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    (Original post by clara_oswald)
    Hope it works out
    Thanks

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    I'm having a bit of a problem right now and my mentor is ill so I feel bad emailing her about it :/ we were doing division/grouping this week in my Y2 class. I was teaching division on a number line which most of the children have understood pretty well. However, we have children who were absent or didn't fully understand (about 6-7 in total, maybe more) last week. I'd like to help them some more but we were meant to move onto word problems before now. Would you move some of your children on but not others? Would you spend more time on the first topic? There are children who are flying through these questions and I'm worried about boring them. Plus we have to move onto time soon...
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm a newbie here with 4 youngish children and a career of 30 years in technology (giving clues away to my possible age now!) and going to be a mature ITT student, embarking on a career change in Sept 2015.

    I have a bit of a dilemma at this point that I'd like comment and advice on if possible. I have been offered a secondary schools direct salaried place at one school (an exceptional school) and another non-salaried place at another very good school (both for science). My dilemma relates to the PGCE side of things as on the salaried route I will effectively thrown in to the deep end with a 50% teaching timetable, whereas on the non-salaried route I would build up to a teaching timetable (as I understand it). Having read many interesting posts on this forum, I'm trying to get a handle on the level of and type of workload associated with PGCE, particularly when you have a timetable to contend with. I have been used to working long hours but not those that require lots of essay writing etc (although I have written a fair few reports in my time).

    Anyone out there who has a similar background and has had, or is in, a salaried place undertaking the PGCE as well ...... I'd love to hear about your experiences or those of PGCE in general. I have to make my choice in the next few days. It is a tough decision, both would be great schools to work in but I have a slight tendency towards the salaried place but I am concerned that it may be too much with the PGCE on top. Is it doable realistically (with family considerations etc)? Where can I find more out about PGCE course expectations etc?

    Thanks ... and looking forward to the conversations to follow in the coming months!
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    (Original post by grommit_lad)
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a newbie here with 4 youngish children and a career of 30 years in technology (giving clues away to my possible age now!) and going to be a mature ITT student, embarking on a career change in Sept 2015.

    I have a bit of a dilemma at this point that I'd like comment and advice on if possible. I have been offered a secondary schools direct salaried place at one school (an exceptional school) and another non-salaried place at another very good school (both for science). My dilemma relates to the PGCE side of things as on the salaried route I will effectively thrown in to the deep end with a 50% teaching timetable, whereas on the non-salaried route I would build up to a teaching timetable (as I understand it). Having read many interesting posts on this forum, I'm trying to get a handle on the level of and type of workload associated with PGCE, particularly when you have a timetable to contend with. I have been used to working long hours but not those that require lots of essay writing etc (although I have written a fair few reports in my time).

    Anyone out there who has a similar background and has had, or is in, a salaried place undertaking the PGCE as well ...... I'd love to hear about your experiences or those of PGCE in general. I have to make my choice in the next few days. It is a tough decision, both would be great schools to work in but I have a slight tendency towards the salaried place but I am concerned that it may be too much with the PGCE on top. Is it doable realistically (with family considerations etc)? Where can I find more out about PGCE course expectations etc?

    Thanks ... and looking forward to the conversations to follow in the coming months!
    Sounds like a tough choice! It will depend on your time commitments, previous experience etc. Personally, I wouldn't like to have started off at 50%. I'm teaching maybe 60% now and finding it very difficult. Then again, I'm only 21 and this is (obviously) my first career. You probably have the benefit of having worked very hard at something before.
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    (Original post by alabelle)
    I'm having a bit of a problem right now and my mentor is ill so I feel bad emailing her about it :/ we were doing division/grouping this week in my Y2 class. I was teaching division on a number line which most of the children have understood pretty well. However, we have children who were absent or didn't fully understand (about 6-7 in total, maybe more) last week. I'd like to help them some more but we were meant to move onto word problems before now. Would you move some of your children on but not others? Would you spend more time on the first topic? There are children who are flying through these questions and I'm worried about boring them. Plus we have to move onto time soon...
    I would say, if you don't catch the others up its going to continue to be a problem. Better to try and get in line while you can. Having said that, you're likely to have more off this week and maybe some that were here will now be ill.

    Can you make it in to a "teach the others" activity?

