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Can't handle the PGCE course anymore

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    I'm four months into a lower primary PGCE course, and I don't feel like I can handle it anymore. I want to drop out but then my life will be in a complete mess, as I'm already 27 and had the thought of becoming a teacher as my goal for the last few years.

    I'm finding it so difficult, in all areas, and don't think it's what I want to do anymore. The level of responsibility and commitment are just overwhelming and terryfying. I hate the constant scrutiny, and even though I go to uni all day I still have to work all night and weekends, and am still behind.

    I come home and cry every single day. The stress is making me ill. I'm constantly tired, and have no kind of life at all. Thinking about my next teaching placement makes me want to be physically sick. I've always loved children and had worked in nurseries, so after my degree this just seemed like the most logical step.

    However, I'm seriously doubting myself. I don't have the commitment or enthusiasm needed. I don't think I could ever be left in charge of a whole class. I also hate having to live my life to such a set of moral standards, I've evn removed my facebook on advice from uni incase employers see drunken nights out, and have to cover my tattoos and piercings etc.

    If I'm honest, although I love children I can't cope with the difficulty and responsibility of this career. I actually just want a job that I enjoy, and don't think this is it. But then my life will be in tatters. I've got a degree, but no idea what to do with it, no house, no job, no boyfriend etc. And my mum will be so disappointed too, she's so proud of me for getting on the course and keeps telling all her friends I'm going to be a teacher.

    Don't know what to do, my whole life is a mess.
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    Laura

    you must do whats right for you
    If you really are this unhappy just move on do something else
    but the uni will have counselling service they have to it's part of their student care programme
    talk to student services.
    it will all be fine in time
    (hugs)
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    If its making you ill you could go to the doctor and see if you could get some time off from the course to think about it - maybe when your less stressed and tired you'll be able to think about it better

    Some holiday resorts look for childcare people so you take a working holiday if you wanted. You should just do whatever makes you happy though - go tell your course teacher how your feeling and see what they suggest. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.
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    (Original post by laura loo)
    I'm four months into a lower primary PGCE course, and I don't feel like I can handle it anymore. I want to drop out but then my life will be in a complete mess, as I'm already 27 and had the thought of becoming a teacher as my goal for the last few years.

    I'm finding it so difficult, in all areas, and don't think it's what I want to do anymore. The level of responsibility and commitment are just overwhelming and terryfying. I hate the constant scrutiny, and even though I go to uni all day I still have to work all night and weekends, and am still behind.

    I come home and cry every single day. The stress is making me ill. I'm constantly tired, and have no kind of life at all. Thinking about my next teaching placement makes me want to be physically sick. I've always loved children and had worked in nurseries, so after my degree this just seemed like the most logical step.

    However, I'm seriously doubting myself. I don't have the commitment or enthusiasm needed. I don't think I could ever be left in charge of a whole class. I also hate having to live my life to such a set of moral standards, I've evn removed my facebook on advice from uni incase employers see drunken nights out, and have to cover my tattoos and piercings etc.

    If I'm honest, although I love children I can't cope with the difficulty and responsibility of this career. I actually just want a job that I enjoy, and don't think this is it. But then my life will be in tatters. I've got a degree, but no idea what to do with it, no house, no job, no boyfriend etc. And my mum will be so disappointed too, she's so proud of me for getting on the course and keeps telling all her friends I'm going to be a teacher. [...]
    Some things you raised will change over time (i.e. the workload), but some things will not (i.e. the moral standards, which I completely sympathise with, responsibility and scrutiny). I would wait until your next placement and see if a change of environment makes any difference; if it does not then dropping out is the best thing to do.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    Some things you raised will change over time (i.e. the workload), but some things will not (i.e. the moral standards, which I completely sympathise with, responsibility and scrutiny). I would wait until your next placement and see if a change of environment makes any difference; if it does not then dropping out is the best thing to do.
    I may have things completely wrong but if OP is teaching lower primary, surely once the course is over and she is a teacher there will be no lesson planning as such, no marking, no essays. It seems to me you will have a much easier time. I agree with you though, the moral stuff is the OPs personal issue to either make peace with, or find alternative work in the childcare sector.

    Also i think OP you should see a doctor. You sound like you could do with some support
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    (Original post by Kidders)
    I may have things completely wrong but if OP is teaching lower primary, surely once the course is over and she is a teacher there will be no lesson planning as such, no marking, no essays. It seems to me you will have a much easier time. I agree with you though, the moral stuff is the OPs personal issue to either make peace with, or find alternative work in the childcare sector.

