PGCE - Want to leave teaching...advice please Watch

Paul PTS
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(Original post by Az12)
Hi, I have read all the comments above and I would like to say to all the people above please don't leave your PGCE, stick with it and preserve trust me! I Know lots of people who started their PGCE dropped and have ever since regretted it. Currently most of them are unemployed and wish they stayed on and had a qualification so that they can teach abroad if not in the UK. Anyway good luck to all of you out there, hope all goes well!
If I only was English native-speaker. What an opportunities would I have abroad... :rolleyes: But I'm common Russian, and all my life I live in Russia. And I even wouldn't need PGCE to create my own deal in Russia. As I heard - one of the best teachers of English in my city is Bulgarian woman, who spent about 5 years in UK, but when I ask people what was she doing there - nobody may answer.
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John Mullen
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(Original post by Az12)
Hi, I have read all the comments above and I would like to say to all the people above please don't leave your PGCE, stick with it and preserve trust me! I Know lots of people who started their PGCE dropped and have ever since regretted it. Currently most of them are unemployed and wish they stayed on and had a qualification so that they can teach abroad if not in the UK. Anyway good luck to all of you out there, hope all goes well!
I would stay if I didn't have an impossible workload, and not told do do lessons with no powerpoint, mathswatch, textbooks. It has become impossible and a nightmare
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Az12
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(Original post by John Mullen)
I would stay if I didn't have an impossible workload, and not told do do lessons with no powerpoint, mathswatch, textbooks. It has become impossible and a nightmare
I see your point. I think you need to sit down and speak to your university tutor (placement tutor) to see if this problem can be resolved, if not get then tell them to move you to a different school. I know teachers and some mentors make it hell for PGCE students, dont let them undermine you or get the best of you! Also get some advice from your teching union NASUWT OR ATL which ever one you are registered with. Tell them your situation and see what they can do about it. I am 100% sure they can do something about this.

I knew once a guy who even used to secretly record his own mentor meetings on a PGCE programme because his mentor wasn't very helpful and was going to go ahead with exposing him to the teaching union.

I woudn't recommend you do something like that but I would highly recommend you speak to your placement co-orniator and the teaching union because what you say is not on


About the workload try to get help from other PGCE students within your school, share their resources or speak to your mentor about this.

By the way I am speaking from experience, I hope this helps. Dont give up, ''you must not will you must do'' bruce lee
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StarBabyCat
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OK, I may be a bit controversial with this post.....I was just thinking about your experience John Mullen. You say you don't want to be made to teach the way you don't like, but is it about YOU or about the children's learning?

I mean, I don't know anything about teaching maths (at all) but most of what is suggested in regards to Ofsted etc. is for the benefit of the children. Formative assessment for example.

From what you have observed, do you think that the way of teaching that you favour encourages more learning than the 'new fangled'/ gimmick-y/ what ever you want to call it type of teaching?
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Galileo Galilei
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(Original post by StarBabyCat)
OK, I may be a bit controversial with this post.....I was just thinking about your experience John Mullen. You say you don't want to be made to teach the way you don't like, but is it about YOU or about the children's learning?

I mean, I don't know anything about teaching maths (at all) but most of what is suggested in regards to Ofsted etc. is for the benefit of the children. Formative assessment for example.

From what you have observed, do you think that the way of teaching that you favour encourages more learning than the 'new fangled'/ gimmick-y/ what ever you want to call it type of teaching?
Too much pressure and responsibility is put on teachers. They are underpaid, overworked and unfairly treated. It is not for the benefit of children. Teachers are there to guide and help students, not force them to work when they do not want to.
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StarBabyCat
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Well sorry but I am yet to be so disillusioned, I know that when I teach my aim is for the children to learn. I didn't mention anything about children not being engaged, that's not relevant to my question!

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John Mullen
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(Original post by StarBabyCat)
OK, I may be a bit controversial with this post.....I was just thinking about your experience John Mullen. You say you don't want to be made to teach the way you don't like, but is it about YOU or about the children's learning?

I mean, I don't know anything about teaching maths (at all) but most of what is suggested in regards to Ofsted etc. is for the benefit of the children. Formative assessment for example.

