PGCE Geography - Help needed.*Watch
I am on a PGCE at the moment and I am really not enjoying it. I did to begin with and went into it knowing I had taught this age group before and really enjoyed the creativity behind lesson planning and the challenge of engaging with secondary school kids. I enjoyed being in the classroom but I have found that isn't there anymore and it actually went away pretty quickly. I am not enjoying being in the classroom, I find managing behaviour to be a nightmare in the school I am in with detentions not followed through on etc. I am really disliking that I have to spend LOTS of my personal life working, neglecting my hobbies, my partner and my health, my mentor criticises me for things I have seen her do in the classroom and is quite moody. The other PGCE students are scared of her and have said to me "we would never approach her for advice". I got a bit of a telling off for mucking up in a Y11 class last week because they are doing their GCSE in a year and my mentor "doesn't have time to fix my muck up" which just made me feel terrible. I can't help but think if the stakes are that high for those pupils, do not give them to a trainee as a trainee is bound to muck up? I am on my first placement and feel a little thrown in the deep end, I have been given a Y10 class three times a week and the Y11's also. I teach 1 Y8 class once a week and see that as my break. IS this normal? I have just started speaking to a few other trainees and they seem to have mostly Y7, Y8 and Y9. Also I've spoken to an NQT today and they are saying theat they didn't teach Y11 once while training and aren't having too during their NQT year. The school I am in is incredibly low for aspiration, it's in an ex mining town and to be frank, the pupils just do not want to work, when you try and motivate them to work/ punish them for not working, they know their punishment will not be followed through on so the circle continues. Additionally, on Thursday I was asked to make an exam paper to go over with my Y10 class for the next two lessons, my board is WJEC and their exam paper is a 4 page resoruce booklet and a 12 page question book..... I have been teaching since September this year, I feel totally paralysed and overwhelmed by this task and It's pushing me to my whits end.
Additionally, I am finding the incredibly negative environment of the school I am in to be hugely difficult, I am at the point where I do not understand why anyone would become a teacher, because they all seem so bloody miserable. In my first half term (which on my course is only 5 weeks long) 3 teachers approached me and said they couldn't fathom why people were still coming into teaching, because they wouldn't. I have yet to hear from a teacher who loves their job. I feel like I have made a huge mistake, I do not want to be a teacher anymore and I do not want to carry on the desire to teach has really been properly knocked out of me. I cry at least twice a week because I have to go in. I am still working hard, and I am getting good grades, but this is just not for me and i find myself having less and less enthusiasm, I don't want my personal circumstances and feelings to impact on the kids in the classroom. I did try and speak to my mentor about struggling with it all and she said "IT never really get's better. It's pretty ****. I have to chose between my daughter and work all the time and work often wins". I have also tried to speak to my uni mentor and didn't get much help there either.
I've REALLY tried to make a good go of this, but i feel totally disengaged and pretty low. Any help?
It sounds like there are lots of issues going on at the same time.
Is your uni tutor supportive? If so, could you contact them for some support and advice?
Do you have an in school contact who oversees all the trainees? Sometimes called a professional tutor, or similar? Could you talk to them at all?
Finally, does this placement end at Christmas? If so, then I think you just have to power through as much as you can and at least give your second placement a go! It may be very different, and you could find the joy for teaching there again.
if you make it, you will know you have made it deep inside yourself. There is no room for low self-esteem in teaching. If you can hack it you will know that you are pretty much invincible. And it will happen that the kids eventually enjoy who you are and respect you for that. There is everything to play for. Just don't end up getting a job at the school you are currently training in.