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    (Original post by redlemon92)
    I've just started my first placement and I'm feeling more than a bit lost in terms of support from the uni and getting useful info from them, and in the fact that its a very different school to what I'm used to! (challenging inner city school...) Everybody else on my course seems to have got much nicer schools...
    Even in school I feel like I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing...
    I know I'm probably jumping the gun before I've properly started but has anyone had a similar experience? Please help!!
    Don't panic about having a tough school. People will be fully aware that it's a tough school and they will appreciate that when observing, evaluating etc The context is certainly taken in to account. On top of that, it's kind of a 'challenge' thing in that, since you will learn to deal with a tough school you will then have those skills that make you employable and find an 'easier' school easy! Obviously, in reality, each school has it's own challenges and benefits so the difference might not be as stark as you'd think - I think a lot of what makes a school easy/hard/nice/not nice to work at is to do with staff dynamic, attitude and atmosphere which you aren't exposed to quite as much as a student. Plus whether the ethos matches you which can vary a lot even within a given context.

    Basically, don't panic, don't worry that you feel a bit lost or overwhelmed. Don't beat yourself up when you have a lesson (or more!) that go completely to pot, and you're thinking AHHH! THIS IS AWFUL! I AM SO BAD! Everyone goes through that, and it doesn't mean you're bad or not cut out for it. You're just learning, and you can't win them all. Even experienced, excellent teachers don't win every lesson. And no-one knows what they're meant to do at this point. Having said all that, ASK! Ask for advice, ask to go and observe other teachers (ask for recommendations e.g. who is good with behaviour) while you can, reflect and ask for advice on the areas you're unsure about. If you feel completely overwhelmed with something chances are when you've seen how it can be done you'll feel a lot better. And remember as you build your relationship with the students and they get to know you things will get a lot easier. Think about what your expectations of them are and try (it's really hard!) to stick to them.

    Also try not to worry too much about others' schools. They may seem nice but there will be all sorts of issues that you may or may not hear about, so don't feel like you've got the short straw as such. Your placement may have poor behaviour or attainment but a great support network, for example.


    Oh, and take some time out to do something you enjoy! You'll feel much better for it.

    xxx
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    Just found out my school want me in at 8.15 tomorrow morning instead of the 8.30 that they told me. I can get to the school by 8.20ish but 8.15 is impossible.

    I can use hotels for the early mornings since there's only one early start a week but because I didn't find out until I got to my uni town I don't have clothes or anything with me for tomorrow. What should I do?

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    (Original post by ParadoxSocks)
    Just found out my school want me in at 8.15 tomorrow morning instead of the 8.30 that they told me. I can get to the school by 8.20ish but 8.15 is impossible.

    I can use hotels for the early mornings since there's only one early start a week but because I didn't find out until I got to my uni town I don't have clothes or anything with me for tomorrow. What should I do?

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    Just let them know that you're unable to make it in for that time tomorrow due to X. They should understand, people have lives outside school. Just say you're really sorry and you will be there as soon as you possibly can, and that you can use alternative accommodation next time if you know in advance (although I think it's reasonable for them to try to make arrangements/be flexible, presuming you have some specific reason you can't make that time, rather than expect you to stay in a hotel). Perhaps if it's something specific you're missing offer to catch up in some way after school.

    xxx
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    (Original post by kpwxx)
    Just let them know that you're unable to make it in for that time tomorrow due to X. They should understand, people have lives outside school. Just say you're really sorry and you will be there as soon as you possibly can, and that you can use alternative accommodation next time if you know in advance (although I think it's reasonable for them to try to make arrangements/be flexible, presuming you have some specific reason you can't make that time, rather than expect you to stay in a hotel). Perhaps if it's something specific you're missing offer to catch up in some way after school.

    xxx
    Just did exactly what you advised. Had I been warned yesterday I'd have been completely fine. Anyway, there's not much I can do other than try my best in the morning to get there. My train gets in at 8.02 so I have 13 minutes to do a 7 minute journey at rush hour with road works

    I don't mind the hotel one night a week. It's only £30 and it's for an 8am in school class. My train is £15 anyway so it's not like it's a huge extra expense. Quite looking forward to peace and quiet anyway

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    Had an email back earlier to say it's fine if I'm a little late tomorrow

    What do I expect for first day of placement?