From what you have observed, do you think that the way of teaching that you favour encourages more learning than the 'new fangled'/ gimmick-y/ what ever you want to call it type of teaching?
Yes I do. just look at the appaling standard of the children in things like maths. Compare it to other countries who don't put up with this bull from ofsted. Teachers a brainwashed into it now, constantly bothered about being 'outstanding' when really nobody is outstanding until we have the best education system in the world.
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John Mullen
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(Original post by Galileo Galilei)
Too much pressure and responsibility is put on teachers. They are underpaid, overworked and unfairly treated. It is not for the benefit of children. Teachers are there to guide and help students, not force them to work when they do not want to.
100% agree
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StarBabyCat
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I'm not talking about in a general sense, I mean from your own personal teaching- did the children learn and how could you tell? That's what I meant.

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John Mullen
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(Original post by StarBabyCat)
I'm not talking about in a general sense, I mean from your own personal teaching- did the children learn and how could you tell? That's what I meant.

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I'm not allowed to teach like that, so I don't know, but you would know by checking their work in the class and seperate marking, and tests. None of this crap like plenary, assessment for learning, differentiation was ever required in its current sense years ago, and it isn't required now. It is also impossible to do the above things properly. Differentiation just makes the gap between your highest and lowest attainers even greater, AfL is impossible with a class of 30 kids, and plenaries are a waste of time.
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elldeegee
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(Original post by John Mullen)
I'm not allowed to teach like that, so I don't know, but you would know by checking their work in the class and seperate marking, and tests. None of this crap like plenary, assessment for learning, differentiation was ever required in its current sense years ago, and it isn't required now. It is also impossible to do the above things properly. Differentiation just makes the gap between your highest and lowest attainers even greater, AfL is impossible with a class of 30 kids, and plenaries are a waste of time.
The clue is in the wording: ASSESSMENT for LEARNING.

How on earth is this crap?

Maths has always been a weak subject in this country, all you have to do is listen to adults/the older generation about how they were taught and/or what they learnt during their mathematical education.

Plenaries are there to help with AFL - if you're not using or incorporating AFL into the plenaries then that's why they're a waste of time.
Something as simple as "pass the question on" lets you to not only use a plenary, but also assess for YOURSELf and for the STUDENTS what they have learnt. And you can then plan for the next lesson with this taken into account.

as for differentiation with a class of 30- yes you can. I have seen this happen and have actually done it myself. Maths is actually a subject that is so much easier to differentiate that subjects that are subjective like English Lit etc - all you need is a couple of extra questions on the board/sheet (call them "challenge questions") for those who have finished the work/want something more challenging. As for thoe who struggle - this is where "scaffolding" and "questioning" comes in. IF they are constantly behind then you need to make sure they are writing down examples.
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myrtille
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(Original post by elldeegee)
The clue is in the wording: ASSESSMENT for LEARNING.

How on earth is this crap?

Maths has always been a weak subject in this country, all you have to do is listen to adults/the older generation about how they were taught and/or what they learnt during their mathematical education.

Plenaries are there to help with AFL - if you're not using or incorporating AFL into the plenaries then that's why they're a waste of time.
Something as simple as "pass the question on" lets you to not only use a plenary, but also assess for YOURSELf and for the STUDENTS what they have learnt. And you can then plan for the next lesson with this taken into account.

as for differentiation with a class of 30- yes you can. I have seen this happen and have actually done it myself. Maths is actually a subject that is so much easier to differentiate that subjects that are subjective like English Lit etc - all you need is a couple of extra questions on the board/sheet (call them "challenge questions") for those who have finished the work/want something more challenging. As for thoe who struggle - this is where "scaffolding" and "questioning" comes in. IF they are constantly behind then you need to make sure they are writing down examples.
Totally with you on this.

Some ways of doing plenaries/AfL can be a waste of time - we need to find what works best for us and our classes - but the concept itself is a good one and something we should be doing all the time.

