cyan101
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Hi everyone,

I was planning to apply for PGCE 2020, but unfortunately most people around me that have gone through it are telling me to think about it a little more. Most have had different problems and I fear that I may go through similar experiences. Honestly, at this point I feel like I should not even apply because it sounds awful. I feel like I would start the course and it will have an impact on my mental health.

I have multiple worries atm and I haven't even applies to the course yet, it pretty stupid, but I feel like it is my anxiety

I am scared that I would quit and in the end I just wasted my time
I just wanted to know how bad it actually is
I need to hear something positive for a change
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University of Chichester
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(Original post by cyan101)
Hi everyone,

I was planning to apply for PGCE 2020, but unfortunately most people around me that have gone through it are telling me to think about it a little more. Most have had different problems and I fear that I may go through similar experiences. Honestly, at this point I feel like I should not even apply because it sounds awful. I feel like I would start the course and it will have an impact on my mental health.

I have multiple worries atm and I haven't even applies to the course yet, it pretty stupid, but I feel like it is my anxiety

I am scared that I would quit and in the end I just wasted my time
I just wanted to know how bad it actually is
I need to hear something positive for a change
Hi cyan101,

We passed on your worries to one of our PGCE students Nicole who recently graduated from PGCE Secondary PE and began her first teaching job in September. Here's her advice 👇

"I had similar concerns when I started my PGCE but I knew I wanted to a be a teacher and this is the year I would have to do to reach that goal. PGCE can be a tough year for most as you have to get into the routine of doing lesson plans and evaluating your lessons, being observed by other teachers and fitting into the school that you're on placement at. I had two really positive experiences on both of my school placements in my PGCE year and that wasn't because I found it easy, but it was so rewarding every day to see your pupils succeed, exceed expectations because of something you taught them and feel appreciated by your pupils who shower you with love and appreciation, especially when they realise you're only there temporarily and they will miss you when you leave!

There is a lot of work and can sometimes be challenging if you don't stay on top of it but you'll learn quickly how to adapt and manage your time accordingly and ultimately this prepares you so well for real-school life when you are a full-time teacher. My advice to you would be that if you do decide PGCE is for you then make sure to stay on top of your lesson plans and evaluations once you go into your placements full-time, get to know the teachers and children at your school as this will make your experience and help you to settle in quickly, take on board all feedback that is given to you and work on that feedback in the next lessons as this will help you become a better teacher and talk to your mentor if you have any concerns - that's what they're there for!

Everyones experience on PGCE is going to be completely different, you're all at completely different schools, on different timetables, teaching different subjects to different year groups - when you have a really good day, someone might have a not so great day. Similar to any other job that you could have, some people have good days and some have bad days - it's only natural! There are going to be days where you question whether it's worth the amount of work or whether it's the right pathway to take but, for me, as soon as you see your classes who are so happy to see you every day, seeing them have a lightbulb moment when they finally understand what you're teaching and witnessing their passion develop for a subject that you're also passionate about - those days completely outweigh a bad day."

If you have any other questions or queries, we are more than happy to send them onto Nicole or some other PGCE students to help you!

If you want to see the PGCE courses that we offer then visit www.chi.ac.uk/teaching
Last edited by University of Chichester; 3 weeks ago
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by cyan101)
Hi everyone,

I was planning to apply for PGCE 2020, but unfortunately most people around me that have gone through it are telling me to think about it a little more. Most have had different problems and I fear that I may go through similar experiences. Honestly, at this point I feel like I should not even apply because it sounds awful. I feel like I would start the course and it will have an impact on my mental health.

I have multiple worries atm and I haven't even applies to the course yet, it pretty stupid, but I feel like it is my anxiety

I am scared that I would quit and in the end I just wasted my time
I just wanted to know how bad it actually is
I need to hear something positive for a change
I've seen a few of your posts and threads around the forum today.

I honestly think if you share your personal circumstances and your actual worries, you may get better advice.

Personally, I do think teaching is still a great career and has lots to offer. However, equally, there are people I'd probably steer away from it.

Do you have a formal diagnosis of anxiety? If so, do you have anyone like a mental health nurse/therapist you could talk the situation through with? If your anxiety isn't well controlled, I'd potentially recommend against starting a PGCE.
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ByEeek
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ITT is tough no doubt. But you will certainly discover who you are by the time you come out the other side. I am in year 3 of teaching and find the job a breeze havibg really struggled initially. I rarely work at home and leaving after 4pm is rare.

Go for it. It is a great job to do!
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Srl00
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Every teacher will have their own experiences of teaching, some good, some bad, some terrible.

I posted a thread in News and current affairs that refers to a recent large-scale report on teacher wellbeing in the UK, which gives an indication of the pressures many teachers are under, and no doubt this is one of the drivers of the worsening teacher retention.

