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    Had my first really stressful day today and wasn't even teaching!

    Firstly, I learned from my tutor at Uni that my mentor at my school left the mentor meeting at Uni after only five minutes in tears. I told my tutor that my mentor had been a bit stressed and had cried in front of me the other week. My tutor said she's going to come in to school on Friday to investigate and have a meeting with my mentor and my PLC.

    My mentor seemed ok today but didn't tell me why she left in tears at the Uni meeting so I didn't probe her. She's just an odd woman, I'm finding it hard to establish a relationship with her; sometimes we have brief conversations about things other than school stuff but most of the time she just comes in the staff room makes a cup of coffee and walks back out to her class room. It's not the end of the world, just wish she was a bit friendlier at times.

    Then, I tried once again to get my finger print ID which I've been chasing down for weeks; I rang the guy who sorts it 7 times at different points of the day and he didn't answer at any of those times. I know he was in as well as another member of staff saw him. I couldn't tell my PLC because he was on a course today and my mentor just tells me to see the guy who does it. I start solo teaching next week so I really need that ID before this week is over to get in the classrooms and get access to photocopying etc. It's just a bloody nightmare trying to get this sorted and believe me I've pestered and pestered.

    Got home at 5:30 due to bad traffic and an after school training session. Had a quick dinner then went the library as I have my first lesson to plan for next week. It took me 2 hours and I still haven't a) completed the PowerPoint b) come up with a plenary or c) put my plan into the official performa sheet for the University.

    Technology isn't my strong point and I found it so frustrating - I used some TES site resources but couldn't find a way to copy from Word to PowerPoint and I accidentally clicked something that makes every slide the same background but I didn't really want that. Couldn't for the life of me work out how to revert back to different colours for different slides. Small things but irritable after a long day. I gave up in the end and will finish it tomorrow evening.

    That's just one plan and it was a struggle trying to come up with ideas as well. I'm still not 100% confident in my lesson, especially with timing, at the moment I reckon it will only take about 30-35 minutes and I have 50 minutes to fill but can't think of what else to do.

    Then on top of all of that I got an email from Uni to say we're being sent in SEN two day placements on Monday and Tuesday (wasn't aware) and the one I've been given is in a very inconvenient place to get to and I have to be there for 8:30 so it's going to be a very early wake up and I'm not even sure how I'm going to get there.

    Just feel utterly tired and like I have no one to turn to at my school sometimes.
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    I feel your pain. Schools are always slow to get passwords ID logins etc. you often feel like a pest and on your own. I'm struggling too,although not with planning. It is just the amount of time the whole job is taking out of my life. 7-7.30am leave 5.30/6. Get home marking etc. in school this week two days in the holidays
    Up and down really. I'm just taking one day at a time now.
    Hope your situation improves


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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Had my first really stressful day today and wasn't even teaching!

    Firstly, I learned from my tutor at Uni that my mentor at my school left the mentor meeting at Uni after only five minutes in tears. I told my tutor that my mentor had been a bit stressed and had cried in front of me the other week. My tutor said she's going to come in to school on Friday to investigate and have a meeting with my mentor and my PLC.

    My mentor seemed ok today but didn't tell me why she left in tears at the Uni meeting so I didn't probe her. She's just an odd woman, I'm finding it hard to establish a relationship with her; sometimes we have brief conversations about things other than school stuff but most of the time she just comes in the staff room makes a cup of coffee and walks back out to her class room. It's not the end of the world, just wish she was a bit friendlier at times.

    Then, I tried once again to get my finger print ID which I've been chasing down for weeks; I rang the guy who sorts it 7 times at different points of the day and he didn't answer at any of those times. I know he was in as well as another member of staff saw him. I couldn't tell my PLC because he was on a course today and my mentor just tells me to see the guy who does it. I start solo teaching next week so I really need that ID before this week is over to get in the classrooms and get access to photocopying etc. It's just a bloody nightmare trying to get this sorted and believe me I've pestered and pestered.

