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    (Original post by moltebene3)
    I start my PGCE in Sept! I'm just a bit worried because the experience I've had is more observation based, I did have one to one sessions with kids but I didn't teach the class anything? Like actually be a teacher? So I'm afraid when I eventually start a placement I'll be so nervous etc??

    Is there anything we should be doing before the PGCE starts? I suck at Maths so Imm guessing I should revise again?? (I'm doing Upper Primary PGCE)

    What is a book must have book for the course??

    Thanks to everyone, the tips have been really helpful!well done on your new jobs.
    I personally wouldn't worry too much about subject revision because when you're teaching, you'll have planned the lesson so you'll know what you're doing on a day to day basis. If you really feel you need it, then do some revising but otherwise, I wouldn't bother.

    If you're doing upper primary, one of the hardest things I found was behaviour management. Yes, they'll still love stickers but I found that the Year 5-6s especially found things like moving names from the sun to the cloud or whatever a bit too juvenile to take seriously but they're also too young for things like detention (and some schools don't let you keep them in at lunch or break anyway). So it might be useful to look up some strategies for that.
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    (Original post by moltebene3)
    I start my PGCE in Sept! I'm just a bit worried because the experience I've had is more observation based, I did have one to one sessions with kids but I didn't teach the class anything? Like actually be a teacher? So I'm afraid when I eventually start a placement I'll be so nervous etc??

    Is there anything we should be doing before the PGCE starts? I suck at Maths so Imm guessing I should revise again?? (I'm doing Upper Primary PGCE)

    What is a book must have book for the course??

    Thanks to everyone, the tips have been really helpful!well done on your new jobs.
    Don't worry about not having much non-observational experience. I was exactly the same and when we first started they said 'We don't through you straight in, you won't be expected to teach the whole class till 10th October' or similar, I was like 'OMG THAT'S SO SOON!!!'...

    It seemed terrifying beforehand! But you really do get in to the swing of it very quickly, once it's done it doesn't seem like such a big deal. And actually it's really nice to look back on how far I've come throughout the year. Just take it one step at a time and remember, they gave you a place because they believe you can do it!!! So you can!!!

    I, like flamingoshoes, found the hardest bit was behaviour management (even though I was with younger children). It's just something I didn't have much experience of, and it's much harder to translate theory in to practice for behaviour management (or should I say, I find it much harder!).

    So maybe a book on that?

    But in general, I'd not worry too much, just relax and enjoy the time, see all your friends!!! You will really appreciate that time spent once you start.

    And I found really nice stuff to prepare me was 'thinking of childhood' type stuff - that's what my uni suggested and it was really nice, the kind of reading that helps you think about what the children you teach are going through, which you don't have much time for when trying to juggle everything else on the course!


    Books like The Story of Childhood by Libby Brooks, and reading children's books/watching TV/visiting places kids like to go.

    xxx
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    Indeed, once you've taught your first lesson, it's fine I'm pretty sure most people say this. I watched even the most shy people in my PGCE really blossom and become really confident at teaching, in a very short space of time. It's not something that takes long to get used to at all. I also had not taught before before doing the course, and had barely really even done presentations.... and I have an anxiety disorder and health condition and was still fine! - I always feel better for getting up and teaching, in fact, as I love it so much.

    I discovered giving presentations feels much harder than teaching. With teaching you have so much interaction with the class... discussions are just like conversations with a group of people that you lead. And asking kids to do things for you... you'd be surprised... sadly, I think, kids are used to taking direction! - I'm actually just finishing up my placement in a training centre with older teens with behavioural problems.... and even with this.... I've rarely had any problems in the classroom and if I have, I've not felt phased.

    If you're truly passionate about teaching and right for it, you should be pretty much ok Sounds like you are, from just your nervous tension to begin! Good luck

    ps, I felt nervous about being asked to start teaching really soon as well! I remember dreading the thought on my first few days at uni for my pgce.... but, honestly, it's fine. One tip is, when you begin observing on placement, try to get the class teacher to let you take wee sections of lessons or wee snippets where you can stand up, get the attention of the class and ask them to do something... then hand it back to her/him... and you'll see, it's not really scary think of how relaxed the audience/kids are, and think, well, if they're not worried about the lesson, I needn't be! It's them who have to work and they'll be enjoying having a cool new teacher
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    Thank you flamingoshoes, kpwxx and Jess85! Awesome tips! I'm going to have to get a book on behaviour managment! I wouldn't know what to say and after I get angry like if I shout at my bro: I always laugh!! How did everyone deal with misbehaved kids??
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    (Original post by moltebene3)
    I start my PGCE in Sept! I'm just a bit worried because the experience I've had is more observation based, I did have one to one sessions with kids but I didn't teach the class anything? Like actually be a teacher? So I'm afraid when I eventually start a placement I'll be so nervous etc??