Report: Record levels of stress ‘put teachers at breaking point’


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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Srl00)
Every teacher will have their own experiences of teaching, some good, some bad, some terrible.

I posted a thread in News and current affairs that refers to a recent large-scale report on teacher wellbeing in the UK, which gives an indication of the pressures many teachers are under, and no doubt this is one of the drivers of the worsening teacher retention.

Report: Record levels of stress ‘put teachers at breaking point’


The stats definitely tell a problematic story.

Anecdotally, I think PGCE drop out rates are also getting higher- but it's really hard to find statistics about this.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Srl00)
Every teacher will have their own experiences of teaching, some good, some bad, some terrible.

I posted a thread in News and current affairs that refers to a recent large-scale report on teacher wellbeing in the UK, which gives an indication of the pressures many teachers are under, and no doubt this is one of the drivers of the worsening teacher retention.

Report: Record levels of stress ‘put teachers at breaking point’


VERY misleading graph - scales are chosen badly.

How many did Teach First? All in all - not very helpful at all.
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Srl00
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(Original post by Muttley79)
VERY misleading graph
The trend is a very worrying thing given we need more teachers, never mind just trying to hold on to the ones we currently have, which we aren't.

I assume it includes Teach First, but I don't know of the effect of TF in terms of increasing teacher numbers in service in the long term. I think getting teachers in and keeping them in the profession is preferable (and more cost effective) than focussing on recruiting those that in general from the start do not intend to stay.

This graph shows that even if the number of secondary teachers stays completely static (and the trend doesn't suggest it will) then the situation is still worse due to the projected population bulge hitting secondary level.
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At the end of the day there's no spinning the DfE's own recent data, even through it often tries to by saying things like "there's never a better time to be a teacher", whilst paying lip service to improving working conditions to a level such that people don't want to quit:

- Almost one in three teachers leave the classroom within five years of starting teaching, new statistics show (fifth consecutive year the figure has risen).

- The number trained to replace them has fallen to a six-year low.

- Teachers are now more likely to drop out after their first year in the classroom than at any time since 1997.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Srl00)
The trend is a very worrying thing given we need more teachers, never mind just trying to hold on to the ones we currently have, which we aren't.

I assume it includes Teach First, but I don't know of the effect of TF in terms of increasing teacher numbers in service in the long term. I think getting teachers in and keeping them in the profession is preferable (and more cost effective) than focussing on recruiting those that in general from the start do not intend to stay.

- Teachers are now more likely to drop out after their first year in the classroom than at any time since 1997.
From what I see at the chalk face those dropping out went into teaching for the bursary or chose TF [which does not properly support trainees].

I'd love to see some proper analysis about the route into teaching vs drop out rate. A 'proper' PGCE prepares people much better than some of the modern variants.
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jedygety
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I did a PGCE and am now an NQT and had absolutely no problems at all. I'm yet to have done any work at home and leave at 4 most days (I do get in for 7am though)
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Srl00
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(Original post by jedygety)
I did a PGCE and am now an NQT and had absolutely no problems at all. I'm yet to have done any work at home
That's really good, although you're definitely the first teacher I've ever come across that has been able to do absolutely no work at home at all during their PGCE or NQT!
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s.black
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Hi,

Don’t be put off. I was in the exact same boat but I knew I wanted to teach.

Little secret, I had absolutely NO prior experience before I went on the secondary PGCE, but I knew I liked the idea of teaching, it’s just in my DNA to lead people. But, I would decide on the age and I would strongly recommend experience.

I started the secondary PGCE and a month I. A realised I wasn’t a big fan of teenagers.. I loved English but once you start teaching it for 8 hours a day you start to dread it, we’ll I did, and that upset me. Plus I did not like the dynamic of a secondary school.. it was too impersonal!

So I’m actually transferring to the primary PGCE in January. I had a week in a primary making sure and I loved it- the environment was much more cheerful and the kids actually wanted to learn.. unlike the majority of teenagers. No complaints, and when there were it was because they didn’t have the right scissors not because they didn’t want to be there!

I’d say definitely get experience- and as long as you realise that you’ll literally not be doing anything but marking and lesson planning for the rest of your life- jump in! I was only there for a month but in that month I learnt a lot about myself - I realised that I’m not a kid anymore and I need to really dive in and focus on myself than my friends.

If you really love it, nothing should hold you back. Not the work load or anything
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Muttley79)
VERY misleading graph - scales are chosen badly.

How many did Teach First? All in all - not very helpful at all.
FWIW I agree with you about teach first- I know some people who've had shocking experiences, and also it's a route not designed to encourage retention.

However, Teach First usually only make up about 10% of trainees (source here for the past couple of years, I can find others if you want: https://assets.publishing.service.go..._main_text.pdf ), so probably not enough to skew the figures that badly.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Muttley79)
From what I see at the chalk face those dropping out went into teaching for the bursary or chose TF [which does not properly support trainees].