    Got home at 5:30 due to bad traffic and an after school training session. Had a quick dinner then went the library as I have my first lesson to plan for next week. It took me 2 hours and I still haven't a) completed the PowerPoint b) come up with a plenary or c) put my plan into the official performa sheet for the University.

    Technology isn't my strong point and I found it so frustrating - I used some TES site resources but couldn't find a way to copy from Word to PowerPoint and I accidentally clicked something that makes every slide the same background but I didn't really want that. Couldn't for the life of me work out how to revert back to different colours for different slides. Small things but irritable after a long day. I gave up in the end and will finish it tomorrow evening.

    That's just one plan and it was a struggle trying to come up with ideas as well. I'm still not 100% confident in my lesson, especially with timing, at the moment I reckon it will only take about 30-35 minutes and I have 50 minutes to fill but can't think of what else to do.

    Then on top of all of that I got an email from Uni to say we're being sent in SEN two day placements on Monday and Tuesday (wasn't aware) and the one I've been given is in a very inconvenient place to get to and I have to be there for 8:30 so it's going to be a very early wake up and I'm not even sure how I'm going to get there.

    Just feel utterly tired and like I have no one to turn to at my school sometimes.
    If it's any consolation the work load of planning gets easier and easier through the year, you learn what's important and what's less important, how to phrase things quickly, etc. It won't always take longer to plan than to teach!!! Also, for ideas try brainstorming with friends, it's unbelievably quicker!!!

    Xxx

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    Steve, I'm not sure if you are secondary or primary but I have lots of ideas for plenaries if it will help you!

    I always struggled with thinking about how long things will last etc. Now I'm just like 'that'll do, I'll pad this out, I can make a discussion out of this, I'll get the kids to draw a spider diagram together' kind of thing. Now I find I can't get through every thing I would like to do with them!

    Things like all-class discussions and feedback, questioning etc. were so difficult when I started teaching, that is one of the hardest things to master. I'm finding now that these parts of lessons can really fill the time up! I once did a starter of a picture reveal and it lasted half an hour!

    I tend not to have any activity that lasts longer than 10 minutes with KS3 classes- this can keep the pace up. Google 'class timer' and display this on the board so it provides a count down. This kind of thing will help.
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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Had my first really stressful day today and wasn't even teaching!

    Firstly, I learned from my tutor at Uni that my mentor at my school left the mentor meeting at Uni after only five minutes in tears. I told my tutor that my mentor had been a bit stressed and had cried in front of me the other week. My tutor said she's going to come in to school on Friday to investigate and have a meeting with my mentor and my PLC.

    My mentor seemed ok today but didn't tell me why she left in tears at the Uni meeting so I didn't probe her. She's just an odd woman, I'm finding it hard to establish a relationship with her; sometimes we have brief conversations about things other than school stuff but most of the time she just comes in the staff room makes a cup of coffee and walks back out to her class room. It's not the end of the world, just wish she was a bit friendlier at times.

    Then, I tried once again to get my finger print ID which I've been chasing down for weeks; I rang the guy who sorts it 7 times at different points of the day and he didn't answer at any of those times. I know he was in as well as another member of staff saw him. I couldn't tell my PLC because he was on a course today and my mentor just tells me to see the guy who does it. I start solo teaching next week so I really need that ID before this week is over to get in the classrooms and get access to photocopying etc. It's just a bloody nightmare trying to get this sorted and believe me I've pestered and pestered.

    Got home at 5:30 due to bad traffic and an after school training session. Had a quick dinner then went the library as I have my first lesson to plan for next week. It took me 2 hours and I still haven't a) completed the PowerPoint b) come up with a plenary or c) put my plan into the official performa sheet for the University.

