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    (Original post by duckybird)
    Hi everyone

    I've recently started my PGCE (post 16) and when I'm in class, with students, I enjoy it. I haven't done any real lead teaching yet, mostly team teaching with my mentor. However, I get so incredibly anxious about it the day before. I do suffer from anxiety although I've had really useful therapy over the years and it hasn't flared up for a while. I knew the PGCE might mean it would come back, but I wasn't going to let it stop me. I just wondered if there were any other anxiety inflicted teachers or trainees who might be able to advise or signpost me? It's just nice to know I'm not alone. I haven't read through the thread yet, but I intend to!

    I am passionate about teaching and about my subject. I'm in a challenging placement setting but I do really like my mentor and the kids. I've been there for about 3 weeks now. I don't deliver classes on my own yet but I think I will be soon. In a way, it's more being judged by my mentor that scares me. I have my first lesson to do on my own on Wednesday. It's only a small group, 2 students, who need GCSE revision help. I'm totally new to teaching 'officially' my experience is based on ESOL community classes which never required 'proper' lesson planning etc. I love the social community side of things which I think is why I was placed where I am. I would rather get to grips with behaviour management etc on placement anyway. I don't want my anxiety to hold me back ever but I do suffer quite badly with it and always have.

    "I have been terrified every moment of my life but I have never let it stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do" - George O'Keefe. Love that quote!

    I did briefly wonder if I've chosen the wrong age group but I know working with kids or secondary schoolers can be just as challenging, and my classes are much smaller, which I think does help.

    Anyway, that's me currently... very grateful to be doing this course but feeling terrified. Weird. I've wanted to do this for ages.
    I think to an extent with general "typical" anxious feelings that most teachers get, it is always a help to just get in front of the kids. When you have them there it almost takes you away from the worry and refocusses you on what's important - them! Also, anxiety or none most trainees have moments of panic, what if I can't do it, what if I've made the wrong choice, as well, so feel reassured that most trainees and teachers will be able to empathise with you to an extent.

    There have definitely been past posters on this thread who have dealt with anxiety and related health issues while training and teaching, so definitely have a look through for those.

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    (Original post by sunfowers01)
    Hi.

    I can relate to a lot of what you're saying. I'm not doing the PGCE yet, I'm teaching TEFL.

    For me, Sunday nights get me anxious. I tend to imagine it worse than it actually is though. Is there anything specific that is worrying you, or is it the unknown?

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    I think it is the unknown. When I was in therapy we identified how much I like being in control and hate uncertainty; I agree with you that I definitely imagine it's worse than it actually is. I get on with the students and I know that will form the basis of my teaching practice, I'm not naturally very assertive so that plays on my mind too.
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    (Original post by kpwxx)
    I think to an extent with general "typical" anxious feelings that most teachers get, it is always a help to just get in front of the kids. When you have them there it almost takes you away from the worry and refocusses you on what's important - them! Also, anxiety or none most trainees have moments of panic, what if I can't do it, what if I've made the wrong choice, as well, so feel reassured that most trainees and teachers will be able to empathise with you to an extent.

    There have definitely been past posters on this thread who have dealt with anxiety and related health issues while training and teaching, so definitely have a look through for those.

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    Yeah, that is really true. I also know that when in class, the students are pretty good. I think in a way the way some of my colleagues talk about them intensifies my worry, like they're really naughty, and they definitely have their challenges but they do seem to crack on. It's engaging them that is the real issue I think.

    Thanks, I think that is true from what I've experienced so far. Obviously I always knew the course would be tough, with or without anxiety issues. I have, in my adult life, addressed my issues and been to therapy etc taken medication at points so I am very aware of my 'pressure points' etc but it was really time to bite the bullet with teaching. I'm at the age where most of my friends have a steady job or even a good career and I've been floating around doing pointless office jobs whilst volunteering and trying to figure out what I want to do. Teaching has always appealed, and I do seem to be good at building good rapports with people who are generally struggling (I've done some counselling work myself).

    I think I'm going to try my uni's wellbeing services at some point, maybe it will just help to speak to someone again whilst in transition. I moved away from home to do the course too, so financially and in terms of missing my family that doesn't help.
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    (Original post by duckybird)
    Hi everyone

    I've recently started my PGCE (post 16) and when I'm in class, with students, I enjoy it. I haven't done any real lead teaching yet, mostly team teaching with my mentor. However, I get so incredibly anxious about it the day before. I do suffer from anxiety although I've had really useful therapy over the years and it hasn't flared up for a while. I knew the PGCE might mean it would come back, but I wasn't going to let it stop me. I just wondered if there were any other anxiety inflicted teachers or trainees who might be able to advise or signpost me? It's just nice to know I'm not alone. I haven't read through the thread yet, but I intend to!

