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    Owww I'm sorry.. I completed my PGCE last year and I was constantly tired.. getting up at 5.30am to be in school for 7am, working at school til 5, getting home at 6.. working till 11pm at the earliest and then doing it aaaaall over again the next day.. I do not envy you one bit!

    But trust me, the end result is worth it! You'll get there, and I actually miss my PGCE year now, it was hard work but the most fun I've ever had!

    I now have my own class and they're fantastic, focus on what you want to achieve and you'll get there! And make time at the weekend for a little time for yourself, every night as my little 'treat' I would light a candle in the bathroom and have a lovely shower and spoil myself.. buy some nice shampoo and body wash etc.. that will perk you up a bit, small things like that really help lift your mood

    Are you primary?

    If you want any advice, resources or even some plans depending on what year group you're in, I really don't mind helping! I got Outstanding grade for my PGCE so I'm more than happy offering any advice if you want.. or just listening to you moan if you feel crap, I've been there so I know how tough it is.. chin up! x
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    Glad to hear that its hardcore! Im about to submit my application and glad to know its not a walk in the park that many people say it is!

    RE orginal post, keep with it and as said you must be good enough for it as they have let you in!! Working with young people is awesome so I reckon its going to be worth while!
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    I feel the same. However, what kills me the most is that I am starting to question the relevance of my subjects (Economics, Business, and ICT to KS3). If you asked me to honestly say whether I thought that what I teach is equipping kids for the real world of work, I'd have to say no. My main subjects (Business and Economics, and there's more Business than Economics going on in the teaching world these days) generally require students to remember facts and write essays. My school is a production line where all the senior leaders care about are grades, grades, grades and maintaining Outstanding status. We have a couple of students who will leave with 16 GCSEs across 4 BTEC subjects: Travel, Business, PE (with no physical element) and Childcare Studies. How is it possible that they don't do English and Maths? Surely they'd be better off with 8 GCSEs incl. Eng, Maths and Science?

    I know education is a political football that politicians like to kick around but I personally think that there's a lot of room for improvement. Not to make teachers' lives hell, but to allow the students to get ahead in life. Then again, if you take a back to basics approach you may create another elitist system which isolates students who don't find it engaging. This profession goes over my head. I just don't know how we can best provide young people with an education ...
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    I feel the same. However, what kills me the most is that I am starting to question the relevance of my subjects (Economics, Business, and ICT to KS3). If you asked me to honestly say whether I thought that what I teach is equipping kids for the real world of work, I'd have to say no. My main subjects (Business and Economics, and there's more Business than Economics going on in the teaching world these days) generally require students to remember facts and write essays. My school is a production line where all the senior leaders care about are grades, grades, grades and maintaining Outstanding status. We have a couple of students who will leave with 16 GCSEs across 4 BTEC subjects: Travel, Business, PE (with no physical element) and Childcare Studies. How is it possible that they don't do English and Maths? Surely they'd be better off with 8 GCSEs incl. Eng, Maths and Science?

    I know education is a political football that politicians like to kick around but I personally think that there's a lot of room for improvement. Not to make teachers' lives hell, but to allow the students to get ahead in life. Then again, if you take a back to basics approach you may create another elitist system which isolates students who don't find it engaging. This profession goes over my head. I just don't know how we can best provide young people with an education ...
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    I'm doing the GTP course and I felt the same way. I feel a bit better now, I've had much more experience planning lessons and have got faster at doing them. Just stick at it, it's going to be a hard year but we're a third of the way through now!!! We can do it.
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    (Original post by Xx.MissEG.xX)
    This is not going to help, but out of interest, what subject are you going to teach?
    I'm doing Secondary English so having all the fun associated with that
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    Hope you're alright lol!

    I'm doing the MEC at the moment (Maths Enhancement Course), so have all the fun of the PGCE next year!

    Good Luck and have a good Christmas!
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    OP, just picking up on what you mentioned about the MA students seemingly coping better with the academic pressure of a PGCE - do you think doing an MA before the PGCE would be benficial? I'm 2nd year and contemplating whether or not to do an MA before my PGCE, if at all. Some days I'd love to and other days the financial aspect of it makes me seriously question whether I should bother with an MA at all....
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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    OP, just picking up on what you mentioned about the MA students seemingly coping better with the academic pressure of a PGCE - do you think doing an MA before the PGCE would be benficial? I'm 2nd year and contemplating whether or not to do an MA before my PGCE, if at all. Some days I'd love to and other days the financial aspect of it makes me seriously question whether I should bother with an MA at all....
    I'd do a PGCE first then decide what you want to do as if you want to do a Masters in something education related then you'll get Masters credits to transfer over onto it from your PGCE (depending on where you study it can be from 33-50% of credit transfer to Masters) anyway. I went straight from my undergrad onto my PGCE and its only been whilst on my PGCE I've really nailed exactly what area of education/my subject I am the most interested in and the area I want my career to progress in the direction of so now it feels only natural that when I do my Masters it will be in this area. Before starting my PGCE I had a fairly good idea of where I wanted to go and be but there were also a number of other directions I was interested in but the PGCE has totally confirmed and strengthened my interests in my particular academic area. I