    Or maybe have a selection of activities around the room that they can choose between. Some can be harder for those who want a challenge, others simpler for those who are just learning. Start the lesson with a summary of what you've been learning, then send everyone off apart from those who were absent or anyone else who says they don't quite get it. Talk through it with them and once they figure it out they can go off and do activities too.

    Or just teach the next lesson as normal but keep input very short at the start to allow you time to spend intensively explaining to that small group while the others work.

    Xxx



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    (Original post by kpwxx)
    I would say, if you don't catch the others up its going to continue to be a problem. Better to try and get in line while you can. Having said that, you're likely to have more off this week and maybe some that were here will now be ill.

    Can you make it in to a "teach the others" activity?

    Or maybe have a selection of activities around the room that they can choose between. Some can be harder for those who want a challenge, others simpler for those who are just learning. Start the lesson with a summary of what you've been learning, then send everyone off apart from those who were absent or anyone else who says they don't quite get it. Talk through it with them and once they figure it out they can go off and do activities too.

    Or just teach the next lesson as normal but keep input very short at the start to allow you time to spend intensively explaining to that small group while the others work.

    Xxx



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    I had a similar idea in the end, my current plan is this:

    Rearrange groups so that absent/less confident children are sat on bottom table
    Higher ability groups have word problems to solve (moved on)
    Middle ability group also have word problems to solve (slightly easier ones)
    I will sit on bottom table talking them through it and hopefully move them onto word problems

    I have a further day where the highers are creating their own problems so if the lowers aren't caught up by then I have an extra lesson to get them doing word problems. Does that sound ok? I like the idea of having a selection of activities, I might do that!
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    (Original post by grommit_lad)
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a newbie here with 4 youngish children and a career of 30 years in technology (giving clues away to my possible age now!) and going to be a mature ITT student, embarking on a career change in Sept 2015.

    I have a bit of a dilemma at this point that I'd like comment and advice on if possible. I have been offered a secondary schools direct salaried place at one school (an exceptional school) and another non-salaried place at another very good school (both for science). My dilemma relates to the PGCE side of things as on the salaried route I will effectively thrown in to the deep end with a 50% teaching timetable, whereas on the non-salaried route I would build up to a teaching timetable (as I understand it). Having read many interesting posts on this forum, I'm trying to get a handle on the level of and type of workload associated with PGCE, particularly when you have a timetable to contend with. I have been used to working long hours but not those that require lots of essay writing etc (although I have written a fair few reports in my time).

    Anyone out there who has a similar background and has had, or is in, a salaried place undertaking the PGCE as well ...... I'd love to hear about your experiences or those of PGCE in general. I have to make my choice in the next few days. It is a tough decision, both would be great schools to work in but I have a slight tendency towards the salaried place but I am concerned that it may be too much with the PGCE on top. Is it doable realistically (with family considerations etc)? Where can I find more out about PGCE course expectations etc?

    Thanks ... and looking forward to the conversations to follow in the coming months!
    I can't speak from personal experience but on my first placement there were two salaried SD students, so I often spoke to them. They seemed more stressed than me, given that more is expected of you, but if I were in your shoes it still wouldn't put me off going for a salaried route. It's all relative to be honest. If I had been thrown in with a 50% timetable I'd have adjusted faster than I am doing at the mo. Besides, there's no guarantee a non salaried place will be a walk in the park. I have a friend on the course who was teaching 12 hours a week in week 2 of first placement, which shouldn't really happen on non salaried first placement.

    It would be a no brainer for me, even more so if I had a family. It's too good an offer to turn down.

    Best of luck whatever you decide

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    (Original post by grommit_lad)
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a newbie here with 4 youngish children and a career of 30 years in technology (giving clues away to my possible age now!) and going to be a mature ITT student, embarking on a career change in Sept 2015.

    I have a bit of a dilemma at this point that I'd like comment and advice on if possible. I have been offered a secondary schools direct salaried place at one school (an exceptional school) and another non-salaried place at another very good school (both for science). My dilemma relates to the PGCE side of things as on the salaried route I will effectively thrown in to the deep end with a 50% teaching timetable, whereas on the non-salaried route I would build up to a teaching timetable (as I understand it). Having read many interesting posts on this forum, I'm trying to get a handle on the level of and type of workload associated with PGCE, particularly when you have a timetable to contend with. I have been used to working long hours but not those that require lots of essay writing etc (although I have written a fair few reports in my time).