    I am passionate about teaching and about my subject. I'm in a challenging placement setting but I do really like my mentor and the kids. I've been there for about 3 weeks now. I don't deliver classes on my own yet but I think I will be soon. In a way, it's more being judged by my mentor that scares me. I have my first lesson to do on my own on Wednesday. It's only a small group, 2 students, who need GCSE revision help. I'm totally new to teaching 'officially' my experience is based on ESOL community classes which never required 'proper' lesson planning etc. I love the social community side of things which I think is why I was placed where I am. I would rather get to grips with behaviour management etc on placement anyway. I don't want my anxiety to hold me back ever but I do suffer quite badly with it and always have.

    "I have been terrified every moment of my life but I have never let it stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do" - George O'Keefe. Love that quote!

    I did briefly wonder if I've chosen the wrong age group but I know working with kids or secondary schoolers can be just as challenging, and my classes are much smaller, which I think does help.

    Anyway, that's me currently... very grateful to be doing this course but feeling terrified. Weird. I've wanted to do this for ages.
    Ok...where to start. I've had anxiety since I was 18, so I felt the same nerves during my PGCE. I did a secondary PGCE and I now teach A-Level.

    Everyone gets nervous on a PGCE. Teaching nerves are normal...but with anxiety it seems amplified times ten. Thing is, I don't know about you, but I never wanted to complain or bring up my anxiety because I didn't want to make it seem as if I was saying "no but my nerves are worse than yours!". I would have sleepless nights, I'd be physically ill (vomiting for an official obs) and that was all on anti-anxiety meds (that don't work mind you). I cannot tell you the amount of times I was literally seconds away from just walking out and leaving so I didn't have to teach a certain class. But I didn't, and that's the main thing.

    I think the advice I would give is to think "what's the worst that can happen?". All the worrying I did...was all for nothing. It ALWAYS ended up going okay, or even better than I expected. Believe in yourself and remember...they've seen it all before. You are training, you are expected to mess up sometimes. If you do humiliate yourself, remember that no-one will be thinking about it to the extent that you are. Us anxiety suffers make things hard on ourselves.

    One thing I will say, is that I think the PGCE has made me stronger and helped my anxiety. I think once you get past first placement it becomes a lot easier to stand up and teach. You may also find that it is the adult in the room making you more nervous than the students. That was the case for me. If you have an understanding mentor, they may let you teach on your own to see how you get on. I've found that acting yourself is even more important for A-Level, and if I had someone in the room with me I would hold back.

    Like kpwxx has said, we have spoken about anxiety a few times on this thread so feel free to do a search. It is hard...but it gets easier, and it's an immensely satisfying journey, even more so when you've got anxiety and you realise you've beaten it and become a bad ass teacher.
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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    Ok...where to start. I've had anxiety since I was 18, so I felt the same nerves during my PGCE. I did a secondary PGCE and I now teach A-Level.

    Everyone gets nervous on a PGCE. Teaching nerves are normal...but with anxiety it seems amplified times ten. Thing is, I don't know about you, but I never wanted to complain or bring up my anxiety because I didn't want to make it seem as if I was saying "no but my nerves are worse than yours!". I would have sleepless nights, I'd be physically ill (vomiting for an official obs) and that was all on anti-anxiety meds (that don't work mind you). I cannot tell you the amount of times I was literally seconds away from just walking out and leaving so I didn't have to teach a certain class. But I didn't, and that's the main thing.
    .
    Hi, thanks for the reply. Yeah, I think all teachers feel nervous before a lesson, for someone who has issues with uncertainty I haven't picked the right profession haha.. mind you, that would be playing it safe, and life is too short (cringe!).
    I have taken two different sets of anti-anxiety meds in the past. One set made me just feel a bit numb, the other was quite successful, and I successfully (as successful as it gets anyway) weaned myself off.

    I relate to what you're saying. Not so much at the moment, as I'm not officially observed until early November, but I definitely have had moments already when I feel like I need to leave.

