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    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    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?
    Our half term weeks are timetabled as Keele weeks, but Keele normally designate them as our 'reading weeks' - so, the short answer is we don't have to be anywhere during half term, but we do need to be doing work.
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    (Original post by -WhySoSerious?)
    Actually, I'm going to get slated because I've actually no idea what the workload for a PGCE is.
    Read the rest of the thread :p:

    Essentially, PGCE students work full time in a school for a year for free whilst doing a full time Masters at the same time. As a PGCE teacher you are expected to do anything and everything because you're training so it'd be "good to learn" which in my experience means taking over the running of several after school clubs, producing the Christmas performance and being used as a supply teacher at least one morning/afternoon a week so the school can save money whilst feeling like you have to volunteer for every single "can someone just do X over lunch time/before school/after school today...." in staff meetings to prove your way. So yes, thanks for your welcome to the "real world" indeed - at least in the real world I'd actually be "paid" for my 15 hour days!

    I really really love my school so I've got it "easy" in that respect as if you have a difficult school, class or mentor your time in school can be hell.
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    Awww, I feel sorry for the trainee teachers at my school now. I always find trainees much more interesting than regular teachers. And I tend to do better because of them!

    Good luck!
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    I never did any after school club things (altho I did as a TA) and I wasn't there for the Christmas production, so I missed out on all that too.

    As for half term - I was at uni for the ones in the autumn term and spring term, but we had the one in the summer term as a proper half term, as that was our last block in schools and we had finished the uni bits
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    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    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?
    We didnt get half term off. I envy those who did. We had to be in uni Monday to Friday 9-5. Fun times.
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    Chin up OP You're doing something you love and, by the sounds of it, putting a lot of effort in. Might be difficult but it wouldn't be worth doing if it wasn't. I'm sure there are a lot of jobs you could have ended up doing that would be irritating/ stressful in other ways and yet you wouldn't get half the satisfaction out of it.

    I'd give my (considers things...) left arm to be working towards something that really makes a difference. Rather than spending my, incredibly short, 7 hour working days drinking a lot of coffee and sticking labels on trays - and maybe winding a colleague or two up every now and again. Although, admittedly, I probably wouldn't have applied to teaching if it hadn't have been for this job. Fingers crossed for the GTP
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    (Original post by xKTx)
    As for half term - I was at uni for the ones in the autumn term and spring term, but we had the one in the summer term as a proper half term, as that was our last block in schools and we had finished the uni bits
    Same, got half term on my final placement in the summer but that was it (and spent most of it working anyway). I did the majority of my assignments on the christmas/easter breaks as they were due in usually when we got back. I found the assigments tricky as I found it hard to go up between the undergrad and masters level of writing expected but I passed them so I was happy enough!

    I think the biggest thing with the PGCE is trying to juggle everything, the academia and placements, the assignments, the paperwork, portfolios, evaluations, planning and observations but once you get into your stride it becomes a little bit less overwhelming and manageable. Organisation really is key, Id never been the most organised person in the world prior to the PGCE but had to force myself to keep the chaos in order
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    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    Read the rest of the thread :p:

    Essentially, PGCE students work full time in a school for a year for free whilst doing a full time Masters at the same time. As a PGCE teacher you are expected to do anything and everything because you're training so it'd be "good to learn" which in my experience means taking over the running of several after school clubs, producing the Christmas performance and being used as a supply teacher at least one morning/afternoon a week so the school can save money whilst feeling like you have to volunteer for every single "can someone just do X over lunch time/before school/after school today...." in staff meetings to prove your way. So yes, thanks for your welcome to the "real world" indeed - at least in the real world I'd actually be "paid" for my 15 hour days!

    I really really love my school so I've got it "easy" in that respect as if you have a difficult school, class or mentor your time in school can be hell.
    I'm thinking of finishing my app for Teach First, so we'll see. The school will most likely be a fairly big challenge in itself :P
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    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    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?
    I trained through SCITT so got half terms off (to do work) but our placements were longer than normal PGCEs. We didn't do 6 week blocks (or whatever you do) we did 3 full terms.

    It will get worse before it gets better feb/march was the worse time for me - knackered, can't see the end yet, still dark and cold!

    But it is worth it, wait till you have a moment where you think 'yeah all that hard work was worth it'. It only takes one pupil!
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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 think some of the replies on this thread are a little disingenuous with respect to the academic side of doing a PGCE; it is absolutely nothing like a masters. Some masters programmes tend to be hit and miss with respect to difficulty and work load, but most are far more intense than undergraduate study (and a number of the PhD students in GOGsoc would probably attest to the fact that they are more intense than a PhD too since you can relax more with the latter), which is why people feel they can handle a PGCE more easily once they have finished.