    Anyone out there who has a similar background and has had, or is in, a salaried place undertaking the PGCE as well ...... I'd love to hear about your experiences or those of PGCE in general. I have to make my choice in the next few days. It is a tough decision, both would be great schools to work in but I have a slight tendency towards the salaried place but I am concerned that it may be too much with the PGCE on top. Is it doable realistically (with family considerations etc)? Where can I find more out about PGCE course expectations etc?

    Thanks ... and looking forward to the conversations to follow in the coming months!
    I know that I could not have taken the salaried route. It would have killed me. It's not so much that the days are long, but they are hard, especially with behaviour management and lesson observations. It takes so much out of you.

    If you are in secondary, I'd be worried about the focus on exam results (especially in a 'good' school) and extensive marking.

    Sometimes PGCE can be really boring, but I have needed the time out of class to recover (!) and to reflect on my placement and my teaching style. The essays aren't too daunting either.
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    (Original post by alabelle)
    I'm having a bit of a problem right now and my mentor is ill so I feel bad emailing her about it :/ we were doing division/grouping this week in my Y2 class. I was teaching division on a number line which most of the children have understood pretty well. However, we have children who were absent or didn't fully understand (about 6-7 in total, maybe more) last week. I'd like to help them some more but we were meant to move onto word problems before now. Would you move some of your children on but not others? Would you spend more time on the first topic? There are children who are flying through these questions and I'm worried about boring them. Plus we have to move onto time soon...
    I would introduce word problems with the whole class, with addition and subtraction. It's a skill they all need. I would do a few examples of addition/subtraction word problems, then bring in a division example or two. Then I would send the kids who were okay with it to get on with it, and keep the rest on the carpet to go over division.
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    (Original post by myrtille)
    Thanks for that.

    I know where you're coming from - I felt like that until I'd been using them for several months at school (for the first couple of weeks of my job, my iPad stayed firmly in my desk drawer during lessons because I was a bit scared of it - I only recently got my first smartphone and I barely ever know where it is or if it's charged, so I'm not exactly a technophile!).

    I think the problems/distractions that can come from iPads in the classroom are largely down to their novelty. My pupils have now had their iPads for over a year (except the Y7s, but they're young enough to just do as they're told anyway!) and the disruption has reduced drastically. I don't have problems with them at all in Y8 and 9, and in Y10 and 11 it's a small number of pupils, particularly bottom set, and a few of the lazy boys in my top set. It's a constant battle with those pupils, but they are pupils with whom some kind of battle is inevitable - if it wasn't iPads, it would be phones, or paper aeroplanes, or constant talking, I think the iPads are actually less disruptive to the rest of the class than some of the other ways they could misbehave!

    I am an old-fashioned teacher too. I teach MFL and I expect pupils to take detailed notes in lessons. I teach grammar. I make pupils write paragraphs and essays. Many of my Y9 pupils are now on their 2nd exercise book of the year, because I work them pretty hard. Yet I also use iPads in at least 50% of lessons.

    The main thing I use is Showbie, where I upload worksheets, powerpoint slides, writing frames, etc. Usually, pupils still complete work in their books, but they have access to all of the resources from the year on their iPads. It makes such a difference to the quality of their work (particularly homework) that they can go back to the powerpoint from a previous lesson if they can't remember something.

    It's great for giving a choice of task/differentiation, because I don't have to mess about with different worksheets and having things wasted. I taught a lesson recently on freedom of speech and the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and gave pupils a selection of cartoons to look at on their iPads, and choose one or two sources to analyse. Pupils could work at their own pace and some did 1 source, some did 3 or 4, because they had access to all of the sources.

    I put helpsheets for C-grade and A-grade on there, so pupils can choose to play it safe or push themselves (or a bit of both, depending on the task).

    I put vocabulary lists of key learning for whole modules on there, then set 10 words per week as homework. Because I am an old-fashioned teacher, and make my pupils do regular spelling tests, with retests in their own time if they have failed to revise properly.