    (Original post by Airfairy)
    I think the advice I would give is to think "what's the worst that can happen?". All the worrying I did...was all for nothing. It ALWAYS ended up going okay, or even better than I expected. Believe in yourself and remember...they've seen it all before. You are training, you are expected to mess up sometimes. If you do humiliate yourself, remember that no-one will be thinking about it to the extent that you are. Us anxiety suffers make things hard on ourselves.
    Amen to that. I have already humiliated myself, but looking back on it now, it was quite funny. I guess I have to elaborate after confessing to that!! In my very first week, we were short of tutors. I was asked to help cover a class, and was given ten minutes to try and find clips or activities for said class. I typed a few things into YouTube, copied the links, went to the class. I played the clips at the relevant time.. only to find one clip (which was intended to be funny) had extremely bad language and sexual references. I could have DIED. The other tutors/manager woman was covering was clearly horrified and I was torn between laughing and crying, whilst maintaining outward composure. The students loved it, obviously, because it was forbidden. I apologised afterwards to the tutor... I didn't beat myself up too much because it was so rushed and I was given no instructions or timing, however, my reflection is : always watch a clip before you play it to a class!!!

    I struggle identifying what should be challenged and when. In a way, I'm looking forward to when it's just me teaching alone but I'm sure when the time comes I'll be terrified!

    (Original post by Airfairy)
    One thing I will say, is that I think the PGCE has made me stronger and helped my anxiety. I think once you get past first placement it becomes a lot easier to stand up and teach. You may also find that it is the adult in the room making you more nervous than the students. That was the case for me. If you have an understanding mentor, they may let you teach on your own to see how you get on. I've found that acting yourself is even more important for A-Level, and if I had someone in the room with me I would hold back.

    Like kpwxx has said, we have spoken about anxiety a few times on this thread so feel free to do a search. It is hard...but it gets easier, and it's an immensely satisfying journey, even more so when you've got anxiety and you realise you've beaten it and become a bad ass teacher.
    Thank you. I only have the one placement apart from a two week alternative placement next year, mind you. In a way that seems tougher as you start off nervous and have to exert confidence and assertiveness whereas if I had another placements I'd hopefully be more confident and they wouldn't know me as a total newbie! Never mind!

    I do think being with another teacher definitely affects me. My mentor is really lovely, actually, so I am lucky. She has been very encouraging and is happy for me to take over parts of lessons or whole lessons. I just need to bite the bullet and accept the offer.

    I will look through the thread. I definitely think as well as all the practical and theoretical things I am learning on this course I will learn a lot about myself. I just hope I get through it successfully!
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    Just wanna add on to what airfairy said - my PGCE experience changed so much after christmas. I was still working hard and still nervous but everything was just that little bit easier.

    I've got my first official NQT observation tomorrow and I'm nervous but I know I'll be fine.
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    Thanks guys. I've read through the forum this evening and it is comforting to know others understand. I know it's so early into my course and I have to give it a chance. I just hate this physical sickness feeling I keep experiencing. However, it is only this bad on a Sunday, once I am into the week generally apart from a few things in the classroom I am too busy or tired to dwell too much and I know that will only intensify.

    I feel like a fraud at the moment, whenever anyone asks me about the PGCE I feel obliged to be positive, as I quit my job and moved to do this, plus I've been bleating on for a good year about how much I want to teach. I had a pointless boring desk job for two years, easiest job I've ever had, basically did nothing except surf the web, drink tea and gossip. To my disgust, I've found myself inwardly begging I could rewind and just do that forever, even though in reality I was sick anyway, on meds, hating my life because it felt completely pointless.

    I think my plan is going to be take things day by day, week by week. I know Christmas will speed around. I am receiving a bursary this week, well the first installment this week, which is obviously a nice incentive when you feel a bit deflated. I'm at a notoriously challenging placement and I can be proud of myself for anything I do actually manage to achieve. I guess it's too early to make real judgements. I can say quite confidently I won't quit, mostly due to the logistics of the year (signed a contract for a house which I'm tied to until June, bursary payments, etc) so even if it got extremely serious I have serious Eldest Child and working class pride syndrome and cannot bear to let anyone down or owe anyone money (beyond government loans, shrug). I may surprise myself! I would love to be able to read this mild Sunday evening breakdown/cheap therapy log in a year's time, when I'm a relatively confident and happy new FE teacher. Stranger things have happened I guess.

    I think I'll be a regular to the thread, nice to meet you all..
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    (Original post by duckybird)
    Thanks guys. I've read through the forum this evening and it is comforting to know others understand. I know it's so early into my course and I have to give it a chance. I just hate this physical sickness feeling I keep experiencing. However, it is only this bad on a Sunday, once I am into the week generally apart from a few things in the classroom I am too busy or tired to dwell too much and I know that will only intensify.