    Is there anything we should be doing before the PGCE starts? I suck at Maths so Imm guessing I should revise again?? (I'm doing Upper Primary PGCE)

    What is a book must have book for the course??

    Thanks to everyone, the tips have been really helpful!well done on your new jobs.
    I'm in the same boat. I'm just gonna read a bit of 'Learning to Teach in the Primary School' and work on my shape and space in maths as that's what I'm weak at. But we won't go on placement until late September, I don't think.

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    (Original post by Mr Advice)
    I'm in the same boat. I'm just gonna read a bit of 'Learning to Teach in the Primary School' and work on my shape and space in maths as that's what I'm weak at. But we won't go on placement until late September, I don't think.

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    I revised so much for my Maths skills test and I've forgotten everything now :/ Ah! Hopefully, I don't want to go on placement straight away!
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    (Original post by moltebene3)
    I revised so much for my Maths skills test and I've forgotten everything now :/ Ah! Hopefully, I don't want to go on placement straight away!
    I don't think you have covered angles, shape and space when revising for the QTS. Or did you? I know I didn't.

    Yeah me too. I just wanna feel at home on the course first and then go on placement. With me being a guy I'm even more nervous - don't wanna be the only male teacher at my school. But still, it's an opportunity to do something I love.

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    (Original post by Mr Advice)
    I don't think you have covered angles, shape and space when revising for the QTS. Or did you? I know I didn't.

    Yeah me too. I just wanna feel at home on the course first and then go on placement. With me being a guy I'm even more nervous - don't wanna be the only male teacher at my school. But still, it's an opportunity to do something I love.

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    Ooh no, I was just talking about general Maths!! I totally understand what you mean! I need to feel prepared then start the placement. I'm sure there are other males who are doing the course? Did you see any during your interview day?
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    (Original post by moltebene3)
    Ooh no, I was just talking about general Maths!! I totally understand what you mean! I need to feel prepared then start the placement. I'm sure there are other males who are doing the course? Did you see any during your interview day?
    Yeah there was one but I've heard there were quite a few more at other interview days. My provider placed a lot of emphasis on getting men onto the course so let's see.

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    (Original post by Mr Advice)
    I don't think you have covered angles, shape and space when revising for the QTS. Or did you? I know I didn't.

    Yeah me too. I just wanna feel at home on the course first and then go on placement. With me being a guy I'm even more nervous - don't wanna be the only male teacher at my school. But still, it's an opportunity to do something I love.

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    I think you could be surprised at how many males are actually in Primary - I expected there to be a lot less.

    In both of my main placements about half were male (just under half in P1, and just over half in P2). The only placement school where there was an entirely female staff was in an infant school, and that was only for a week.

    Also, someone on my course has just got a job for next year where there are only 2 female members of staff in the whole school, so I wouldn't worry about being the only male.
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    (Original post by flamingoshoes)
    I think you could be surprised at how many males are actually in Primary - I expected there to be a lot less.

    In both of my main placements about half were male (just under half in P1, and just over half in P2). The only placement school where there was an entirely female staff was in an infant school, and that was only for a week.

    Also, someone on my course has just got a job for next year where there are only 2 female members of staff in the whole school, so I wouldn't worry about being the only male.
    Wow, that is really fascinating. I do know there is greater emphasis on getting men into Primary. I don't mind being with all females but it's definitely more comforting when you're never the odd one out in a setting.

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    (Original post by Mr Advice)
    Wow, that is really fascinating. I do know there is greater emphasis on getting men into Primary. I don't mind being with all females but it's definitely more comforting when you're never the odd one out in a setting.

