crashpepperoni
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I am hoping to apply for a primary PGCE, however, I am worried about the social life aspect of the course. I understand it will be hard work/long hours and nothing like undergrad but I don't want to get lonely - in terms of hanging out with people around my age (22). I will either be studying at home, where most of my friends have either moved away or are always with their girlfriends/boyfriends. None of my uni friends live in my town either so I was hoping I'd be able to make good friends on the PGCE. From anyones personal experience, is this possible with the workload?

My other option is that I will be studying in a different town and living there. Have people managed to make friends on this busy course when we're only in uni for around 12 weeks? Do you ever go on placement with someone from your course. I just don't want to be in a new town, completely alone after I get home from placement.
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ST10
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(Original post by crashpepperoni)
I am hoping to apply for a primary PGCE, however, I am worried about the social life aspect of the course. I understand it will be hard work/long hours and nothing like undergrad but I don't want to get lonely - in terms of hanging out with people around my age (22). I will either be studying at home, where most of my friends have either moved away or are always with their girlfriends/boyfriends. None of my uni friends live in my town either so I was hoping I'd be able to make good friends on the PGCE. From anyones personal experience, is this possible with the workload?

My other option is that I will be studying in a different town and living there. Have people managed to make friends on this busy course when we're only in uni for around 12 weeks? Do you ever go on placement with someone from your course. I just don't want to be in a new town, completely alone after I get home from placement.
You could apply for university accommodation? My friend did this & she was put with other postgrads, which meant she had people about to make dinner with etc. She also made a couple of friends on the course.
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crashpepperoni
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I will apply for uni accommodations if I have to go outside my hometown, but if I stay in my hometown it'll make more sense money wise to stay at home.

Does anyone else have any personal experiences of social lives on a PGCE course?
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crashpepperoni
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varcolac
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My social life is fine. I'm not in my hometown, but I did my entire academic and working life in London so it's not much of a change. I've made friends on my PGCE course, both in my subject and placement who I see a fair bit more than my friends from the distant past, but that would be true for any career - replace "PGCE course" with "job" and I suspect that'd be true for many people.

I don't see my friends as much as I did before, but I still make time for going out, meeting up, playing music and general socialising.

The course really does come first though - if something has to give, it's my social life because given the choice between a night out with my friends and completing my marking, only one of those is going to be my priority. I might regret not going out, but I'd regret being put on a Cause for Concern form because I didn't do any marking a whole heap more!
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crashpepperoni
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Glad to hear you made friends on your course varcolac. Yep, I'd definitely put the course first but nice to know there's hope of a social life on it.
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myrtille
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Some kind of a social life is definitely possible.

A very busy social life probably isn't.

I lived quite a long way from my university, living with my partner and in the same town as old friends. So I met up with them every few weeks at least.

On my course there was a fair bit of socialising during the university weeks, just in terms of going to the pub after lectures quite regularly. We also got together for meals every now and then - I think we went out for a meal together about half a dozen times during the course, and I've met up with coursemates since then too.

Some of the people who lived in the same city as the university saw each other more regularly, including during placements, but I tended to just see coursemates during the university weeks and school holidays. Those people who had moved to the city just for the PGCE (as opposed to those who were already settled there and had their own family and friends around them) became very close friends.

You can easily fit in seeing friends every weekend. The difficulty with the PGCE is that you can pretty much never do anything on a week night (during school placements) unless you plan your work around it well in advance.
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crashpepperoni
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Cool, good to know. Yep I suppose week nights during placements would be super busy!
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Lex1985
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If your more focused on social life- maybe a pgce isn't for you


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Shelly_x
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You'd get a few hours one night a week to socialise - if you work smart and hard the other nights. But thats it really.
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crashpepperoni
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If your more focused on social life- maybe a pgce isn't for you
I'm not more focused on it, I'm just curious - like most people are when starting a new course.

You'd get a few hours one night a week to socialise - if you work smart and hard the other nights. But thats it really.
Thanks for your answer. Did you ever get free time over weekends?
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Shelly_x
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(Original post by crashpepperoni)
I'm not more focused on it, I'm just curious - like most people are when starting a new course.



Thanks for your answer. Did you ever get free time over weekends?
I work weekends, so no. Others might be able to offer more insight there. I definitely have to do school work over the weekends too, as well as working.
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myrtille
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(Original post by crashpepperoni)
Did you ever get free time over weekends?
During the PGCE my typical weekend routine was:

Friday night - evening off. Usually nap after a long week! Cook dinner, have a couple of glasses of wine, relax at home with my partner (could potentially have gone out with friends, and may have done once or twice, but generally too knackered!).

Saturday morning - work all morning on lesson planning.

Saturday afternoon - out. I went to my dancing school, attended classes for exercise and also taught one class. Usually out from roughly 12-6.

Saturday evening - usually didn't work, sometimes went out with friends, sometimes relaxed at home.

Sunday - stayed at home and pretty much worked 8am-10pm with breaks.