    Only you can decide whether a masters is financially beneficial. As one of the other users suggested, it is unlikely to make you stand out in terms of finding a job. To counter-balance my criticism above, I will suggest that doing a masters before a PGCE is - unless you work part-time to pay for it like one of the posters - problematic; I had to take out a career development loan so whether or not I get PhD funding or a PGCE place I am going to have to find a way to start paying for it this time next year. On the positive side, I feel one of the benefits is that it makes the entire PGCE process far easier since you already have your qualifications, and especially for young applicants it makes things easier since it gives you another year's distance between you and the pupils, especially if you are considering secondary.
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    Through discussion with others on my course, we've found that those who have come onto the PGCE straight from their undergrad OR those who have been in employment for a long time since they studied both find it most difficult, whilst those of us who have had a few years of employment and then started the PGCE find it quite a lot more manageable - because we're not so far away from Uni that we've forgotten how to manage essays, reading, etc. but also because we're used to the 'world of work' i.e. getting up early every morning, working all day, and then finishing in the evening.

    At my old job I'd be out of the house at 7.30am and finish work around 5.45pm. At my current school I leave at 7.15am and finish school around 4pm, so quite comparable.

    Of course with the PGCE you have all the assignments and such but it's only one year and really I'm not coping too badly - next term will be more difficult but just take it as it comes. Although give yourself time to relax, make sure that you're not always 'relaxing' - there's always something that you can be doing (QTS standards anyone? urgh...!)

    Also finding out there's not much worse than doing a PGCE in England but teaching at a school in Wales....they have their own curriculum over there and use a lot of Welsh words....I don't speak Welsh!!! hah :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by dobbs)
    Through discussion with others on my course, we've found that those who have come onto the PGCE straight from their undergrad OR those who have been in employment for a long time since they studied both find it most difficult, whilst those of us who have had a few years of employment and then started the PGCE find it quite a lot more manageable - because we're not so far away from Uni that we've forgotten how to manage essays, reading, etc. but also because we're used to the 'world of work' i.e. getting up early every morning, working all day, and then finishing in the evening.

    At my old job I'd be out of the house at 7.30am and finish work around 5.45pm. At my current school I leave at 7.15am and finish school around 4pm, so quite comparable.

    Of course with the PGCE you have all the assignments and such but it's only one year and really I'm not coping too badly - next term will be more difficult but just take it as it comes. Although give yourself time to relax, make sure that you're not always 'relaxing' - there's always something that you can be doing (QTS standards anyone? urgh...!)

    Also finding out there's not much worse than doing a PGCE in England but teaching at a school in Wales....they have their own curriculum over there and use a lot of Welsh words....I don't speak Welsh!!! hah :rolleyes:
    Glad to hear this, I'm starting my PGCE next year after working 8-4 Mon to Fri whilst also doing my Masters..which meant that every Sat I studied 10-6, and Sundays 10-8 and 3-4 hours study mon-thur night.. If PGCE is same as that i'll be ok, but I'm getting worried about it already
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    This thread makes me so glad that I am doing an undergrad education degree although it's tough at time its a lot more manageable than a PGCE.

    I know it's hard work :hugs: but keep it up, you will get through it and when you do you'll be doing an amazing job and something you want to do!
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    Interesting thread. I kind of relish the challenge, however naive that may sound. But over the summer I worked a job where I was usually out of the house 9-11 5/6 days a week(trust me, the slightly later morning didn't make a difference when I had no time to myself the previous night). Strange as it sounds, even though it was a bit **** in some ways I still miss it - going out and doing something active all day then getting up and doing it all again, as opposed to having a 7/8 hour uni week, was much more stimulating.
    In short, I can't wait to get in a classroom. Luckily I get to do so for my year abroad next year.
    I'm assuming that being an assistant in another country will be pretty decent experience for when I get to applying?
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    It will be useful (especially when talking about your skills etc) but you should still have some experience in English schools with the English curriculum

    (Original post by I'm_Unsafe.)
    Interesting thread. I kind of relish the challenge, however naive that may sound. But over the summer I worked a job where I was usually out of the house 9-11 5/6 days a week(trust me, the slightly later morning didn't make a difference when I had no time to myself the previous night). Strange as it sounds, even though it was a bit **** in some ways I still miss it - going out and doing something active all day then getting up and doing it all again, as opposed to having a 7/8 hour uni week, was much more stimulating.
    In short, I can't wait to get in a classroom. Luckily I get to do so for my year abroad next year.
    I'm assuming that being an assistant in another country will be pretty decent experience for when I get to applying?
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    (Original post by I'm_Unsafe.)
    I'm assuming that being an assistant in another country will be pretty decent experience for when I get to applying?
    As KT says, many (most? all??) universities will ask specifically for experience in an English school, and especially when it comes around to them asking you to do one or two weeks in a Primary school they will want it to be in England.

    Being at Bristol Uni means we have quite a few Welsh students and they were told that they couldn't carry out their primary school placements in Wales, it has to be in England.

