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    I am enjoying my PGCE, so far.

    Only problem is my PGCE Subject Assignment has had no look in
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    Struggling massively with the workload... Don't know if it feels more so having to teach all non specialism subjects in science so far.... I'm finding the uni work, Lesson planning, practical run throughs, after school meetings, marking etc utterly exhausting....

    My placement started 5 weeks ago, and I had 5 lessons in my first official 'observation' week... I was just straight in with full classes... I think I've been lucky if I get 3-4 hours sleep weeknights, then working all day Sat and Sunday...Friday night is my only breathing space I get in a week...

    Anyone else feel the same? The only pgcers at my school are 3 PE blokes, who are stressed, yes, but can't believe the amount of stuff I have to do for science, particularly having to go through physics and chem knowledge to plug gaps...

    My OH is concerned I'm going to snap... I'm certain he's right 😭
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    Loving my ITT at the minute! Excellent placement with great tutors. Honestly before i started i was so scared of everything (workload, no support, planning, behaviour etc) but it's all been fine!
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    (Original post by bioroo)
    Struggling massively with the workload... Don't know if it feels more so having to teach all non specialism subjects in science so far.... I'm finding the uni work, Lesson planning, practical run throughs, after school meetings, marking etc utterly exhausting....

    My placement started 5 weeks ago, and I had 5 lessons in my first official 'observation' week... I was just straight in with full classes... I think I've been lucky if I get 3-4 hours sleep weeknights, then working all day Sat and Sunday...Friday night is my only breathing space I get in a week...

    Anyone else feel the same? The only pgcers at my school are 3 PE blokes, who are stressed, yes, but can't believe the amount of stuff I have to do for science, particularly having to go through physics and chem knowledge to plug gaps...

    My OH is concerned I'm going to snap... I'm certain he's right 😭
    Science is a job of peculiar demands, but you shouldn't be working as you describe. At some point on the PGCE, even the biggest perfectionist has to start prioritising. Yes. you can always make a lesson or resource better, but that's a never ending task. I find the important thing here is to remember that the biggest impact on pupil understanding will nearly always be what you say and do over what you plan, so it's better that you're well-rested and comfortable.
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    (Original post by tory88)
    Science is a job of peculiar demands, but you shouldn't be working as you describe. At some point on the PGCE, even the biggest perfectionist has to start prioritising. Yes. you can always make a lesson or resource better, but that's a never ending task. I find the important thing here is to remember that the biggest impact on pupil understanding will nearly always be what you say and do over what you plan, so it's better that you're well-rested and comfortable.
    I know you are right, finding my OCD and perfectionist tendencies are a bit of a hindrance at the moment.

    I don't think it helps that the SOW has practicals in every lesson, so there's added prep and such...
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    (Original post by bioroo)
    I know you are right, finding my OCD and perfectionist tendencies are a bit of a hindrance at the moment.

    I don't think it helps that the SOW has practicals in every lesson, so there's added prep and such...
    Have you been told you've got to follow the scheme of work? Whilst practicals are essential on occassion, lots of teachers feel like they have to use them. In reality, practicals should only be used when they're the clearest, most effective way of delivering learning (of course that depends on the sort of teacher you are, but I often opt for a thought experiment and discussion over practical work in physics).
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    (Original post by bioroo)
    I know you are right, finding my OCD and perfectionist tendencies are a bit of a hindrance at the moment.

    I don't think it helps that the SOW has practicals in every lesson, so there's added prep and such...
    Please dont confuse wanting things to be perfect with OCD. I lost 8 months of my life in my early twenties to OCD, i couldnt leave the house without screaming and crying due to a compulsion to check everything was turned off. Nearly ten years later i still have therapy to keep me on track, it never goes away. Its not a phrase to be banded about! Of course if you are genuinely suffering, seek medical help and i wish you the best
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    (Original post by tory88)
    Have you been told you've got to follow the scheme of work? Whilst practicals are essential on occassion, lots of teachers feel like they have to use them. In reality, practicals should only be used when they're the clearest, most effective way of delivering learning (of course that depends on the sort of teacher you are, but I often opt for a thought experiment and discussion over practical work in physics).
    Unfortunately they are quite insistent on the practicals being delivered, at times I think it's to the detriment of the theory personally... But I have no real choice on the matter...

    (Original post by Bobble1987)
    Please dont confuse wanting things to be perfect with OCD. I lost 8 months of my life in my early twenties to OCD, i couldnt leave the house without screaming and crying due to a compulsion to check everything was turned off. Nearly ten years later i still have therapy to keep me on track, it never goes away. Its not a phrase to be banded about! Of course if you are genuinely suffering, seek medical help and i wish you the best
    I use the term in slight jest, but tbh I've never been officially diagnosed, but I do have hand washing and excessive counting, checking issues. For example I need to check the ovens off 4 times, car doors locked 4 or 8 times etc... It's just a kinda way of life for me now, I have been like that for well over half my life.

    I do find when I'm under stress I manifest other checks, like switching off appliances and rechecking Windows and doors 😭
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    (Original post by bioroo)
    Unfortunately they are quite insistent on the practicals being delivered, at times I think it's to the detriment of the theory personally... But I have no real choice on the matter...
    That's ridiculous... Smacks of a lack of trust in the teachers they employ.
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    Has anyone considered being a private tutor after your PGCE? Thinking of tutoring + Masters.
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    (Original post by bioroo)
    Struggling massively with the workload... Don't know if it feels more so having to teach all non specialism subjects in science so far.... I'm finding the uni work, Lesson planning, practical run throughs, after school meetings, marking etc utterly exhausting....