On week nights, Monday-Thursday, I normally had a break of around an hour when I got in from school, then worked 'til 10pm or later. Occasionally (OK, in the first placement it was probably once a fortnight, on a Thursday night) I'd end up working past midnight.

EDIT: Obviously this was only during placements. The university weeks were a lovely break as I didn't have to do much work at home so could socialise more and relax, read, cook dinner instead of constantly delegating to my partner, etc.
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Carnationlilyrose
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An oxymoron.
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TraineeLynsey
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This week as an example:

Gave myself last Saturday off to relax. Worked sunday roughly 10-8 with breaks. Monday worked 7am-6pm. Evening off. Worked 4.30am-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday with evenings off (ie I got home, ate, had a shower and passed out). Thursday worked 4.30am - 6pm, then again 8pm-10pm. Friday worked 5am- 1pm, had an appointment in the afternoon and gave myself the evening off. Yesterday I worked for about 8 hours, today done about 4 hours so far and not done. Fully anticipate a few more early starts this week, especially as I have a huge assignment due at the end of the month, which currently doesn't exist.

So in summary... No. No weekends off.
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crashpepperoni
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Sunday - stayed at home and pretty much worked 8am-10pm with breaks.
Was this on lesson planning and marking? How much time would you say it takes to create a lesson plan? Nice to know that the uni weeks were less stressful, I overlooked that uni weeks would be the less busy.

So in summary... No. No weekends off.
How come you work so early on weekdays or is just the time you get up? Good luck with your assignment!
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myrtille
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(Original post by crashpepperoni)
Was this on lesson planning and marking? How much time would you say it takes to create a lesson plan? Nice to know that the uni weeks were less stressful, I overlooked that uni weeks would be the less busy.
Lesson planning takes ages when you first start and gradually gets quicker.

At the start of the PGCE it was taking me about 4 hours per lesson. This included:
-Deciding my objectives
-Outlining on a piece of paper roughly what I was going to do + timings.
-Finding or producing resources (worksheets, powerpoints, card sort activities, etc.)
-Making sure activities had extension tasks for more able pupils and that there was enough support for the less able.
-Typing the plan up into the university's lesson plan proforma (which normally ran to 3 pages at the start, typically 1.5 pages by the end of the PGCE).

At that point I was teaching 10 lessons per week, so spending about 40 hours on planning.

In my 2nd placement, it took me under 2 hours per lesson, but I had 17 lessons per week and more marking.

Now it probably takes me less than an hour on average - sometimes more if I've got a lot of resources to make, but for others it's just a case of copying something I've used with another group and making the odd small adjustment for my class, which takes a few minutes. I teach 24 lessons per week and reckon around 20 hours per week on planning sounds about right - 3 hours after school on weeknights and the rest on a Sunday. But marking is a massive job - I have 2 GCSE classes which means I have to mark controlled assessment tasks, mock exams, etc. as well as books. And on top of that I have 6 further classes that I am fully responsible for, so it is a lot of marking.
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Steveluis10
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I'm probably in the minority but I don't work Friday nights, Saturday day or night and usually only a couple of hours on a Sunday. I'm only teaching 6-7 solo lessons a week though, observing about 3 and the rest of the time in school I spend planning and marking.

If I was solo teaching 10-15 lessons a week I'd probably work Friday nights or Sunday nights as well. I refuse to work past 8 pm on a weeknight.
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TraineeLynsey
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(Original post by crashpepperoni)
Was this on lesson planning and marking? How much time would you say it takes to create a lesson plan? Nice to know that the uni weeks were less stressful, I overlooked that uni weeks would be the less busy.


How come you work so early on weekdays or is just the time you get up? Good luck with your assignment!
My early starts were because I didn't do enough prep at the weekend. My own fault! For most lessons the work cycle is plan (up to an hour, depending on if it's an individual lesson plan you're typ ing up or just a weekly one), find/make resources including a notebook or ppt presentation (about another hour, sometimes more, sometimes less), teach (1 hour), mark (depends on the subject - between 45 mins and 2 hours for a class of 30). Marking obviously isn't relevant for PE etc, but it is for numeracy, literacy, science, topic etc. So for each core lesson you're looking at between 4-6 hours work. I taught 11 lessons this week, and am doing 14 this week. You can do the maths on that, I am sure!

On top of this is all the random form-filling, meetings (mentor, phase, all staff - usually about 2 hours a week), prepping for observed lessons usually takes a bit longer, yard duties, photocopying etc etc.

A teacher's work is never done!

Also, not everyone gets those quiet uni weeks. I know some PGCEs even have their students in during school hols. As for me, I'm doing school direct and only spend 12 days at uni all year. And the time I'm there counts as part of my non-contact time for that week, so I'm losing marking/prep time when I'm there.

Not trying to put you off or anything, but you did ask what I was doing!
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username1156558
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Just a question as I know this thread is quite old now! But how did you

@crashpepperoni

End up finding your SCITT?
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