    Technology isn't my strong point and I found it so frustrating - I used some TES site resources but couldn't find a way to copy from Word to PowerPoint and I accidentally clicked something that makes every slide the same background but I didn't really want that. Couldn't for the life of me work out how to revert back to different colours for different slides. Small things but irritable after a long day. I gave up in the end and will finish it tomorrow evening.

    That's just one plan and it was a struggle trying to come up with ideas as well. I'm still not 100% confident in my lesson, especially with timing, at the moment I reckon it will only take about 30-35 minutes and I have 50 minutes to fill but can't think of what else to do.

    Then on top of all of that I got an email from Uni to say we're being sent in SEN two day placements on Monday and Tuesday (wasn't aware) and the one I've been given is in a very inconvenient place to get to and I have to be there for 8:30 so it's going to be a very early wake up and I'm not even sure how I'm going to get there.

    Just feel utterly tired and like I have no one to turn to at my school sometimes.
    Hi there!

    I'm just replying to say that I feel your pain. I too have a somewhat unsupportive mentor at my school. He's not a bully to me or horrible in any way, he's just absent and not particularly helpful during my mentor sessions. Part of the problem is that I barely have any of his classes! Instead I have been pushed onto the other teachers in the department, most of whom have been really lovely and supportive, the rest well... haven't been.

    I'm also finding planning to be a struggle. I only have two lessons left to plan for next week but my word am I coming unstuck when trying to think of what to do. It's for year 9 and 10 who I find really difficult to teach. Not that they're badly behaved or anything. I just can't seem to plan effectively for them!
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    I'm very relieved that it's not just me who can't think of what to do. I thought I was a failure as a teacher at first for this... Need to keep reminding myself that I'm still training and nobody expects perfection yet!
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    Reassuring to see others feeling the same as me.

    Had a bit of a better day today:

    - Managed to get my finger ID at last! The guy still wouldn't pick up his phone so I thought screw it and just went over to his office and knocked. Thankfully he was in and did it for me

    - My mentor seemed a bit friendlier and was in good spirits.

    - managed to basically get my first lesson plan done and feel slightly better about the lesson now.

    Only downside was during the year 8 class they had an exam; my mentor got them seated and doing the test and I did the time reminders and things. Went well but at the end one of the cheeky girls said to me 'Sir, are you going to be teaching us again?' So I said I would over the next few months and she rolled her eyes and sighed as in she didn't want me to.

    Now I know we're not meant to take things personally but I have to admit, it hurt me a bit. However I think it may be because she's used to causing havoc with my mentor but from what she's seen of me so far she knows she won't be able to get away with the same attitude in my lessons.

    Anyway, won't dwell on it.

    Things looking up but still feel really shattered and a bit fed up with how cynical some of the teachers are and the attitude of some of the pupils - there's been a few moments where I've thought, what have I got myself into here? But I know there's going to be days like that.

    Onwards and upwards!
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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Reassuring to see others feeling the same as me.

    Had a bit of a better day today:

    - Managed to get my finger ID at last! The guy still wouldn't pick up his phone so I thought screw it and just went over to his office and knocked. Thankfully he was in and did it for me

    - My mentor seemed a bit friendlier and was in good spirits.

    - managed to basically get my first lesson plan done and feel slightly better about the lesson now.

    Only downside was during the year 8 class they had an exam; my mentor got them seated and doing the test and I did the time reminders and things. Went well but at the end one of the cheeky girls said to me 'Sir, are you going to be teaching us again?' So I said I would over the next few months and she rolled her eyes and sighed as in she didn't want me to.

    Now I know we're not meant to take things personally but I have to admit, it hurt me a bit. However I think it may be because she's used to causing havoc with my mentor but from what she's seen of me so far she knows she won't be able to get away with the same attitude in my lessons.

    Anyway, won't dwell on it.

    Things looking up but still feel really shattered and a bit fed up with how cynical some of the teachers are and the attitude of some of the pupils - there's been a few moments where I've thought, what have I got myself into here? But I know there's going to be days like that.