    And what do pgce students do during untimetabled hours? I assume a bit of extra observation and planning for lessons. I don't want to go in tomorrow with no idea what is happening D:

    And when we're starting to teach does the original class teacher stay with us until we find our feet?

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    Thank you so much for your advice I really needed to hear that this morning!!
    I think I was having the "ahhh what am I doing!!" panic last night :/ but I am saving your advice for next time it happens!!
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    (Original post by ParadoxSocks)
    Had an email back earlier to say it's fine if I'm a little late tomorrow

    What do I expect for first day of placement?

    And what do pgce students do during untimetabled hours? I assume a bit of extra observation and planning for lessons. I don't want to go in tomorrow with no idea what is happening D:

    And when we're starting to teach does the original class teacher stay with us until we find our feet?

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    First day you'll be shown around the school and the placed in your room. You'll probably spend the first two/three weeks observing. Use this to really learn the strategies of the class teacher.

    Once you teach I don't think they'll stand by you - you're not a child and are there to learn. But of course, other than during observations, most teachers would be willing to help you out.

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    (Original post by ParadoxSocks)
    Had an email back earlier to say it's fine if I'm a little late tomorrow

    What do I expect for first day of placement?

    And what do pgce students do during untimetabled hours? I assume a bit of extra observation and planning for lessons. I don't want to go in tomorrow with no idea what is happening D:

    And when we're starting to teach does the original class teacher stay with us until we find our feet?

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    My uni told us a certain amount of non-contact time which was out of class, the equivalent of ppa (for us, 20%) and for the rest of the time when we weren't teaching we did lots of things. At the start we were just with the class acting as support, getting to know the pupils and routines and observing the class teacher whilst doing it. As time went on we did some observing of other teachers as well, plus some specific tasks and observations set by the uni including tasks for coursework. As time goes on you obviously teach more and have less time like this. I'd recommend making the most of building relationships with the students while you can!

    For my first placement the teacher was there pretty much all the time, as in, in the classroom. Only during her ppa or when she had elsewhere special to go would we be in there without her.

    For my second, the teacher was in the room for the first few bits of teaching but started to be out more later on as she had lots to do! I think it's a lot to do with this rather than the stage of your placement tbh. But don't worry, they won't tell you to teach and run off, they will be hanging around at least at the start to be there if they're needed.

    Xxx

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    Had my eureka moment today after meeting my year 7 class for the first time. I wasn't taking the class obciously but I ran around answering questions and being teacherly. You know when you just realise that maybe this was the right decision and you're not crazy? I think it was that. It just came naturally.

    (Original post by qwerty_mad)
    First day you'll be shown around the school and the placed in your room. You'll probably spend the first two/three weeks observing. Use this to really learn the strategies of the class teacher.

    Once you teach I don't think they'll stand by you - you're not a child and are there to learn. But of course, other than during observations, most teachers would be willing to help you out.

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    I definitely have three weeks of solid obs and then two weeks of half term and then I'm teaching. There's some teachers I'd be nervous teaching in front of so I'm just hoping my nerves behave enough to actually teach.

    (Original post by kpwxx)
    My uni told us a certain amount of non-contact time which was out of class, the equivalent of ppa (for us, 20%) and for the rest of the time when we weren't teaching we did lots of things. At the start we were just with the class acting as support, getting to know the pupils and routines and observing the class teacher whilst doing it. As time went on we did some observing of other teachers as well, plus some specific tasks and observations set by the uni including tasks for coursework. As time goes on you obviously teach more and have less time like this. I'd recommend making the most of building relationships with the students while you can!

    For my first placement the teacher was there pretty much all the time, as in, in the classroom. Only during her ppa or when she had elsewhere special to go would we be in there without her.

    For my second, the teacher was in the room for the first few bits of teaching but started to be out more later on as she had lots to do! I think it's a lot to do with this rather than the stage of your placement tbh. But don't worry, they won't tell you to teach and run off, they will be hanging around at least at the start to be there if they're needed.

    Xxx

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    This was exactly what happened today. I now have a timetable of 5 lessons for me to teach - 1 set of y7s twice a week, a y8, y9 and y10.