Personally I'm not a fan of things like traffic lights/thumbs up as I think kids can either lie to stall the lesson, or try to hide the fact that they're struggling. Something that involves them actually doing the work and thinking (eg: questioning where they all answer on mini-whiteboards so you can see everyone's answers, or going round the class using a random name generator to pick on different pupils) works better for me. So to the OP, I'd say you need to find a few AfL activities that you think work well and use those, else you're not going to meet standards T6 (assessment) or T2 (promote good progress).

For differentiation, I tend to set tasks that everyone can do, with extension tasks for the most able who will race through the main activity. The extension work is on the bottom of the sheet/powerpoint for everyone, so theoretically everyone has the opportunity to do it. I think differentiation in questioning is also really important, getting the most able students to add extra detail. I don't set totally different (easier) tasks for less able students, but I will sometimes provide extra support such as a list of key vocab. So it's not a case of having low expectations of less able students, but rather of giving them support to participate fully in lessons, whilst adding extra stuff to challenge the most able.

It's totally fine to have some doubts about the status-quo in education, but there's a difference between being critical, and just writing everything off as 'crap' and 'nonsense'.
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StarBabyCat
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There are poor ways to interpret AfL, but if done the right way I think it's brilliant. I have done a lot of reading on it as I'm about to teach a lesson sequence with a focus on it.

I also had a lecture by Dylan William who 'co-founded' (not the right word at all!) AfL and I was so moved I almost cried at the end, it was so inspirational....brilliant! You should read his book Embedded Formative Assessment it completed changed my perspective of teaching.

Bottom line for me is; I don't do things thinking about what Ofsted or anyone will think, I do it because I want the children to learn!
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elldeegee
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(Original post by StarBabyCat)
There are poor ways to interpret AfL, but if done the right way I think it's brilliant. I have done a lot of reading on it as I'm about to teach a lesson sequence with a focus on it.

I also had a lecture by Dylan William who 'co-founded' (not the right word at all!) AfL and I was so moved I almost cried at the end, it was so inspirational....brilliant! You should read his book Embedded Formative Assessment it completed changed my perspective of teaching.

Bottom line for me is; I don't do things thinking about what Ofsted or anyone will think, I do it because I want the children to learn
!
Book ordered, I hope it helps for me as it has done for you! (I find it difficult to incorporate Afl into the classroom lol

As for the bit in bold - if you manage to shown that the children have learnt (hence the afl for yourself, the children, and ofsted) then you would have met a lot of Ofsted's requirements anyways.
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Shatners bassoon
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My big problem with all the modern stuff is the assumption that pupils should make measurable progress each lesson, or the lesson is a failure. Of course pupils should make progress, but it can only be measured properly over an extended timeframe, say a topic by topic basis.

I started out very keen on the groupwork, card sorts, mjni whiteboards, explicit afl and differentiated success outcomes, and got my oustanding observations and generall felt very pleased wih myself, but i gradually came to realise that whilst i could "demonstrate progress" each lesson, the pupils werent really learnjng maths. They do a lot better by working through practice problems for extended periods of time (as in whole lessons rather than their age in minutes or whatever current "best practice" is. Now these lessons are satisfactory at best under ofsted, and you hqve to jump through a lot of hoops to show progress from all pupils, but they are really some of the most effective maths lessons.

And if you take progress over a longer term, afl becomes much more straightforward with homework and end of unit tests, no need for rag/plenaries etc.

So anyway, if you like the new methods then fine, but please dont make the mistake of assuming that if your university tutor/slt/ofsted call something "best practice" that it automatically is. There is no such thing in teaching.
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John Mullen
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(Original post by Shatners bassoon)
There are quite a few, look through the tes independent senior section, most weeks there are a good 15-20 going, and theyre not as competitive as you might think (my school, a relatively well known one, got 7 applicants for a recent vacancy, of which 4 were anyway suitable, i.e. had some kind of teaching experience), a lot of people rule themselves out either through some sense of morality that says rich pupils shouldnt benefit from their skills too, or through a misplaced fear thattheyre not good enough for these schools. If you want to talk through applying to the independent sector feel free to p.m. Me (im also a maths teacher who left the state system because i was fed up with the beaurocratic bull****..)