    Pupils can practise the vocabulary on an app called Memrise, which they love, but which basically just involves them doing multiple choice questions to practise their vocab recognition and then builds up to practising the spelling of the words. Sometimes I do the tests the old-fashioned way, on pieces of paper which they swap and mark. Other times, I do them on an app called Socrative - the tests mark themselves and I get sent a spreadsheet of their results so I can see which questions each pupil got wrong as well as their overall score.

    I think they are hassle at the start, but once you get into a good routine and pupils are used to the expectations for using them appropriately it gets better.

    I don't think they're necessary or that every school needs them, but if you're in a school which does use them, you need to be able to use them effectively (particularly as you probably will have basically no photocopying budget in such a school so have to get used to avoiding worksheets!).
    Had to take a picture of this post for reference as you've given me some good ideas. Always hard to get ideas when I don't actually have an iPad.
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    (Original post by alabelle)
    I had a similar idea in the end, my current plan is this:

    Rearrange groups so that absent/less confident children are sat on bottom table
    Higher ability groups have word problems to solve (moved on)
    Middle ability group also have word problems to solve (slightly easier ones)
    I will sit on bottom table talking them through it and hopefully move them onto word problems

    I have a further day where the highers are creating their own problems so if the lowers aren't caught up by then I have an extra lesson to get them doing word problems. Does that sound ok? I like the idea of having a selection of activities, I might do that!
    That sounds good, gives those more confident something more to do but still gives those absent enough time to develop their skills with problems

    And the selection thing was something I saw in my second placement. They did that sort of thing a lot as they were trying to incorporate early years principles. The whole "topic" (I.e. not maths and literacy) was taught in the afternoons through activities across three classrooms, where children could choose between all the different things. They had passports with certain activities they HAD to do by the end of the week, and others were optional.

    Xxx

    Xxx

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    Finished my first placement on Friday, and was quite sad to be leaving. I'd previously accepted a job at the school, and wasn't certain I'd made the right decision (I had another offer with more money on the table), but I now feel much more confident that it was the right one. I'm really looking forward to getting back into university tomorrow and meeting up with everyone, and spending the weekend relaxing and catching up on sleep has been a godsend.
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    (Original post by alabelle)
    Sounds like a tough choice! It will depend on your time commitments, previous experience etc. Personally, I wouldn't like to have started off at 50%. I'm teaching maybe 60% now and finding it very difficult. Then again, I'm only 21 and this is (obviously) my first career. You probably have the benefit of having worked very hard at something before.
    Thanks alabelle for your reply ... it is a tough choice! I have not taught in a school environment before but I am used to talking and presenting information to people of all ages. I am also used to planning and organising multiple small projects ..... but I obviously have no experience of the school environment, policies, processes, marking arrangements, lesson planning, professional training, expectations for extra curricular activities etc etc! Nor do I have an understanding of what is actually involved in undertaking the PGCE.

    Have you completed or still doing the PGCE .... what was involved and how did you find it? If you are still doing it how does it fit in with your timetabled teaching or is it a completely separate animal? What level of support do you get from your school and/or training provider?
    If you have time to jot some of your experiences down that would be really helpful.
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    (Original post by peony flowers)
    I know that I could not have taken the salaried route. It would have killed me. It's not so much that the days are long, but they are hard, especially with behaviour management and lesson observations. It takes so much out of you.

    If you are in secondary, I'd be worried about the focus on exam results (especially in a 'good' school) and extensive marking.

    Sometimes PGCE can be really boring, but I have needed the time out of class to recover (!) and to reflect on my placement and my teaching style. The essays aren't too daunting either.
    Hi thanks for your reply. Yes the place is secondary and in science. My impression from the school is that there is a lot of marking but from what I gather that's normal across teaching. My biggest worry is whether I will get enough time to do the lesson planning, marking etc as well as the training and PGCE. How has it been for you ..... is the PGCE coursework hard or just another thing to do in a busy week? How much time do you have to devote to PGCE and how much lesson teaching do you do? How much lesson prep time do you also have to put in?

    Does PGCE start from day one or after a while?

    Sorry ... so many questions! At this point I know nothing! Look forward to your reply.
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    (Original post by grommit_lad)
    Thanks alabelle for your reply ... it is a tough choice! I have not taught in a school environment before but I am used to talking and presenting information to people of all ages. I am also used to planning and organising multiple small projects ..... but I obviously have no experience of the school environment, policies, processes, marking arrangements, lesson planning, professional training, expectations for extra curricular activities etc etc! Nor do I have an understanding of what is actually involved in undertaking the PGCE.