    My placement started 5 weeks ago, and I had 5 lessons in my first official 'observation' week... I was just straight in with full classes... I think I've been lucky if I get 3-4 hours sleep weeknights, then working all day Sat and Sunday...Friday night is my only breathing space I get in a week...

    Anyone else feel the same? The only pgcers at my school are 3 PE blokes, who are stressed, yes, but can't believe the amount of stuff I have to do for science, particularly having to go through physics and chem knowledge to plug gaps...

    My OH is concerned I'm going to snap... I'm certain he's right 😭
    Oh dear - I'm primary so can't compare, but that sort of workload in school doesn't sound normal at this stage, how many lessons do you have each week? Are you planning all lessons from scratch?

    You really need to rest. Talk to your mentor/ tutor to see if there's anything you can drop.
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    Hi there, I am in my first placement of teacher training and it has been really difficult. Did you manage to get through the year?
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    (Original post by Student Michelle)
    Hi there, I am in my first placement of teacher training and it has been really difficult. Did you manage to get through the year?
    Most people on this thread will be in the same position as you. If you're looking for success stories visit the NQT thread (although you'll still find a lot of complaining...). The PGCE is an incredibly tough year, and the stretch to Christmas is the toughest time for all teachers. What particularly are you finding tough?
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    Anyone else feel like their school is trying to take advantage? I'm on 50% timetable like I'm supposed to be but they seem to expect more and I think they see me as a slacker 😑
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    Most of the schools my friends and I are at are taking advantage for cover when staff are off. I've done three days by myself (I happened to have a one to one TA for one of my kids but otherwise would have been alone). All of my friends have been used to cover their school Tutor at least once if not more. And we're only in the fifth week of our first placement now, so this was us being left in weeks 2-4 of our first ever teaching experience.

    It's nerve wracking behaviour wise even if the regular teacher leaves planning, but quite a few of us have been left teaching our own lessons and not having that backup if our lessons go wrong.

    It's never turned out badly or been unduly stressful, but it seems unfair to me.
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    (Original post by JoannaMilano)
    Most of the schools my friends and I are at are taking advantage for cover when staff are off. I've done three days by myself (I happened to have a one to one TA for one of my kids but otherwise would have been alone). All of my friends have been used to cover their school Tutor at least once if not more. And we're only in the fifth week of our first placement now, so this was us being left in weeks 2-4 of our first ever teaching experience.

    It's nerve wracking behaviour wise even if the regular teacher leaves planning, but quite a few of us have been left teaching our own lessons and not having that backup if our lessons go wrong.

    It's never turned out badly or been unduly stressful, but it seems unfair to me.
    Tell your training provider. This is NOT allowed. You're not even supposed to be left on your own during your PGCE year let alone being made to cover lessons.
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    (Original post by Samus2)
    Tell your training provider. This is NOT allowed. You're not even supposed to be left on your own during your PGCE year let alone being made to cover lessons.
    Quite right. The unions would go ape****.
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    (Original post by Samus2)
    Tell your training provider. This is NOT allowed. You're not even supposed to be left on your own during your PGCE year let alone being made to cover lessons.
    It is allowed, my uni have no issues with it (or at least, not to the point of stepping in). They say it's bad practice and they tell the schools off for it, but there aren't any rules against it. And it's so common, even if it isn't allowed it's too endemic to change it.

    I don't think it's right, but unfortunately it is allowed.

    If you google 'leaving pgce students alone with class' you find official university documents advocating for school mentors to do it! Birmingham Uni (not my uni btw) have this in their FAQ for mentors:

    Q: Can I leave a trainee alone with a group of students?
    A: Yes, although trainees will need closer supervision at the start of their placement, once they are up and running and have earned your trust we hope that apart from observations and any other checks you might need to make that you can soon start to let trainees get on with their teaching independently where possible. Initially you might be at the back of the class, but soon you might prefer to be in a room nearby but be on-hand if needed. Being left in charge will help the trainees to learn more rapidly and effectively. Of course trainees should know who to contact and what to do in the event of any problems or an emergency.
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    (Original post by JoannaMilano)
    It is allowed, my uni have no issues with it (or at least, not to the point of stepping in). They say it's bad practice and they tell the schools off for it, but there aren't any rules against it. And it's so common, even if it isn't allowed it's too endemic to change it.

    I don't think it's right, but unfortunately it is allowed.

    If you google 'leaving pgce students alone with class' you find official university documents advocating for school mentors to do it! Birmingham Uni (not my uni btw) have this in their FAQ for mentors:

    Q: Can I leave a trainee alone with a group of students?
    A: Yes, although trainees will need closer supervision at the start of their placement, once they are up and running and have earned your trust we hope that apart from observations and any other checks you might need to make that you can soon start to let trainees get on with their teaching independently where possible. Initially you might be at the back of the class, but soon you might prefer to be in a room nearby but be on-hand if needed. Being left in charge will help the trainees to learn more rapidly and effectively. Of course trainees should know who to contact and what to do in the event of any problems or an emergency.
    That is not the same as being put on cover. That refers to the mentor not being in the classroom all the time when the trainee is taking the mentor's class. Being used for cover is being put on someone else's class, which may not even be your subject, when the normal teacher is absent.
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    That is not the same as being put on cover. That refers to the mentor not being in the classroom all the time when the trainee is taking the mentor's class. Being used for cover is being put on someone else's class, which may not even be your subject, when the normal teacher is absent.
    Oh fair enough. My school have always called it cover when asking me to do it so I guess I've got mixed up. I'm talking being left with our own class but alone for a whole day or two at a time while our mentors are absent. Which seems like taking advantage when we're so new at this.
 
 
 
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