    Onwards and upwards!
    Omg you are in exactly the same situation as me.

    Do not worry things will become better, it is about establishing yourself, once they realise you are in charge you will be able to deal with them, don't be afraid to take control.

    The first time you teach any class it is the hardest, once you are over that you will master the rest.

    Do not stress I guarantee you that most PGCE students are going through the same thing.




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    Does anybody else have to do medium-term plans for their PGCE? I'm struggling with mine... how am I supposed to know what activities I'll be doing for a lesson in 6 weeks time
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    (Original post by outlaw-torn)
    Does anybody else have to do medium-term plans for their PGCE? I'm struggling with mine... how am I supposed to know what activities I'll be doing for a lesson in 6 weeks time
    Do you have to put the actual activities on them?

    Generally plans which are for more than weekly would only have what is being covered (learning objectives) and perhaps some possible ideas for activities and resources, but not set in stone. If course everyone plans differently and some find different things helpful, but I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time planning those future lessons in detail because what if what you want to cover changes?! Then you've wasted that time planning. Whereas if its just an overview of what you'll be covering you can annotate quickly to show that you've changed it and why.

    Xxx



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    (Original post by kpwxx)
    Do you have to put the actual activities on them?

    Generally plans which are for more than weekly would only have what is being covered (learning objectives) and perhaps some possible ideas for activities and resources, but not set in stone. If course everyone plans differently and some find different things helpful, but I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time planning those future lessons in detail because what if what you want to cover changes?! Then you've wasted that time planning. Whereas if its just an overview of what you'll be covering you can annotate quickly to show that you've changed it and why.

    Xxx



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    Thanks for your reply, really helpful I definitely think I'm spending too long on it. It's just more paperwork that I have to complete :mad: I'd rather just not have the activities/resources section (which I think is more useful when doing individual lesson or weekly plans rather than half-termly plans). I think I'll just jot a few activities down and like you say just annotate it when I change it.

    The headings for the planning grid are: key issues (which for History means enquiry questions for the lesson), concepts, content, resources, activities, teaching and learning methods, knowledge skills and understanding, and links with other subjects. Ughhh.
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    (Original post by outlaw-torn)
    Thanks for your reply, really helpful I definitely think I'm spending too long on it. It's just more paperwork that I have to complete :mad: I'd rather just not have the activities/resources section (which I think is more useful when doing individual lesson or weekly plans rather than half-termly plans). I think I'll just jot a few activities down and like you say just annotate it when I change it.

    The headings for the planning grid are: key issues (which for History means enquiry questions for the lesson), concepts, content, resources, activities, teaching and learning methods, knowledge skills and understanding, and links with other subjects. Ughhh.
    Yeah I'd use it for ideas, don't go in to too much detail. Then when you come to plan properly it's quicker but you haven't wasted time if you change what you're covering.

    Teaching and learning methods... that sounds odd, do they mean stuff like group work, A4L, investigation etc?

    You will get much much quicker as you go on. Also as you get to know the curriculum you're following better you will pretty much come up with all that quickly in your head and just have to jot it down (and hopefully be able to use your own planning format which suits you!

    xxx
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    Lesson plans done for my first two proper lessons which are this week (year 7 Wednesday and year 8 Thursday).

    Both plans took me 3 hours to do - I found the year 8 class much easier to plan for because they're a top set and doing comprehension using Touching The Void. I also feel I know the class a bit better than the year 7 one as I've seen them more over the last few weeks and took an informal lesson with them before half term. The worst bit is correlating your PowerPoint with your plan.

    Year 7 are doing newspaper articles and are the very bottom set so like level 2 and 3 (very low because of the social area etc) but are well behaved and there's only 12 in the class. I'm going to get them to match words to do with newspaper sections (headlines captions etc) with the definition on the board as a starter then hand out headlines and pictures I've come up with and get them in pairs to come up with captions that are appropriate.