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    I second all of the above, there were many more male teachers than I expected in the schools I was in. Though it is true there are less in infants and even less in early years, it's not unheard of.

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    (Original post by Mr Advice)
    Wow, that is really fascinating. I do know there is greater emphasis on getting men into Primary. I don't mind being with all females but it's definitely more comforting when you're never the odd one out in a setting.

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    See it as an edge rather than something to overwhelm you!
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    I totally relate to this post! I also start my Primary PGCE (Upper) this September and most of my experience has been observational and being a classroom assistant.

    Also, I haven't taught a group of children, only on one-to-one basis. I guess a PGCE will give you guidance and support on this so you will be OK. Regarding subject knowledge, sometimes teacher may not know much about a certain subject and got to study up on it the night before they have to teach it to the class, so that is what lesson plans are for, so make sure while you are on the course to focus on lesson plans and probably brush up on some knowledge when you have time.

    On my Education Studies degree my lecturer always recommended a book for behavior management called: 'Getting the Buggers to Behave'. Apparently behavior management is a big thing in schools so look up on behavior techniques.
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    (Original post by vaddison0)
    I totally relate to this post! I also start my Primary PGCE (Upper) this September and most of my experience has been observational and being a classroom assistant.

    Also, I haven't taught a group of children, only on one-to-one basis. I guess a PGCE will give you guidance and support on this so you will be OK. Regarding subject knowledge, sometimes teacher may not know much about a certain subject and got to study up on it the night before they have to teach it to the class, so that is what lesson plans are for, so make sure while you are on the course to focus on lesson plans and probably brush up on some knowledge when you have time.

    On my Education Studies degree my lecturer always recommended a book for behavior management called: 'Getting the Buggers to Behave'. Apparently behavior management is a big thing in schools so look up on behavior techniques.

    Another good book is 'You know the fair rule' by Bill Rogers, haven't read it all but was recommended by a good lecturer and what I did read was great. It's not so much practical suggestion based (though it does have many practical examples) but also focusses on the core principles of behaviour management which you should try and refer back to. It's really hard but if you keep focussing on what you really believe about behaviour management then eventually you will find it comes naturally (so I'm told!). And then you will be true to your principles and not fall in to the trap of just ranting, playing games with the kids, being overly negative etc etc

    Also I totally agree about the subject knowledge thing. That was a real plus point my class teacher picked up on - I make sure to look a topic up before I teach it. She said it's something many teachers forget to do but I actually enjoy it because I love learning and it's something quite relaxing to do, compared to planning and assessment etc!

    xxx
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    Moltebene3, no bother, glad to help

    With behaviour management.... well, I was dealing with kids who had been excluded from school for bad behaviour or been in pupil referral units.... my way of dealing with messing about in class came pretty naturally... if they were talking amongst themselves I'd ask them in a chilled out/pleasant way if their conversation was relevant to the lesson... often it was! If it wasn't, I'd just say, c'mon, how are you getting on with your work? And I'd give them each the attention they needed for their work (low literacy and numeracy levels in learners and small class sizes so easy to stop and help them.. also can use a TA for this too).

    If the behaviour was getting silly... eg, one learner kept putting the radio on loud and playing up in lessons, before I'd established a rapport with him - he was pushing the boundaries - I was just firm with him and insistent. I ended up removing the radio from the room and this solved the problem! A few of the others kept playing music on their phones... the key was then to engage them with an interesting and engaging lesson! - may sound easier said than done with teenage boys, but there are ways.... eg, a lot are kinaesthetic learners and need to get up and move around of need objects related to the topic to touch and handle.

    Looking back and thinking about it now, I am an assertive person, and was praised on this at observation, but I do think I could have been firmer with poor behaviour.... I can say that now though, cos it's only now I know what it's like to have a class with behavioural problems.

    I think going in there feeling like you own the classroom, you're manager of it and you're the leader is a good idea. Obviously be respectful to learners as it's their classroom too, but be confident. One thing I didn't do that I should have, perhaps twice, was ask a misbehaving learner or two to leave the classroom. Do not be afraid to do this as soon as you have a persistent problem with a learner in a lesson. They need to know what is acceptable and what is not, in your classroom. As a trainee, don't feel that you can't cos you're a trainee... just 'be' their teacher and do what any teacher would do.