    Also i think OP you should see a doctor. You sound like you could do with some support
    Some issues she raised would change over time; I did not suggest her workload would increase!
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    hun,

    Just think how lucky you are to have a place on that course! thousands of us have had to go through a hurrendous interview/presentation/maths and english test process and are STILL waiting to get a reply!!
    Just think you a step closer to have a dream job for so many people. If you dont feel it's right for you then think about other options but it's an amazing qualification to have that most of us are dreaming of!
    Good luck anyway

    Sion xxx
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    (Original post by Kidders)
    I may have things completely wrong but if OP is teaching lower primary, surely once the course is over and she is a teacher there will be no lesson planning as such, no marking, no essays. It seems to me you will have a much easier time. I agree with you though, the moral stuff is the OPs personal issue to either make peace with, or find alternative work in the childcare sector.

    Also i think OP you should see a doctor. You sound like you could do with some support
    Nope, my half sister is a primary school teacher and has now quit because all of the tedious lesson planning, working 8 til 6, no time for a proper lunch, continuous assessments and reports about the child's progress, there's a huge amount of work involved. If you stick at it it probably would decrease, i.e. using lesson plans that you wrote a year or two ago, but it's not just the course that is hard work.
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    (Original post by Siony123)
    hun,

    Just think how lucky you are to have a place on that course! thousands of us have had to go through a hurrendous interview/presentation/maths and english test process and are STILL waiting to get a reply!!
    Just think you a step closer to have a dream job for so many people. If you dont feel it's right for you then think about other options but it's an amazing qualification to have that most of us are dreaming of!
    Good luck anyway

    Sion xxx
    I think that's a terrible reply. Her situation doesn't change just because other people wish they were in her place. It's like when you're no longer hungry at all and someone tries to get you to eat using the argument that other people in the world are hungry and you should be grateful to have a plate in front of you - that's fine but that doesn't make you more hungry and the food isn't going to magically be transferred from you to someone else who needs it more. Her staying or not doesn't affect you, it affects her, she shouldn't be living for other people, it's her life and hers alone.
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    (Original post by Siony123)
    hun,

    Just think how lucky you are to have a place on that course! thousands of us have had to go through a hurrendous interview/presentation/maths and english test process and are STILL waiting to get a reply!!
    Just think you a step closer to have a dream job for so many people. If you dont feel it's right for you then think about other options but it's an amazing qualification to have that most of us are dreaming of!
    Good luck anyway

    Sion xxx
    I think that's a terrible reply. Her situation doesn't change just because other people wish they were in her place. It's like when you're no longer hungry at all and someone tries to get you to eat using the argument that other people in the world are hungry and you should be grateful to have a plate in front of you - that's fine but that doesn't make you more hungry and the food isn't going to magically be transferred from you to someone else who needs it more. Her staying or not doesn't affect you, it affects her, she shouldn't be living for other people, it's her life and hers alone.
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    Hi

    I was going to apply to do a pgce but hearing about the workload etc really put me off. At the moment I am doing my masters and sometimes I feel the same as you there is sooo much do to. But workload does change from time to time. I think you should stick with it!! Theres only 6 months left. You say it might not be for you but you might feel different at the end.

    My friend always tells me A GOOD SOLDIER NEVER THROWS DOWN HIS WEAPON!

    good luck and let us know how it goes
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    Laura, how long do you have left on the course? If it is only a few months maybe you could just try to push through it, knowing you'll have that qualification (a well respected one too!) soon and you can then choose which path in life to pursue. You don't have to become a teacher at the end of it if you don't want to.

    You're life will not be a mess if you quit. Things always seem worse than they are, but you'll still have your Mum and friends to support you whilst you find something else you could enjoy more Until you find what else you want to do, try and stick to the PGCE for a little while whilst you're thinking if this is definitely the right thing to do. Accept you're finding it difficult, and see the university councilor. Instead of coming home stressed and crying, accept you're finding it hard, and do what you can. If you can't finish every bit of work without concerns for your health, then don't!

    If you are doing lower primary could you perhaps work in a nursery setting, maybe with some responsibility as you work your way up Maybe this would be more for you? More working with the children, less pressure on lesson planning etc.

    Good luck in whatever you do xx
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    I know how u feel. I started a course 4 years ago and I knew it wasn't right for me. My parents were so proud of me so I kept at it for a month or so even thought I was miserable and crying every day. But eventually I decided to talk to my mum about it and she was surprisingly understanding. I think most parents just want you to be happy and your happiness means more to them than your career choice. Do you think you could talk to them about it?
    In the end, I decided to take myself out of the situation to find out whether it was the workload that was causing the problems or if it was just not the right course for me. I know it's difficult to take a break during a PGCE for you to do this. Just make sure you talk this through with your mum or someone and make the decision that's right for you.
    Even though things seem bad now, you will feel better eventually and your choice will be the right choice!
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    (Original post by evantej)
    Some issues she raised would change over time; I did not suggest her workload would increase!
    lol sorry i didn't mean to imply that you had said that it would increase. I was agreeing with your post
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    (Original post by Kidders)
    lol sorry i didn't mean to imply that you had said that it would increase. I was agreeing with your post
    No problem.