    Year 8 I've got a comprehension starter on character in the book, then model a PEE sentence and get them to write a paragraph using PEE themselves and finally set them a homework task to find the meanings of key words used in the book (climbing jargon)

    The year 8 class will be a lot more challenging I feel because they aren't the best behaved at times. I'm wondering whether to do a seating plan but then I know that will waste ten minutes of the lesson and I'm being observed by my mentor. I want to make sure everything gets done for them to learn.

    I'm feeling nervous but if I can get through them and prove they learned something then I'll be chuffed.

    Wish me luck!
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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Lesson plans done for my first two proper lessons which are this week (year 7 Wednesday and year 8 Thursday).

    Both plans took me 3 hours to do - I found the year 8 class much easier to plan for because they're a top set and doing comprehension using Touching The Void. I also feel I know the class a bit better than the year 7 one as I've seen them more over the last few weeks and took an informal lesson with them before half term. The worst bit is correlating your PowerPoint with your plan.

    Year 7 are doing newspaper articles and are the very bottom set so like level 2 and 3 (very low because of the social area etc) but are well behaved and there's only 12 in the class. I'm going to get them to match words to do with newspaper sections (headlines captions etc) with the definition on the board as a starter then hand out headlines and pictures I've come up with and get them in pairs to come up with captions that are appropriate.

    Year 8 I've got a comprehension starter on character in the book, then model a PEE sentence and get them to write a paragraph using PEE themselves and finally set them a homework task to find the meanings of key words used in the book (climbing jargon)

    The year 8 class will be a lot more challenging I feel because they aren't the best behaved at times. I'm wondering whether to do a seating plan but then I know that will waste ten minutes of the lesson and I'm being observed by my mentor. I want to make sure everything gets done for them to learn.

    I'm feeling nervous but if I can get through them and prove they learned something then I'll be chuffed.

    Wish me luck!
    Good luck! I'm sure it will be absolutely fine

    I've got my first lesson tomorrow. Year 8 set 4, on Bloody Mary. Hopefully will go well! There are only 12 of them and I know them pretty well anyway.
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    (Original post by Steveluis10)
    Lesson plans done for my first two proper lessons which are this week (year 7 Wednesday and year 8 Thursday).

    Both plans took me 3 hours to do - I found the year 8 class much easier to plan for because they're a top set and doing comprehension using Touching The Void. I also feel I know the class a bit better than the year 7 one as I've seen them more over the last few weeks and took an informal lesson with them before half term. The worst bit is correlating your PowerPoint with your plan.

    Year 7 are doing newspaper articles and are the very bottom set so like level 2 and 3 (very low because of the social area etc) but are well behaved and there's only 12 in the class. I'm going to get them to match words to do with newspaper sections (headlines captions etc) with the definition on the board as a starter then hand out headlines and pictures I've come up with and get them in pairs to come up with captions that are appropriate.

    Year 8 I've got a comprehension starter on character in the book, then model a PEE sentence and get them to write a paragraph using PEE themselves and finally set them a homework task to find the meanings of key words used in the book (climbing jargon)

    The year 8 class will be a lot more challenging I feel because they aren't the best behaved at times. I'm wondering whether to do a seating plan but then I know that will waste ten minutes of the lesson and I'm being observed by my mentor. I want to make sure everything gets done for them to learn.

    I'm feeling nervous but if I can get through them and prove they learned something then I'll be chuffed.

    Wish me luck!
    (Original post by outlaw-torn)
    Good luck! I'm sure it will be absolutely fine

    I've got my first lesson tomorrow. Year 8 set 4, on Bloody Mary. Hopefully will go well! There are only 12 of them and I know them pretty well anyway.

    Classes of 12! Jealous!!



    Those plans sound good Steveluis, the year 7 one sounds nice and interactive. Good that you're using pictures as stimuli for writing as well... I saw someone doing cutting bits out of newspapers/magazines and sorting them by what part they are if you are doing more lessons on it!