As for the person who worries about going back to state and getting trapped, yes you probably will, but not due to the schools themselves, but because hardly anyone who has experienced both sides would ever go back to state, its a different job (and from the sounds of JM's post, independent is basically the job he was expecting when he applied to be a teacher). Also yes you can complete your NQT in most independent schools.
Pleased to say I have left my Secondary Maths PGCE (further details in the flagship pgce-tired-stressed thread).

Do independent schools employ any unqualified teachers? It does sound more up my street but I would have to investigate further, but would I have any chance without completing a Maths PGCE? Having done half of it, I have got teaching experience but just so I know, would they say 'no' if I was to apply for a post?

(I know it would be better if I completed the maths pgce but I felt it necessary to discontinue that training)
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noodles!
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(Original post by Shatners bassoon)
My big problem with all the modern stuff is the assumption that pupils should make measurable progress each lesson, or the lesson is a failure. Of course pupils should make progress, but it can only be measured properly over an extended timeframe, say a topic by topic basis.

I started out very keen on the groupwork, card sorts, mjni whiteboards, explicit afl and differentiated success outcomes, and got my oustanding observations and generall felt very pleased wih myself, but i gradually came to realise that whilst i could "demonstrate progress" each lesson, the pupils werent really learnjng maths. They do a lot better by working through practice problems for extended periods of time (as in whole lessons rather than their age in minutes or whatever current "best practice" is. Now these lessons are satisfactory at best under ofsted, and you hqve to jump through a lot of hoops to show progress from all pupils, but they are really some of the most effective maths lessons.

And if you take progress over a longer term, afl becomes much more straightforward with homework and end of unit tests, no need for rag/plenaries etc.

So anyway, if you like the new methods then fine, but please dont make the mistake of assuming that if your university tutor/slt/ofsted call something "best practice" that it automatically is. There is no such thing in teaching.
I agree with you and I think that progress within the lesson is a stupid idea unless the lesson fits well, ie. if students are learning something completely new to them then chances are you can show some progress.

It's a necessary evil, however, and I've been stung by it. I need to be re-observed because while my (NQT) mentor said my observed lesson (supposed to be combined NQT and whole school obs) was a 'good' in most aspects and progress over time was evident due to my marking and students' tracking sheets, I wasn't explicit about progress made in the lesson. She is a subject specialist and could see the progress through looking at what students were doing, but chances are ofsted would grade it requires improvement or even inadequate. Ridiculous.

I think ofsted are doing the right thing by looking into the typicality of your teaching and whether students are progressing over time, but why does your grading then hinge on potentially 20 minutes worth of teaching? That just encourages false behaviour from teachers.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by John Mullen)
Yes I do. just look at the appaling standard of the children in things like maths. Compare it to other countries who don't put up with this bull from ofsted. Teachers a brainwashed into it now, constantly bothered about being 'outstanding' when really nobody is outstanding until we have the best education system in the world.
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noodles!
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(Original post by John Mullen)
Pleased to say I have left my Secondary Maths PGCE (further details in the flagship pgce-tired-stressed thread).

Do independent schools employ any unqualified teachers? It does sound more up my street but I would have to investigate further, but would I have any chance without completing a Maths PGCE? Having done half of it, I have got teaching experience but just so I know, would they say 'no' if I was to apply for a post?

(I know it would be better if I completed the maths pgce but I felt it necessary to discontinue that training)
Sorry, think I hijacked your thread with my rant up there.

Independent schools can employ unqualified teachers, but I think it would be pretty difficult to get in that way. Could you look into maybe working in an independent school in another capacity as an assistant or something, but make clear at all stages that you would be interested in taking up teaching there too?
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Juichiro
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(Original post by John Mullen)
Pleased to say I have left my Secondary Maths PGCE (further details in the flagship pgce-tired-stressed thread).

Do independent schools employ any unqualified teachers? It does sound more up my street but I would have to investigate further, but would I have any chance without completing a Maths PGCE? Having done half of it, I have got teaching experience but just so I know, would they say 'no' if I was to apply for a post?

(I know it would be better if I completed the maths pgce but I felt it necessary to discontinue that training)
I heard you don't need any qualification for private teaching but you need experience and references. Can you provide that?
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