    (Original post by Colloquial)
    I think that's a terrible reply. Her situation doesn't change just because other people wish they were in her place. It's like when you're no longer hungry at all and someone tries to get you to eat using the argument that other people in the world are hungry and you should be grateful to have a plate in front of you - that's fine but that doesn't make you more hungry and the food isn't going to magically be transferred from you to someone else who needs it more. Her staying or not doesn't affect you, it affects her, she shouldn't be living for other people, it's her life and hers alone.
    Completely agree. If anything could have made the OP feel worse it was that sort of comment...
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    How long have you been feeling like this?

    The pgce can get very overwhelming and even after positive feedback I often doubt myself. Why don't you use the upcoming half term as a week on reflection and make your mind up then? you've gotten so far already to make it to the end of January.
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    Tbh I would stick it out a bit longer. It might be the school you are working in. Teachers say that PGCE year and NQT are the worst by far. I am on a secondary PGCE and the school I work at annoys me with its incessant scrutiny of pettily minor 'professional standards', but I know from friends that it is different elsewhere. Some people take longer to start planning quickly - I for example am a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of 10-15 lessons a week (which will be the case for me in a week or 2) because I take too long planning; that will definitely change.

    I work evenings and weekends and rush lunch - many PGCE people I know do the same. But most teachers I know make a point to not work on weekends and also make time for themselves in evenings.

    If you leave now you will always wonder if, had you seen the course to its end, you could have ended up a happy and successful teacher.

    I think that if you are careful in choosing where you work after this year, you might be fine.
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    (Original post by 22anon)
    First of all, I think everyone who starts a PGCE is frightened by the workload and I don’t dispute that it is very hard work. However, I don’t think it is quite as bad as you suggest. Not sure where you have found the hours from but do think they are an exaggeration! Speaking from personal experience (and that of all my friends who are teachers), you should not be working from 8 till 11 – that is quite ridiculous and absolutely unnecessary.

    The problem is that teachers tend always to say that they work all hours god sends, never get any real holidays and are constantly working. It is part of the mythology of the profession and one that is reinforced by many teachers. However, It is simply not true and most sensible teachers find a work-life balance that is manageable. The same is true of students: there are those who seem to spend hours trying to do things perfectly and those more pragmatic people who recognise that it doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough. There has been some research done that indicates that pragmatism is a strength in teaching and that over-idealistic entrants to the profession just burn themselves out by giving themselves a hard time all the time.


    Your life is NOT a mess. I am sure you will fine whether or not you teach. It sounds like you are not enjoying it and maybe you chose the wrong career-your life is not a mess.
    Why did you post?

    The OP isn't going to suddenly think "By gosh they're right, I'm being silly". If you aren't intending to help then don't post to make her feel worse than she does.
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    (Original post by Kaykiie)
    Why did you post?

    The OP isn't going to suddenly think "By gosh they're right, I'm being silly". If you aren't intending to help then don't post to make her feel worse than she does.
    How is my post any less helpful than yours?? I inform the individual that she/he is normal to be stressed on a PGCE, that there is not as much ongoing planning as she anticipates and that his/her life is not a mess. Good luck entering the teaching profession (if you are) as your going to need it with your lack of understanding and angry , attitude problem-- not to mention basic comprehension. Tut tut.
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    (Original post by 22anon)
    How is my post any less helpful than yours?? I inform the individual that she/he is normal to be stressed on a PGCE, that there is not as much ongoing planning as she anticipates and that his/her life is not a mess. Good luck entering the teaching profession (if you are) as your going to need it with your lack of understanding and angry , attitude problem
    No you didn't:

    Not sure where you have found the hours from but do think they are an exaggeration!

    that is quite ridiculous and absolutely unnecessary

    Your life is NOT a mess.
    Yeah, they were helpful weren't they :rolleyes:

    I'm not going to engage in an argument over your last sentence. If you think that I have an anger problem because I informed you that your post wasn't helpful then that's your problem. I have no anger or attitude issues and I look forward to entering the teaching profession, thank you.
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    (Original post by Kaykiie)
    No you didn't:



    Yeah, they were helpful weren't they :rolleyes:

    I'm not going to engage in an argument over your last sentence. If you think that I have an anger problem because I informed you that your post wasn't helpful then that's your problem. I have no anger or attitude issues and I look forward to entering the teaching profession, thank you.
    I maintain my post is helpful. I am not engaging in any argument and can only echoe the sentiment in my last comment. You seem a very bitter and angry individual. Your misplaced arrogance and audacity is hylarious however. You have made me chuckle. That is all

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Updated: January 30, 2011
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