    Have you completed or still doing the PGCE .... what was involved and how did you find it? If you are still doing it how does it fit in with your timetabled teaching or is it a completely separate animal? What level of support do you get from your school and/or training provider?
    If you have time to jot some of your experiences down that would be really helpful.
    I am completing my PGCE right now at one of the bigger universities... about halfway through now, maybe a little longer to go before halfway.

    I'm finding it tough. I'm one of those that knew they wanted to teach for a long time and my degree was in education to prepare me for it. Your PGCE (at university) is taught for most of the year but you have blocks of time on placement where you are teaching. Right now I am on my second 3 week block and I am teaching around 60% of the time. I built up from only taking the register to leading series of lessons. I am getting observed regularly, mostly by school but also by a tutor based at another school. The level of support is tricky to define... at uni, there is a lot but you don't need much. Out on placement, you have your mentor and your tutor. My mentor has been fab but she's been ill lately so she hasn't been able to support me much with the problems I'm having. My tutor is great but the answers she gives me via email are quite limited, so she's only really useful in person.

    Basically, this is by far the hardest thing I've ever done and I would not like to dive straight in at 50%. I have plenty of school experience but like you said, the PGCE introduces so many new things. It's up you though and what you think you can handle. If you have any more questions, please ask! You should know what you're getting into - it's so rewarding but if you don't know what's involved you'll get a nasty shock!
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    (Original post by grommit_lad)
    Hi thanks for your reply. Yes the place is secondary and in science. My impression from the school is that there is a lot of marking but from what I gather that's normal across teaching. My biggest worry is whether I will get enough time to do the lesson planning, marking etc as well as the training and PGCE. How has it been for you ..... is the PGCE coursework hard or just another thing to do in a busy week? How much time do you have to devote to PGCE and how much lesson teaching do you do? How much lesson prep time do you also have to put in?

    Does PGCE start from day one or after a while?

    Sorry ... so many questions! At this point I know nothing! Look forward to your reply.
    Sorry, I know this question wasn't directed at me but just a few points:

    The marking, planning etc. are hard to fit in. I can be at school (because of transport arrangements) from 7:50am til 4:30pm. Some days this is enough. I plan my lessons at the weekend and adapt them as the week goes on. Marking is done in the evening before I leave school. Sometimes there is not enough time to finish my marking before I go home which is awful. I hate leaving work undone before going but I'm also worried about taking marking home in case I'm ill.

    PGCE coursework - no idea, I haven't started my essays yet. We've been told (unofficially) to leave them until after placement. There is no time for anything else when you are teaching. (But this might just be my experience).
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    Somewhat differently to alabelle, I am doing a school based training route where you spend the entire course on placement. I had my own classes straight away and spent no time in uni preparing. I found the first half of term incredibly hard and was often down and in tears. I really struggled with self doubt and lack of confidence, but in some ways I think the school route was better for me as I was forced to teach straight away.


    Things are better now and I am feeling more confident. I am looking for jobs and feeling positive. I have a really nice mentor and tutor - it was more my own demons that held me back, as the school is also good with relatively ok behaviour. Overall for me the schools direct style route was better as I had to just teach and face my fears and self doubt. You also have more teaching experience and are more prepared for NQT I guess. The downside is that I don't have any time off for uni and I have felt quite lonely at the placement as I am on my own a lot with no other trainees. It is an hour and a half bus ride away which has been really hard.


    I think with PGCE it is a lot down to luck depending on your school and mentor etc, no matter which route you choose. If I had a horrible mentor I would have dropped out in the first half of last term because I was very down and stressed and didn't believe in myself. I think everyone feels like this at some point but things get better with time and confidence.
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    (Original post by bonniex123)
    Somewhat differently to alabelle, I am doing a school based training route where you spend the entire course on placement. I had my own classes straight away and spent no time in uni preparing. I found the first half of term incredibly hard and was often down and in tears. I really struggled with self doubt and lack of confidence, but in some ways I think the school route was better for me as I was forced to teach straight away.