    Just don't stress about the behaviour, remember to be consistent and stick by the systems, don't panic if it starts to go wrong just keep being consistent and hopefully that will work as they see you're not gonna budge and you're not phased by bad behaviour. And above all if it doesn't go as hoped it's not the end of the world, it's one lesson, super experience teachers with great behaviour management sometimes have truly awful lessons! Having one bad lesson is not the be all and end all (and I'm sure your tutor will pick up on the good bits). But I doubt you will need to refer to this advice as I imagine it will go really well! Everyone gets nervous beforehand even if it's not necessary

    xxx
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    Anyone doing team teaching? How are you doing it?

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    Had my first lesson. The work was pitched fine I think - they struggled a bit with source work but I'm not sure if that was just because I was teaching them and not their usual class teacher since they haven't had problems with it before.

    The main problem was one boy who is on report and is known to cause a nuisance in lessons. He just continuously disrupted the lesson and made the rest of the class extremely distracted.

    However I stuck to my guns and kept repeating that we would stay and do the work for as long as it took, which seemed to make him calm down as he didn't want to miss lunch! I have also discovered the massive benefits of a death stare! Haha.

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    (Original post by francophilia)
    I only have two lessons left to plan for next week but my word am I coming unstuck when trying to think of what to do. It's for year 9 and 10 who I find really difficult to teach. Not that they're badly behaved or anything. I just can't seem to plan effectively for them!
    Have you tried a structured debate? I've hardly ever seen them used in classrooms, yet can't think of a better way to get students engaged and learning! Maybe it's just me. :dontknow:
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    (Original post by Vian)
    Have you tried a structured debate? I've hardly ever seen them used in classrooms, yet can't think of a better way to get students engaged and learning! Maybe it's just me. :dontknow:
    Thanks for the tip but I'm doing MFL and I'm not sure if they could handle a debate in French! They're only year 10 after all. Might be good to try with year 12 though...
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    (Original post by francophilia)
    Thanks for the tip but I'm doing MFL and I'm not sure if they could handle a debate in French! They're only year 10 after all. Might be good to try with year 12 though...
    I would suggest:

    -Get them to work out vocabulary themselves as much as possible - match-up activities like card sorts, sheets or powerpoints where they have to match things up, or TaskMagic if you have it are good for this.

    -Things where they have to all respond quickly, eg: to translate a phrase using the correct tense. Mini-whiteboards are really good for this, if you have access to them. Basically anything to stop them being lazy and making sure they're getting plenty of practice of key structures by drilling them repeatedly.

    -Lots of discussion of how to improve things, getting ideas from the class and adding to them to write a good sentence together.
    eg: Je joue au foot --> Can we add some extra detail? Time phrase? When? Who with? --> D'habitude je joue au foot avec mes copains apres le college. --> WHY? We need connectives... --> D'habitude je joue au foot avec mes amis apres le college, parce que c'est amusant et bon pour la sante. --> Other people's opinions? --> Cependant, ma mere pense que c'est une perte de temps et elle prefere la natation. --> Make a contrast/ use another tense --> Aujourd'hui, je n'ai pas joué au foot puisque j'étais fatigué.
    Obviously what you can include depends on where they're at with tenses, etc., but there's always something you can do to extend things and it helps them see how to improve their own writing.

    -Reading tasks where the initial task is a GCSE style question (eg: true or false/who does the statement apply to/short answers in English) and the extension task focuses on them finding good vocab/phrases in the text so they can use them in future.

    -Currently I'm doing a lot of work on tenses because my Y10s have specifically asked for it. So I've been doing things like match the time phrase to the correct tense, or find and correct the mistakes in a particular tense...

    Hope this gives you some ideas! Let me know if you need any help and I'll do my best, if I'm not drowning under my NQT workload too much!
 
 
 
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