    When asking learners to leave the room, I'd say something like, Seems you're not getting the most out of being here and you're distracting other learners, so please leave the classroom. I'd like to discuss this later when we're both calmer....... Something along those lines.

    Keeping a relaxed manner has really helped with the type of learners I have. I naturally feel relaxed and not angered easily so this was easy. One time one of my learners leant across and spat in the bin during a lesson. I had to take the p*** out of him rather than have a go at him. I said something like, 'Ha, you're not at home now... spitting in the bin, mate,' with a smile/baffled look... he was embarrassed... he'd just done it on impulse. He knew not to do it again from that.

    Another good thing is when you do ice breakers and getting to know your class... then ask them all to write down a classroom rule and put it in a hat. Then get them to read them out to each other, each picking one from the hat. Write the rules up on the board, or get a massive piece of paper, and ask each learner to write one of the rules on it, after you have all discussed it as a class. Talk to them about respecting boundaries and others' boundaries and the fact we all have boundaries and things we don't like. Say you have things you like and don't like in your classroom so if you respect their boundaries can they respect yours.... kinda thing
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    Wow - spent some time reading this forum and can completely relate to some of the stories, I have had a few close friends go through the PGCE in the last couple of years and I will be starting mine in a few weeks. There are two parts I am particularly anxious about... 1 - A two week primary placement (doing a secondary PGCE but this is part of the course at Bristol) and 2 - the academic side of the course i.e. the essays. It has been 3 years since I left uni and I wasn't very good at the eassays then and I never wrote a dissertation. Anyone have any tips?
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    (Original post by Lisadee88)
    Wow - spent some time reading this forum and can completely relate to some of the stories, I have had a few close friends go through the PGCE in the last couple of years and I will be starting mine in a few weeks. There are two parts I am particularly anxious about... 1 - A two week primary placement (doing a secondary PGCE but this is part of the course at Bristol) and 2 - the academic side of the course i.e. the essays. It has been 3 years since I left uni and I wasn't very good at the eassays then and I never wrote a dissertation. Anyone have any tips?

    I wouldn't worry about the primary bit. Just think, you are having two whole weeks to observe and learn a lot about where your pupils are coming from and about learning in general, and there's no pressure on you in terms of teaching. Treat all observation time as a real luxury

    And as for the essays, I was worried too as I did maths so had very limited essay writing experience, also with no dissertation. But it's actually not as bad as you expect! They will give you lots of support as they know many will have been out of education for a while. They wouldn't have given you a place if they didn't think you could do it.

    The best advice I can give is listen carefully to all the tutors advice. After one of the deadlines they gave feedback on common errors on my course... some people hadn't used any sources, or any sources related to maths (this was for the maths assignment) only general teaching. It's these kinds of things where people either don't try at all or don't listen to anything/read any of the course advice which cause people to fail. Just read all your documentation, look at the recommended reading lists, and make sure you use sources and actually compare and develop what they say.

    ALSO if your uni doesn't organise these anyway, arrange a session with a few PGCE friends where you talk over your thoughts on your observations etc (if your essay is based on observations from school). It really helps you think about your observations from a different perspective and develop your ideas... maybe that pupil was actually thinking this etc. I can't emphasise how much this helps! Also, if you are having to evaluate a teaching activity explain what you did to friends and ask for their praise and criticism (they can write it down and it can be included as an appendix if you want, though check this with your tutors first). Again this really helps your perspective and you can then go away and read up on those ideas.

    Good luck!

    xxx
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    Has anyone started doing their pre-course reading? I have yet to get my hands on a copy of the book "Understanding and Teaching Primary Mathematics" that is recommended for us to read, so I think I'll end up shelling out the money and buying it new. I spent an hour today looking at the new national curriculum and browsing through it. Looks interesting...can't wait to actually put it in to practice!
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    (Original post by Mrs. Fawlty)
    Has anyone started doing their pre-course reading? I have yet to get my hands on a copy of the book "Understanding and Teaching Primary Mathematics" that is recommended for us to read, so I think I'll end up shelling out the money and buying it new. I spent an hour today looking at the new national curriculum and browsing through it. Looks interesting...can't wait to actually put it in to practice!
    Nope. I don't go on placement until late September so have time to read. Is pre-course reading even important?

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