    Things are better now and I am feeling more confident. I am looking for jobs and feeling positive. I have a really nice mentor and tutor - it was more my own demons that held me back, as the school is also good with relatively ok behaviour. Overall for me the schools direct style route was better as I had to just teach and face my fears and self doubt. You also have more teaching experience and are more prepared for NQT I guess. The downside is that I don't have any time off for uni and I have felt quite lonely at the placement as I am on my own a lot with no other trainees. It is an hour and a half bus ride away which has been really hard.


    I think with PGCE it is a lot down to luck depending on your school and mentor etc, no matter which route you choose. If I had a horrible mentor I would have dropped out in the first half of last term because I was very down and stressed and didn't believe in myself. I think everyone feels like this at some point but things get better with time and confidence.
    That's really interesting to read. I initially got a place on a school training course but it fell through in May so I ended up at a university. So I wanted to do what you did! It sounds like I am reaching that point you were at in your first term - self doubt, problems on placement etc. I suppose the benefit of facing that early is that you push past it early! Whereas now I should be looking for jobs but I don't believe in myself enough to apply yet and I'm not sure my school/uni do either.

    Sometimes the other trainees are an advantage - and sometimes they're a disadvantage. I've found that when I talk about the problems I'm having on placement, everyone else is either unable or unwilling to share similar experiences. It sometimes feels like we're all competing with each other which is silly but also kind of true when you are all competing for jobs. I agree with the luck thing. I don't think you can predict what your schools/mentors will be like or even if your course will be good.
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    (Original post by grommit_lad)
    Hi thanks for your reply. Yes the place is secondary and in science. My impression from the school is that there is a lot of marking but from what I gather that's normal across teaching. My biggest worry is whether I will get enough time to do the lesson planning, marking etc as well as the training and PGCE. How has it been for you ..... is the PGCE coursework hard or just another thing to do in a busy week? How much time do you have to devote to PGCE and how much lesson teaching do you do? How much lesson prep time do you also have to put in?

    Does PGCE start from day one or after a while?

    Sorry ... so many questions! At this point I know nothing! Look forward to your reply.
    The PGCE coursework isn't hard at all (just a bit boring and not related to actual teaching!) and the day-to-day uni requirements are fine to cope with. The secondary workload is also a bit lighter in uni because you're subject specific.

    On placement is totally different I was generally in school 8.15am- 4.15pm and I was teaching all day by the end of it. Even when I wasn't teaching I was still in the class and generally observing or being a second pair of hands (this might be different in secondary).

    I have found lesson prep and planning really, really time-consuming. It's not necessarily hard but it takes ages to find, adjust or make resources, differentiate, add in a lesson starter and plenary and decide how you are going to work in assessment techniques. We are also required to write in depth reflections on each lesson. So by the time you've done all that, it's nearly midnight!

    PGCE was a gentle build up to leaving you in charge. We had four weeks of uni, 2 weeks of observation (I was allowed to teaching during this, which broke me in gently!), 4 weeks of uni and 6 weeks of placement.

    Honestly, by the end of the 6 placement weeks I could have cried with sheer exhaustion. The thought of going back to school after Christmas.... no way!
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    (Original post by alabelle)
    That's really interesting to read. I initially got a place on a school training course but it fell through in May so I ended up at a university. So I wanted to do what you did! It sounds like I am reaching that point you were at in your first term - self doubt, problems on placement etc. I suppose the benefit of facing that early is that you push past it early! Whereas now I should be looking for jobs but I don't believe in myself enough to apply yet and I'm not sure my school/uni do either.

    Sometimes the other trainees are an advantage - and sometimes they're a disadvantage. I've found that when I talk about the problems I'm having on placement, everyone else is either unable or unwilling to share similar experiences. It sometimes feels like we're all competing with each other which is silly but also kind of true when you are all competing for jobs. I agree with the luck thing. I don't think you can predict what your schools/mentors will be like or even if your course will be good.
    It takes a little little longer for some people to get there. I used to feel sick with fear sometimes before I went into teach in the first half of term and now I don't feel like that so much. I feel the same as you about jobs - I don't think I'm teaching well enough at the moment to deliver a lesson that's up to interview standards , and am worried I won't be ready for my NQT.

    I think it's such a shame that people drop out or fail their PGCE because they have bad schools/Unis/mentors when they probably would have gone on to be good teachers. It's really bad that schools take on trainees and then don't/can't support them.
 
 
 
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