Hello everyone! I'm Hannah.
I'm due to start the PGCE in Secondary Geography in a few weeks... eek!
A little about me: I gained my Bachelors in Geography in 2015, and headed straight into a Consumer Psychology Masters. I decided to apply to the PGCE course to seek and gain some alternative experience and skills that coincide with working with children, which I hope will help me reach my end goal which is to gain a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Unfortunately for me my uni won't allow me to study another course alongside, so I've had to put my Psychology studies on hold. It's a bit of a different direction to what I had initially anticipated, but I'm looking forward to it!... I think!
I'm feeling extremely apprehensive, so thank you @SarcAndSpark
for creating this thread! Such a fab idea. It's been a little strange not really having anyone to discuss the process with!
I think I'm most nervous about placement locations and time management. I have this awful feeling I'll be travelling two hours each way, and the public transport in my area isn't the best so I'm having to catch a lift until I can afford my own car... yikes!I think most universities are sympathetic and try and arrange car shares, for example. I'm guessing you're getting the geography bursary, so hopefully you should be able to afford a cheap run around soon? My first car was a Renault Clio that cost me <£1000 and it lasted me for 3 years with no major expenses, so there are affordable options!
Also, whilst I appreciate we should expect to have a large workload, I'm concerned that I'm not going to be getting much sleep! 5AM starts and midnight finishes (as others online have suggested) doesn't sound like an all too healthy lifestyle. Being someone who already suffers from 'meh' health, I'm extremely nervous, and I've told myself that I won't run myself into the ground over it and if things don't work out it's not a failure, it just means it's not for me. That doesn't sound sustainable at all! My uni were very clear we could and should aim to have a life outside of the PGCE. People also do it with children! Getting 5 hours of sleep a night isn't healthy, and I can't believe it's normal. Don't forget a lot of people exaggerate online or simply can't work efficiently- I think if you don't want this to be your normal, it won't be!
I've read a few books that were on my reading list, and in all honesty I didn't really find any all too helpful. I found a variety quite patronising which is unfortunate. I have had better luck with some academic articles focusing on educational development but perhaps that's somewhat influenced by external interests. Does anyone have anything they'd recommend in particular? Now that I've found this thread I will be sure to post any links of anything I feel may prove useful. The most useful books I've read so far are the subject specific ones, I have some from the open university called "teaching secondary biology" etc- I wonder if there is anything similar for geography? I've found subject specific books more useful and less patronising, anyway!
Other than that... not sure really! I think I'm so nervous mainly because of the unknown... where will my placement be? Will my mentor be good? Are the pupils going to be horrible or ok? (In interview I was also told to expect things being thrown at me and for a whole class of teens swearing at me and insulting me... delightful!) Do I know enough about my subject to teach it? How do I adopt my language to suit the age group? Am I even going to be able to lead ten minutes of a lesson let alone an entire 50 minutes? I think once it gets a few weeks into the first placement and things start to settle, we get to know the school, the pupils and teachers and our routine things will get better.I agree, the unknowns are scary! Ultimately, the PGCE exists to teach us to teach- you don't need to be perfect right now! They wouldn't have let you past interview if they thought you were going to be useless.
How is everyone else feeling about things? Looking forward to getting to know you all!