    I feel like a fraud at the moment, whenever anyone asks me about the PGCE I feel obliged to be positive, as I quit my job and moved to do this, plus I've been bleating on for a good year about how much I want to teach. I had a pointless boring desk job for two years, easiest job I've ever had, basically did nothing except surf the web, drink tea and gossip. To my disgust, I've found myself inwardly begging I could rewind and just do that forever, even though in reality I was sick anyway, on meds, hating my life because it felt completely pointless.

    I think my plan is going to be take things day by day, week by week. I know Christmas will speed around. I am receiving a bursary this week, well the first installment this week, which is obviously a nice incentive when you feel a bit deflated. I'm at a notoriously challenging placement and I can be proud of myself for anything I do actually manage to achieve. I guess it's too early to make real judgements. I can say quite confidently I won't quit, mostly due to the logistics of the year (signed a contract for a house which I'm tied to until June, bursary payments, etc) so even if it got extremely serious I have serious Eldest Child and working class pride syndrome and cannot bear to let anyone down or owe anyone money (beyond government loans, shrug). I may surprise myself! I would love to be able to read this mild Sunday evening breakdown/cheap therapy log in a year's time, when I'm a relatively confident and happy new FE teacher. Stranger things have happened I guess.

    I think I'll be a regular to the thread, nice to meet you all..
    Trust me, you don't have to have enthusiasm. I feel like everyone is faking it. I always felt like the odd one out. I never wanted to be a teacher; I did it because I had nothing else to do, to be honest. It is harder if you have constant insecurity about if it's the career for you, but I guess you just roll with it. Then again, if you ever don't want to carry on then don't feel you have to.
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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    Trust me, you don't have to have enthusiasm. I feel like everyone is faking it. I always felt like the odd one out. I never wanted to be a teacher; I did it because I had nothing else to do, to be honest. It is harder if you have constant insecurity about if it's the career for you, but I guess you just roll with it. Then again, if you ever don't want to carry on then don't feel you have to.
    I've always been convinced that teaching was my 'calling', as I've been rather cr*p at my menial office jobs, never fitting in, always a bit too weird and kooky (I've worked in ridiculously dressy London offices and dull, grey, lifeless Midlands council offices) and I wanted something that allowed for personality, creativity and was a graduate level role. I know teaching can be those things (amongst others!) but I hate how my anxiety has reared its ugly head again, making me feel stupid.

    Did you find any particular techniques worked for you? When was it the worst and were there any times it eased up, so to speak?

    Sorry if I'm asking too many Qs btw, just all my peers seem relatively chilled and I feel like an anxious freak amongst them so I never divulge the truth.
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    How many hours a week are you guys doing on placement? And how many will you do overall
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    (Original post by S27)
    How many hours a week are you guys doing on placement? And how many will you do overall
    On my first placement, we teach 6-8 lessons (plus 2 x phonics in ks1) from week 1-3 then we're teaching 60% of the timetable for the second half.

    I think on second placement we then work up from 60% to 80% (ie an NQT workload)
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    (Original post by S27)
    How many hours a week are you guys doing on placement? And how many will you do overall
    First placement I worked up VERY slowly to 7 a week. Second placement I worked up to 13 hours a week. Quite fast.
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    (Original post by S27)
    How many hours a week are you guys doing on placement? And how many will you do overall
    Maybe it's because I'm in FE, but I don't have a specific timetable (as of yet anyway). I'm team teaching with my mentor. I'm supposed to do 30 hours 'observations plus extras' and 120 lead teaching hours. I only have one placement.
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    (Original post by S27)
    How many hours a week are you guys doing on placement? And how many will you do overall
    Placement 1 i did 8 hours a week,
    Placement 2 I did 14
    Now in my NQT I'm on 18-19 depending on if it's week 1 or week 2
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    Thanks for all your replies.

    (Original post by duckybird)
    Maybe it's because I'm in FE, but I don't have a specific timetable (as of yet anyway). I'm team teaching with my mentor. I'm supposed to do 30 hours 'observations plus extras' and 120 lead teaching hours. I only have one placement.
    I am in FE also. Do your team teachings count towards your 120 hours
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    (Original post by duckybird)
    I've always been convinced that teaching was my 'calling', as I've been rather cr*p at my menial office jobs, never fitting in, always a bit too weird and kooky (I've worked in ridiculously dressy London offices and dull, grey, lifeless Midlands council offices) and I wanted something that allowed for personality, creativity and was a graduate level role. I know teaching can be those things (amongst others!) but I hate how my anxiety has reared its ugly head again, making me feel stupid.

    Did you find any particular techniques worked for you? When was it the worst and were there any times it eased up, so to speak?

