Airfairy
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I've done two weeks so far at my first pgce placement. I feel extremely unlucky with where I've been placed. Compared to my course friends, I've easily got the worst school of the lot. Even though it's only been two weeks, I've alreafy been so close to dropping out countless times.

I worry that if my second placement is in another bad school then I won't be able to finish the pgce. This placement and the horrible school have made me forget why I wanted to go into teaching, and I can't find a single redeeming factor each day. There's no way I have the strength to do the whole year in a school like this, especially when I know my friends are in amazing schools.

Can you make placement requests? I don't mean specific schools, but if I send my course leader an email in January asking for a better school, is this the type of thing that's allowed?

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Shelly_x
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(Original post by Airfairy)
I've done two weeks so far at my first pgce placement. I feel extremely unlucky with where I've been placed. Compared to my course friends, I've easily got the worst school of the lot. Even though it's only been two weeks, I've alreafy been so close to dropping out countless times.

I worry that if my second placement is in another bad school then I won't be able to finish the pgce. This placement and the horrible school have made me forget why I wanted to go into teaching, and I can't find a single redeeming factor each day. There's no way I have the strength to do the whole year in a school like this, especially when I know my friends are in amazing schools.

Can you make placement requests? I don't mean specific schools, but if I send my course leader an email in January asking for a better school, is this the type of thing that's allowed?

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I would suggest that you speak to your mentor or course leader straight away and tell them how you're feeling. You need to pinpoint what is so bad about this school and how they can support you.
You can ask to be moved but its probably unlikely to happen unless there is a very serious reason. People train in difficult schools quite often and often emerge better teachers because of it.
I hope you feel better about the situation once you've sought help and support!
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TraineeLynsey
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What is it that makes it so terrible?

I had an awful first placement, but it was only 6 weeks and I knew I was going back to my lovely School Direct home school after that, so it made it tolerable.

One way of looking at it is that you will (hopefully) know what to look out for in schools when you are applying for jobs. It certainly helped me. I went to look around schools that I got a bad feel for and never applied for the jobs.

Asking for a 'better' school next time would reflect very poorly on you. Depending on what the problems are, it might be that you should raise some concerns with your course leader though. Can you elaborate a bit?
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Mr M
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(Original post by Airfairy)
I worry that if my second placement is in another bad school then I won't be able to finish the pgce.
If you drop out then you won't be able to finish the PGCE either.

Your provider will *try* to give you experience of two very different schools. If you get a tough one on first placement then you are likely to get a reasonably nice one on second placement. Lucky you.
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Mr M
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(Original post by TraineeLynsey)
Asking for a 'better' school next time would reflect very poorly on you.
This.
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Airfairy
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(Original post by Shelly_x)
I would suggest that you speak to your mentor or course leader straight away and tell them how you're feeling. You need to pinpoint what is so bad about this school and how they can support you.
You can ask to be moved but its probably unlikely to happen unless there is a very serious reason. People train in difficult schools quite often and often emerge better teachers because of it.
I hope you feel better about the situation once you've sought help and support!
Thanks. I wasn't suggesting to try and move this first placement. I've accepted that I'm staying here but I may talk to my tutor regardless, just so he knows how I'm feeling about it.

(Original post by TraineeLynsey)
What is it that makes it so terrible?

I had an awful first placement, but it was only 6 weeks and I knew I was going back to my lovely School Direct home school after that, so it made it tolerable.

One way of looking at it is that you will (hopefully) know what to look out for in schools when you are applying for jobs. It certainly helped me. I went to look around schools that I got a bad feel for and never applied for the jobs.

Asking for a 'better' school next time would reflect very poorly on you. Depending on what the problems are, it might be that you should raise some concerns with your course leader though. Can you elaborate a bit?
Thanks for the insight. It is mainly behavioural problems. I honestly feel like I'm in a special school. Their set 1 class is like the equivalent of maybe set 6 from other schools I've done my exp in. I wouldn't care if I knew I would have a better placement next year, but thinking of getting this AGAIN makes me feel sick :/ . Not only that but the teachers aren't the most positive - always telling me how unlucky it was to be placed there for my pgce! It doesn't help me feel optimistic!

Just to clarify - how does it reflect badly on me requesting a good school next time? The only person id email is my course leader who is quite approachable with things so if you're talking about a reference, he wouldn't be doing mine, and even if he were I can't see him writing that I requested a better school, especially since my uni obviously want us to get jobs.

(Original post by Mr M)
If you drop out then you won't be able to finish the PGCE either.

Your provider will *try* to give you experience of two very different schools. If you get a tough one on first placement then you are likely to get a reasonably nice one on second placement. Lucky you.
That's what I was getting at...that if I got another bad school I'd probably drop out so wouldn't finish.
Yes I'd heard they try to mix it up - just the couple of people I know who did pgces haven't had a mix so it's made me worry.

(Original post by Mr M)
This.
Please see my question to lynsey above about how it would impact badly on me.

If it is between me dropping out and my uni tutors thinking bad on me, I don't really care how it looks. Not when everyone in my group seems to have gotten outstanding schools.

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Mr M
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(Original post by Airfairy)
Please see my question to lynsey above about how it would impact badly on me.
When a student is placed with a school an informal chat takes place first. The conversation might begin with "We've got a wobbly one here ...". and go from there. I'm sure you would rather be known as someone who is able to cope and not as a cause for concern.
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TraineeLynsey
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(Original post by Airfairy)

Just to clarify - how does it reflect badly on me requesting a good school next time? The only person id email is my course leader who is quite approachable with things so if you're talking about a reference, he wouldn't be doing mine, and even if he were I can't see him writing that I requested a better school, especially since my uni obviously want us to get jobs.

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The suggestion that you, as a trainee, know a 'good' school from a 'bad' school would appear a bit 'know-it-all' (in my opinion). At the end of the day, who are we to judge? It might be that you have a particularly unsupportive SLT or classroom mentor, or that the children's behaviour is poor, but those are the realities of the job for many MANY people around the country.

Look on it as a good thing that this is only your first placement - you're not expected to be amazing yet, and presumably it will be your shortest placement anyway.

If the main issue in the school is behaviour, talk to the staff about what techniques they find effective. Practice using your voice in different ways. Stand in front of a mirror making 'don't make me speak to you again' faces at yourself until you find one that you think will work...

I don't mean to sound like I'm dismissing your concerns, and I'm not, but I just really don't want you to go to the university and come across as someone who can't cope, isn't willing to try, complains a lot etc. You should definitely tell the uni that you're finding behaviour management hard and ask for some strategies to try though.
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