I'd love to see some proper analysis about the route into teaching vs drop out rate. A 'proper' PGCE prepares people much better than some of the modern variants.
Fully agree with all these points. The large bursaries for shortage subjects are a bit of a double-edged sword.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by s.black)
Little secret, I had absolutely NO prior experience before I went on the secondary PGCE, but I knew I liked the idea of teaching, it’s just in my DNA to lead people. But, I would decide on the age and I would strongly recommend experience.
Did you lie on your application then? You have to spend a couple of weeks in a school before the course starts.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
FWIW I agree with you about teach first- I know some people who've had shocking experiences, and also it's a route not designed to encourage retention.

However, Teach First usually only make up about 10% of trainees (source here for the past couple of years, I can find others if you want: https://assets.publishing.service.go..._main_text.pdf ), so probably not enough to skew the figures that badly.
Yes but if the vast majority of that 10% drop out it will skew the data.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Fully agree with all these points. The large bursaries for shortage subjects are a bit of a double-edged sword.
I do agree with this to a point, but equally, who would you get training to teach maths/science etc without the bursary these days? Bursaries can also help attract career changers, who are sometimes better equipt to handle the reality of teaching these days. Anecdata, but during my PGCE, a lot of those who dropped out were people who'd come straight out of uni.

Anecdotally, I think many ITT programs are saying the general quality/number of applicants has gone down, and they are having to accept people they would have rejected in previous years just to make quota.

I don't disagree with what you both are saying, but I do think there's more to it than just people going into teaching for the bursary and then realising they can't hack it. I think the 5 year retention stats are worrying- and 5 years ago, bursaries in most subjects weren't anything like as big as they are now.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I do agree with this to a point, but equally, who would you get training to teach maths/science etc without the bursary these days? Bursaries can also help attract career changers, who are sometimes better equipt to handle the reality of teaching these days. Anecdata, but during my PGCE, a lot of those who dropped out were people who'd come straight out of uni.

Anecdotally, I think many ITT programs are saying the general quality/number of applicants has gone down, and they are having to accept people they would have rejected in previous years just to make quota.

I don't disagree with what you both are saying, but I do think there's more to it than just people going into teaching for the bursary and then realising they can't hack it. I think the 5 year retention stats are worrying- and 5 years ago, bursaries in most subjects weren't anything like as big as they are now.
Yes, you've got a good point. But I know too many people who took the bursary and the student loan for a house deposit, rather than having any intention to teach.

I'd prefer to see a wider rollout of early years payments - An extra £8000 tax-free over the first three years of teaching would do more for retention than a £24000 bribe with no handcuffs.

I do agree with you about the quality of ITT applicants. Some of them are proper dross, who've clearly been rejected from every grad training programme they applied to and are doing teaching as a 'last resort'. This is part of the problem.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Did you lie on your application then? You have to spend a couple of weeks in a school before the course starts.
The requirement for 2 weeks of school experience was very quietly dropped in 2018, so it wasn't required for people starting PGCEs last year/this year. I think it's possible some providers were ignoring the requirement before this.

(Original post by Muttley79)
Yes but if the vast majority of that 10% drop out it will skew the data.
I do agree, and I don't really like Teach First or their ethos- I don't think it's enough to "give two years to teaching". Apparently retention rates are 40% of Teach Firsters stay in teaching after year 3, which I do agree is pretty poor, but not enough to be the only explanation for the data.

Other groups with low retention rates are apparently people who do undergrad QTS degrees, and people who train part time.

https://mk0ffteducation79fru.kinstac...force_data.pdf

I think it's possible to acknowledge that there are problems with certain ITT routes, and also acknowledge that teaching as a profession has a retention problem which is separate to this.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Yes, you've got a good point. But I know too many people who took the bursary and the student loan for a house deposit, rather than having any intention to teach.

I'd prefer to see a wider rollout of early years payments - An extra £8000 tax-free over the first three years of teaching would do more for retention than a £24000 bribe with no handcuffs.

I do agree with you about the quality of ITT applicants. Some of them are proper dross, who've clearly been rejected from every grad training programme they applied to and are doing teaching as a 'last resort'. This is part of the problem.
I think this is the route that the government is trying to go into now: https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...aying-on-bonus and I do think it's a better option.

I also think the new two year NQT program might help retention- I don't know the exact details of it, but I think it's a 20% reduction of a standard teaching timetable in Year 1 and then the 10% reduction that NQTs currently get in Year 2, plus some extra support.

However, I also think there are issues within the profession that cause people to leave- I don't think many NQTs leave their jobs because of the money. I think/hope now that schools are (trying) to take steps to address workload, and the new GCSEs have now bedded in, so that might help a bit.
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