    Sorry if I'm asking too many Qs btw, just all my peers seem relatively chilled and I feel like an anxious freak amongst them so I never divulge the truth.
    Whilst it may seem that people are calm and taking everything in their stride, most people on your course will be panicking inwardly. As you get more comfortable around each other this will become more apparent.

    The PGCE is a crazy year, and everyone will feel overwhelmed and anxious regularly. I'm not going to pretend I know what it's like to suffer from anxiety, but I imagine it only makes things worse. The important thing to remember is that everyone is expecting you to make mistakes and is prepared to deal with them or help you to deal with them. One piece of advice is to seek NQTs out in your department. They'll remember what it was like and be able to give realistic tips to improve (the best pieces of advice I got throughout the PGCE all came from newer teachers).
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    (Original post by duckybird)
    I've always been convinced that teaching was my 'calling', as I've been rather cr*p at my menial office jobs, never fitting in, always a bit too weird and kooky (I've worked in ridiculously dressy London offices and dull, grey, lifeless Midlands council offices) and I wanted something that allowed for personality, creativity and was a graduate level role. I know teaching can be those things (amongst others!) but I hate how my anxiety has reared its ugly head again, making me feel stupid.

    Did you find any particular techniques worked for you? When was it the worst and were there any times it eased up, so to speak?

    Sorry if I'm asking too many Qs btw, just all my peers seem relatively chilled and I feel like an anxious freak amongst them so I never divulge the truth.
    Teaching is something that I considered early in life, but got put off. Now I've come into it in a roundabout way, and realise that it really is something I fit into! In all honesty, had I not come at it from an alternative angle and a bit later in life than as a fresh graduate, I would have struggled majorly.

    Whilst never having been diagnosed and medicated for it, I am now aware that I am a low level anxiety sufferer in day to day life. During the most difficult years of my life so far, my anxiety was much worse, leading to panic attacks and other side effects that prevented me doing so many things. Now I'm in the classroom, I feel it creeping back at times, especially during my lessons and when the teacher is observing me. I'm trying hard to ignore it, but occasionally it doesn't work.

    Usually in those situations, I find myself freezing while I'm talking, and the only thing I can do is move the kids onto an activity that means I'm no longer doing teacher talk. It makes the lesson seem a bit jerky, and I know that I could do a much better job, but at the time it's the best I can do. I haven't told my teacher yet, because I'm using an external support network to try and help me (the people who opened my eyes to my anxiety and depression).

    The one thing I do know is that it gets better - today I taught another whole lesson and it went really well. There was only one tiny moment where I felt myself freezing, but now I'm getting more used to the idea of being in front of a class, I handle it better. Today was my best lesson by a long way!

    And you are definitely not alone when it comes to feeling nervous - even a few people on my course felt terrified before we entered our schools/started teaching, and they are placed in schools that they have been TAs in for at least a year!!!
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    (Original post by duckybird)
    I've always been convinced that teaching was my 'calling', as I've been rather cr*p at my menial office jobs, never fitting in, always a bit too weird and kooky (I've worked in ridiculously dressy London offices and dull, grey, lifeless Midlands council offices) and I wanted something that allowed for personality, creativity and was a graduate level role. I know teaching can be those things (amongst others!) but I hate how my anxiety has reared its ugly head again, making me feel stupid.

    Did you find any particular techniques worked for you? When was it the worst and were there any times it eased up, so to speak?

    Sorry if I'm asking too many Qs btw, just all my peers seem relatively chilled and I feel like an anxious freak amongst them so I never divulge the truth.
    Teaching's one big act! Whilst I don't suffer from diagnosed anxiety, I still get anxious before lessons- I had two PGCE students come in to observe my lesson today and they told me they were impressed with how confident I was - I wasn't, at all, but you eventually become better at faking the confidence.
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    (Original post by Samus2)
    Teaching's one big act! Whilst I don't suffer from diagnosed anxiety, I still get anxious before lessons- I had two PGCE students come in to observe my lesson today and they told me they were impressed with how confident I was - I wasn't, at all, but you eventually become better at faking the confidence.
    Isn't it weird getting observed by pgce/prospective pgce students?!?! I find it so odd that someone would watch me to get experience for teaching :lol:

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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    Isn't it weird getting observed by pgce/prospective pgce students?!?! I find it so odd that someone would watch me to get experience for teaching :lol:

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    It was strange but, at the same time, I would have loved to have seen someone who was only a year ahead of me this time last year!

    They said it was really helpful - i think this time last year though, I'd have been impressed with anyone teaching a full lesson ha!
 
 
 
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