    I have an 8am class tomorrow morning with my itt coordinator and I think that's when a more structured system for outside of teaching will happen. Need to identify a couple of teachers who don't mind me watching them.

    Accidentally missed second registration though because I was chatting with my mentor. Feel a bit awful about that

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    I'm reading the next section of a book to my class tomorrow as part of their literacy lesson. This is the first time I will have interacted with them as a whole class...and my mentor is on PPA all day so it's with a supply (not sure if that makes me feel better or worse lol)! I am very excited but a bit nervous too.

    I felt so much more like a teacher today though, and am getting involved in leading group activities and behaviour management. :-)
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    (Original post by Esmeralda4)
    I'm reading the next section of a book to my class tomorrow as part of their literacy lesson. This is the first time I will have interacted with them as a whole class...and my mentor is on PPA all day so it's with a supply (not sure if that makes me feel better or worse lol)! I am very excited but a bit nervous too.

    I felt so much more like a teacher today though, and am getting involved in leading group activities and behaviour management. :-)
    That sounds exciting! I tried a bit of gentle behaviour management today but didn't want to step on the teachers toes. Can definitely see that you need eyes absolutely everywhere to cope with year 7 classes.

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    (Original post by ParadoxSocks)
    That sounds exciting! I tried a bit of gentle behaviour management today but didn't want to step on the teachers toes. Can definitely see that you need eyes absolutely everywhere to cope with year 7 classes.

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    I can't imagine dealing with secondary classes! Haha. I'm in year 3 at the moment - they can push the boundaries but I'm currently okay. We will see how long that lasts once I'm teaching full lessons!!!
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    (Original post by Esmeralda4)
    I can't imagine dealing with secondary classes! Haha. I'm in year 3 at the moment - they can push the boundaries but I'm currently okay. We will see how long that lasts once I'm teaching full lessons!!!
    I've never understood that! I'd much rather moody teens than snotty littluns! Haha!


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    (Original post by myblueheaven339)
    I've never understood that! I'd much rather moody teens than snotty littluns! Haha!


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    Ooh no. I mean, I've worked with teenagers and enjoyed it very much, but a whole class of them is a different matter. Haha!

    I guess it's a good job we have both types of teacher out there!
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    (Original post by Esmeralda4)
    Ooh no. I mean, I've worked with teenagers and enjoyed it very much, but a whole class of them is a different matter. Haha!

    I guess it's a good job we have both types of teacher out there!
    Indeed! Requires very different skills and personalities I think.


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    Just about to finish my first assignment of the year on reflective practise, oh the joy!
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    So I didn't just read today, I also taught some of the lesson asking questions about the book and leading recap of previous lesson! I feel so much more confident now - very proud of myself. :-P Just a shame my mentor didn't get to see it.
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    I think I might ask to start doing little teaching bits next week. Didn't get to do much today.

    Need to ask to get involved in other things now too. Helping to run the coding club with my mentor but I need a second extra curricular and several days following people around.

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    Just found out about my placement school - a really nice grammar school that is geographically very close to me. Unfortunately, I can't drive and it's a bit more of a trek via public transport, but you can't have everything (it's still a shorter commute than to my university, anyway). I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in, and actually getting to be in the classroom.

    For those of you already on placements (or more experienced than that), would it be wise to ask to start teaching small parts of lessons pretty soon on (I.E. about a week into my placement). As it sounds like in most cases I wouldn't really be teaching for the first 3 weeks. On one hand, I really want to get involved, and would like to start to build a rapport with the class; on the other, I know it's going to get really busy pretty soon, so should I just enjoy the observations?
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    (Original post by tory88)
    Just found out about my placement school - a really nice grammar school that is geographically very close to me. Unfortunately, I can't drive and it's a bit more of a trek via public transport, but you can't have everything (it's still a shorter commute than to my university, anyway). I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in, and actually getting to be in the classroom.

    For those of you already on placements (or more experienced than that), would it be wise to ask to start teaching small parts of lessons pretty soon on (I.E. about a week into my placement). As it sounds like in most cases I wouldn't really be teaching for the first 3 weeks. On one hand, I really want to get involved, and would like to start to build a rapport with the class; on the other, I know it's going to get really busy pretty soon, so should I just enjoy the observations?
    Watch and learn. They have a phased start for a reason.
 
 
 
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