    From my perspective I don't think I'd be better prepared had I done a Masters because the academic side of it is fine. Its no harder than my final year last year and there's less actual intense work as the essays are only 1000-1500 words a piece and there's 9 of them plus the research project to do over the year, plus mini tasks for your portfolio when you're in school. The tiring, different part is that you're putting in full time hours and then some more in school as well as trying to get the academic work done, which you wouldn't have experienced even if you had gone from an undergrad degree - Masters - PGCE, only if you'd worked and had a career then gone into teaching. As has been said, if you're doing it properly, you'll be in school for 7:45/8am each day then won't be leaving until somewhere between 5 and 6 then your school could be up to a 90 minute commute from your house (at least, this is how it works at my uni) meaning they're very long days but no different than you'll have for the rest of your time teaching, then obviously you have things to do for school once you get home too. At some point you need to do the uni side of the PGCE too, so fitting it all in is the struggle not the actual level of academic work itself.

    Or at least, this is my experience However, being in school and with your kids should totally make up for this - I'm so proud of my Reception/Year One class at the moment as we're doing our Nativity play for the parents :love:
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    Supportive but realistic words i feel:

    Yes the PGCE year is hardcore, your new to this teaching malarky and planning takes time but take comfort in the fact it gets easier as you become more confident. Everyone will feel like this at some point in their course.

    Although the hours you put in are what teaching requires (especially for the 1st few years). I leave my house at 6am every morning and for example i got home today at 7:15pm. After i get home i generally have time to myself because i can now plan quickly and manage to do all plans in my free periods at school or on a sunday afternoon.

    Learn as much as you can now, get a load of resources to take from your placement and assignment wises i was also able to leave these until half terms and then deadicate a few days to them and i did PGCE at Masters level, i don't know if this would work for you.
    Good luck
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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    OP, just picking up on what you mentioned about the MA students seemingly coping better with the academic pressure of a PGCE - do you think doing an MA before the PGCE would be benficial? I'm 2nd year and contemplating whether or not to do an MA before my PGCE, if at all. Some days I'd love to and other days the financial aspect of it makes me seriously question whether I should bother with an MA at all....
    On completing my English degree, I got a full time job in call centre (Salary £15,000) and enroled on a part time MA. This took two years, and meant that I was earning money to put towards my PGCE year, I paid my MA off in full (£3000) and did not have to worry financially.

    I am now going onto my PGCE course with a 1st class degree and an MA under my belt, which I am hoping will help me to stand out when applying for teaching jobs.

    So perhaps it is something that you can consider whilst working full time??
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    i am not sure an MA will make too much difference when applying for teaching jobs. Schools look for people who are 'good teachers' not neccessarily who has the best qualifications. Although it cannot do any harm.
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    Glad I found this thread. I remember the days when I had a life. The way I'm feeling at the moment, I can't be sure I'll be carrying on with this after Christmas. I'm not sure I want a job where I'm working pretty much non-stop from 8am til past 11pm most nights. I love being able to be enthusiastic about maths and I enjoy being in the classroom, but I'm not really enjoying much else. I've not even begun to think about any of the essays yet - it's very unlikely that they'll be written at master's level, either...
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    (Original post by -G-a-v-)
    Glad I found this thread. I remember the days when I had a life. The way I'm feeling at the moment, I can't be sure I'll be carrying on with this after Christmas. I'm not sure I want a job where I'm working pretty much non-stop from 8am til past 11pm most nights. I love being able to be enthusiastic about maths and I enjoy being in the classroom, but I'm not really enjoying much else. I've not even begun to think about any of the essays yet - it's very unlikely that they'll be written at master's level, either...
    This is completely normal folks. It will get a bit worse before it gets better.
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    (Original post by caroline_p3)
    Learn as much as you can now, get a load of resources to take from your placement and assignment wises i was also able to leave these until half terms and then deadicate a few days to them
    Sorry, half term? what's that?! :p:

    In the school half terms we're in uni 9-6 every day so its the same time periods as being at school just a lot less fun!

    Do some PGCE courses get half term off then?

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