    Although that's not to say working in teaching in another country won't be useful, just make sure you get some experience in English schools
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    I don't really think you can say what type of people find it more difficult, that is just sterotyping (which as teachers we try not to do!) I see the logic behind it i.e. used to writing essays/working hard etc. But it doesn't always work that way.
    Experience in schools is always the best thing. Hands on experience rather than just observational.
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    (Original post by caroline_p3)
    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
    Unfortunately we don't have half terms off. We're back in uni when schools have their half terms. I was also banking on the October break to get it polished off, Xmas for the 2nd one and Feb break for the 3rd. Unfortunately this hasn't been possible due to the course structure

    In response to some of the other posts on here. The biggest thing for me to get used to is the long days and lack of sleep! I worked throughout my undergrad degree, but it wasn't every day and it wasn't as mentally demanding (in fact required almost no thinking at all!) This is the tiring bit... using your brain from 7 - 10 every week day and MOST of the weekend! I say 7am because driving 1hr 30 in the morning requires a level of concentration i definitely DON'T have at that time!

    I also used to work a summer job leaving at 7.30am and working 10hrs, but i had evenings to do nothing and weekends totally free to relax/ have fun! (Plus it was the summer so longer, lighter days!) Thinking second placement will therefore be a bit easier in this respect as it's Feb - June
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    (Original post by dobbs)
    Through discussion with others on my course, we've found that those who have come onto the PGCE straight from their undergrad OR those who have been in employment for a long time since they studied both find it most difficult, whilst those of us who have had a few years of employment and then started the PGCE find it quite a lot more manageable - because we're not so far away from Uni that we've forgotten how to manage essays, reading, etc. but also because we're used to the 'world of work' i.e. getting up early every morning, working all day, and then finishing in the evening.
    I think it depends on the person and their reasons for doing the PGCE. I know a number of people on my primary course in the "ideal" situation you've described in terms of the finished uni a couple of years ago and have now gone back to do the PGCE but they're really struggling as they came into it for the wrong reasons. I think teaching has become a comfort route for recent graduates who have struggled to make their mark on the graduate jobs market so have spent a few years working in low paid/low skilled jobs and done a bit of travelling, and now have thought "well what am I actually going to do with my life???" and have fallen into teaching. These people don't actually want to teach and some have already decided they won't be doing their NQT year or teaching, but don't have anything else to do so are continuing with the course despite the fact they hate being in school and have no motivation to do the work.

    I'm certainly not saying this is the case with everyone by far as that would be ridiculous, more that in comparison to the straight out of uni graduates and the career changing mature students with kids, both of whom tend to be pretty focused, its the people in the middle who've been working for a few years and are now in teaching who (on my course) are the ones who are most likely to be in it for the wrong reasons, which impacts on their actual work on the course. If you really really want to teach then probably yes, your stage of life might be a good place to do it as you've had time to totally ensure this is what you want to do and get more experience, but I've found that with a lot of people I know they're just doing a PGCE as they can't think of anything else to do and teaching is a respected profession so their parents are happy.

    Anyone else starting to do applications for LEA pools over Christmas? So much to do and so little time, but its exciting!
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    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    I think it depends on the person and their reasons for doing the PGCE. I know a number of people on my primary course in the "ideal" situation you've described in terms of the finished uni a couple of years ago and have now gone back to do the PGCE but they're really struggling as they came into it for the wrong reasons. I think teaching has become a comfort route for recent graduates who have struggled to make their mark on the graduate jobs market so have spent a few years working in low paid/low skilled jobs and done a bit of travelling, and now have thought "well what am I actually going to do with my life???" and have fallen into teaching. These people don't actually want to teach and some have already decided they won't be doing their NQT year or teaching, but don't have anything else to do so are continuing with the course despite the fact they hate being in school and have no motivation to do the work.

    I'm certainly not saying this is the case with everyone by far as that would be ridiculous, more that in comparison to the straight out of uni graduates and the career changing mature students with kids, both of whom tend to be pretty focused, its the people in the middle who've been working for a few years and are now in teaching who (on my course) are the ones who are most likely to be in it for the wrong reasons, which impacts on their actual work on the course. If you really really want to teach then probably yes, your stage of life might be a good place to do it as you've had time to totally ensure this is what you want to do and get more experience, but I've found that with a lot of people I know they're just doing a PGCE as they can't think of anything else to do and teaching is a respected profession so their parents are happy.

    Anyone else starting to do applications for LEA pools over Christmas? So much to do and so little time, but its exciting!
    Having had experience with the pools, they have varying (and mostly nil) results. I had one interview at a pool and nothing back from them (and neither did anyone I know, except oddly enough people who never applied to the pool in the first place!), one email about a school or just regular emails with job vacancies. They take a long time (the forms I saw weren't user friendly!) to do as well
 
 
 
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