Amira2497
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I’m currently in the process of applying for my pgce in 2020. I graduated last year but realised that it was teaching I wanted to get into instead. I’m super excited to be applying and recently did some work experience in a primary school which I LOVED... but the thing is whenever i tell people I’m looking to do a PGCE and become a teacher, they almost always say how difficult and stressful it will be because of all the planning, timing and assignments etc. If anyone has done their PGCE or is currently doing it I would really appreciate any tips or advice please or even just let me know abit about your course and experience. Thanks
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Amira2497)
I’m currently in the process of applying for my pgce in 2020. I graduated last year but realised that it was teaching I wanted to get into instead. I’m super excited to be applying and recently did some work experience in a primary school which I LOVED... but the thing is whenever i tell people I’m looking to do a PGCE and become a teacher, they almost always say how difficult and stressful it will be because of all the planning, timing and assignments etc. If anyone has done their PGCE or is currently doing it I would really appreciate any tips or advice please or even just let me know abit about your course and experience. Thanks
The PGCE is a tough course- you're balancing a number of masters credits with placements which are essentially a full time job. Teaching is also a stressful job anyway for lots of different reasons. I trained in secondary, and my PGCE did have a pretty high drop out rate.

However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't go for a PGCE. A lot more people finish the PGCE every year than drop out, and if you really want to teach then go for it. There are lots of upsides to teaching as a career, as well as downsides!

Stuff I found hard during my PGCE:
-Going in and out of schools, and not really being able to build up relationships with kids.
-Having a pretty heavy workload anyway, and then having lots of extraneous stuff that uni wanted us to do.
-Spending ages planning a lesson only for it to crash and burn because I couldn't execute it well.
-Getting lots of conflicting feedback from different class teachers and not being able to please everyone.
-Receiving feedback on every lesson- sometimes you know it was **** and you don't want to have to do a full post mortem!
-The workload. I didn't find this as tough as some people as I was already used to having a busy full time job, but there were weeks where I worked every evening, and both weekend days to get stuff done. When I was applying to jobs, I often did a load of job applications on the Saturday, and then still had school work to do on the Sunday. I also worked a fair bit in the holidays, especially on my assignments. However if you are able to be organized and prioritize, the workload is manageable.

Stuff I loved during my PGCE:
-Having a lesson go well.
-When a kid says they've learned stuff from you or enjoyed your lesson.
-Spending time with teenagers.
-Being able to spend time talking about a subject I love.
-I met a great group of people on my course.
-I got to go on a residential trip which was really fun.
-8 weeks off over the summer.
-It led to me getting my first teaching job which I'm enjoying so far!

There are upsides and downsides to the PGCE, and if it's what you want to do, then you should definitely go for it!
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bwilliams
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(Original post by Amira2497)
did some work experience in a primary school which I LOVED
It is a challenging course for many different reasons. Love SarcAndSpark 's post above, I would rate it but it appears I have rated them too much!

I have highlighted the quote from your original post because this is the best advice I can give you: Yes, it will be very challenging, but if you love it then it won't matter and the hard things become easier.

P.S. I specialise in primary and do check my inbox here regularly so feel free to PM any queries along your journey! There will be a lot of support available to you.
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Amira2497
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
The PGCE is a tough course- you're balancing a number of masters credits with placements which are essentially a full time job. Teaching is also a stressful job anyway for lots of different reasons. I trained in secondary, and my PGCE did have a pretty high drop out rate.

However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't go for a PGCE. A lot more people finish the PGCE every year than drop out, and if you really want to teach then go for it. There are lots of upsides to teaching as a career, as well as downsides!

Stuff I found hard during my PGCE:
-Going in and out of schools, and not really being able to build up relationships with kids.
-Having a pretty heavy workload anyway, and then having lots of extraneous stuff that uni wanted us to do.
-Spending ages planning a lesson only for it to crash and burn because I couldn't execute it well.
-Getting lots of conflicting feedback from different class teachers and not being able to please everyone.
-Receiving feedback on every lesson- sometimes you know it was **** and you don't want to have to do a full post mortem!
-The workload. I didn't find this as tough as some people as I was already used to having a busy full time job, but there were weeks where I worked every evening, and both weekend days to get stuff done. When I was applying to jobs, I often did a load of job applications on the Saturday, and then still had school work to do on the Sunday. I also worked a fair bit in the holidays, especially on my assignments. However if you are able to be organized and prioritize, the workload is manageable.

Stuff I loved during my PGCE:
-Having a lesson go well.
-When a kid says they've learned stuff from you or enjoyed your lesson.
-Spending time with teenagers.
-Being able to spend time talking about a subject I love.
-I met a great group of people on my course.
-I got to go on a residential trip which was really fun.
-8 weeks off over the summer.
-It led to me getting my first teaching job which I'm enjoying so far!

There are upsides and downsides to the PGCE, and if it's what you want to do, then you should definitely go for it!
Thanks so much for your reply it's all very helpful and you have actually made the PGCE sound do-able haha!
I know you mentioned that the workload is quite tough due to balancing master credits with placement work but I feel that I was having to do a lot of this during my 3 year degree and I had to really manage my time and prioritise work. I mean there is no doubt that the work load will be tricky to deal with but I'm a big planner so hopefully I'll be able to manage my time efficiently. You're right... there are definitely ALOT of positives that I need to look at and plus most teachers say they LOVE their jobs.
Last edited by Amira2497; 3 weeks ago
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Amira2497
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(Original post by bwilliams)
It is a challenging course for many different reasons. Love SarcAndSpark 's post above, I would rate it but it appears I have rated them too much!

I have highlighted the quote from your original post because this is the best advice I can give you: Yes, it will be very challenging, but if you love it then it won't matter and the hard things become easier.

P.S. I specialise in primary and do check my inbox here regularly so feel free to PM any queries along your journey! There will be a lot of support available to you.
You're right...thank you very much! Yes I've noticed that there is A LOT of support for trainee teachers online, it's great!
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Amira2497)
Thanks so much for your reply it's all very helpful and you have actually made the PGCE sound do-able haha!
I know you mentioned that the workload is quite tough due to balancing master credits with placement work but I feel that I was having to do a lot of this during my 3 year degree and I had to really manage my time and prioritise work. I mean there is no doubt that the work load will be tricky to deal with but I'm a big planner so hopefully I'll be able to manage my time efficiently. You're right... there are definitely ALOT of positives that I need to look at and plus most teachers say they LOVE their jobs.
It's definitely possible to manage- otherwise no-one would pass it.

Honestly, though, unless you were working a LOT during your degree, the workload is definitely higher- I worked a lot during my degree and also kept hobbies going, and it was definitely significantly less work than the PGCE. I also know people who've come from demanding professional jobs into the PGCE, and again found the workload a shock. But if you are good at time management and prioritizing and able to let things go when they are not quite perfect, then you will cope.

I'm not saying this to put you off again- just so that you're realistic about what's involved. Also do be aware that some unis will give you a placement with a tricky/long commute, which can eat into your working day as well!

But it is do-able! It's hard to find drop out statistics for PGCEs, but I reckon they are probably around the 10-20% level. However, this would still mean around 80% of people finish the course! If you are passionate about it, you should definitely go for it!
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