The Student Room Group

PGCE support plan

Hi,
So I got put on a PGCE support plan a few days ago.
My placement school is pretty relaxed and chill and the department are really nice.
By this point it was expected that we should be teaching about 7 hours a week. I was still on teaching one lesson and parts of lesson.
My mentor said he didn't realise I was meant to be on 7 hours as my on track target and it was only flagged to him recently - after major meetings.
My Uni said I should have let them know i should be on 7 hours as it was made clear to students what the uni provider expect. I think the school are quite relaxed and not keen to just stress out their trainee students but the uni expect more. I wasn't sure as i was new and getting to grips with everything and we had mentor meetings every week and they hadn't said about bumping hours up yet. I thought maybe I could just do some extra hours in the summer if i hadn't hit the hours i hadn't thought about it properly until they raised it
so now im on a support plan to try and hit the target before xmas and also cos i hadnt met behaviour management tasks

im not really sure how i feel about teaching
my school placement hasnt been very intense.
I dont really super love or hate what ive experienced.
im not that good at behaviour management. i'm also only small and soft voiced i don't feel that confident with discipline.
ive had some good lessons but not like loved the experience.
sometimes when i have a bad lesson i half-heartedly think "maybe i should just quit"

do you think i should continue with the pgce or quit?
if i continue i might only get a few days xmas hols and then just fail...
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by stickylikehoney
Hi,
So I got put on a PGCE support plan a few days ago.
My placement school is pretty relaxed and chill and the department are really nice.
By this point it was expected that we should be teaching about 7 hours a week. I was still on teaching one lesson and parts of lesson.
My mentor said he didn't realise I was meant to be on 7 hours as my on track target and it was only flagged to him recently - after major meetings.
My Uni said I should have let them know i should be on 7 hours as it was made clear to students what the uni provider expect. I think the school are quite relaxed and not keen to just stress out their trainee students but the uni expect more. I wasn't sure as i was new and getting to grips with everything and we had mentor meetings every week and they hadn't said about bumping hours up yet. I thought maybe I could just do some extra hours in the summer if i hadn't hit the hours i hadn't thought about it properly until they raised it
so now im on a support plan to try and hit the target before xmas and also cos i hadnt met behaviour management tasks

im not really sure how i feel about teaching
my school placement hasnt been very intense.
I dont really super love or hate what ive experienced.
im not that good at behaviour management. i'm also only small and soft voiced i don't feel that confident with discipline.
ive had some good lessons but not like loved the experience.
sometimes when i have a bad lesson i half-heartedly think "maybe i should just quit"

do you think i should continue with the pgce or quit?
if i continue i might only get a few days xmas hols and then just fail...

Not sure what's happened to the formatting of this post but I can help answer a few things...

- It sounds like the mentor has let you down a bit by being so laid back, which is a shame. However, the uni are just making sure that you are building up properly otherwise January is going to be a shock.
- 4 hours next week and 7 the week after should sort this out.
- Behaviour is a normal target for this time of year for a PGCE, you're not supposed to be a superhero by November.
- The best teachers I have observed for behaviour have been soft-voiced small female members of staff. It isn't a reason children cannot follow instructions, and you should not see it as this either. Unfortunately, many pupils are quicker to respect male colleagues compared to female - but you are not being judged on the level of behaviour in your classroom - you are being judged for how you respond to their behaviour.
- The reason your hours need to increase is because next week I'm teaching 23 hours (I'm 3 years into the profession). If you don't build up steadily then you will struggle when your hours do increase later in the PGCE at another placement or indeed in the ECT years.
- On holidays, it is very normal to not have a lot of spare time during the first year or two. There's a reason we have half terms and it's for teachers to catch up on sleep and work. I can tell you that as you start to gain experience it does get easier on this side, because your planning time should be reduced massively as you will have taught those lessons the year before.

I can't tell you whether or not it's right for you to quit, but I can tell you that working on behaviour is normal and that none of this experience appears to be especially worrying apart from how unaware your mentor is of basic timetable expectations.
Original post by 04MR17
Not sure what's happened to the formatting of this post but I can help answer a few things...

- It sounds like the mentor has let you down a bit by being so laid back, which is a shame. However, the uni are just making sure that you are building up properly otherwise January is going to be a shock.
- 4 hours next week and 7 the week after should sort this out.
- Behaviour is a normal target for this time of year for a PGCE, you're not supposed to be a superhero by November.
- The best teachers I have observed for behaviour have been soft-voiced small female members of staff. It isn't a reason children cannot follow instructions, and you should not see it as this either. Unfortunately, many pupils are quicker to respect male colleagues compared to female - but you are not being judged on the level of behaviour in your classroom - you are being judged for how you respond to their behaviour.
- The reason your hours need to increase is because next week I'm teaching 23 hours (I'm 3 years into the profession). If you don't build up steadily then you will struggle when your hours do increase later in the PGCE at another placement or indeed in the ECT years.
- On holidays, it is very normal to not have a lot of spare time during the first year or two. There's a reason we have half terms and it's for teachers to catch up on sleep and work. I can tell you that as you start to gain experience it does get easier on this side, because your planning time should be reduced massively as you will have taught those lessons the year before.

I can't tell you whether or not it's right for you to quit, but I can tell you that working on behaviour is normal and that none of this experience appears to be especially worrying apart from how unaware your mentor is of basic timetable expectations.

Maybe I am overreacting.
The extra support plan is for support when needed.
It doesn't mean you have no hope at all.
Reply 3
Original post by stickylikehoney
Hi,
So I got put on a PGCE support plan a few days ago.
My placement school is pretty relaxed and chill and the department are really nice.
By this point it was expected that we should be teaching about 7 hours a week. I was still on teaching one lesson and parts of lesson.
My mentor said he didn't realise I was meant to be on 7 hours as my on track target and it was only flagged to him recently - after major meetings.
My Uni said I should have let them know i should be on 7 hours as it was made clear to students what the uni provider expect. I think the school are quite relaxed and not keen to just stress out their trainee students but the uni expect more. I wasn't sure as i was new and getting to grips with everything and we had mentor meetings every week and they hadn't said about bumping hours up yet. I thought maybe I could just do some extra hours in the summer if i hadn't hit the hours i hadn't thought about it properly until they raised it
so now im on a support plan to try and hit the target before xmas and also cos i hadnt met behaviour management tasks

im not really sure how i feel about teaching
my school placement hasnt been very intense.
I dont really super love or hate what ive experienced.
im not that good at behaviour management. i'm also only small and soft voiced i don't feel that confident with discipline.
ive had some good lessons but not like loved the experience.
sometimes when i have a bad lesson i half-heartedly think "maybe i should just quit"

do you think i should continue with the pgce or quit?
if i continue i might only get a few days xmas hols and then just fail...

Teaching isn't a golden panacea. We often imagine a class full of darlings hanging on our every word. It is rarely like that. You are not finding it intense because by the sounds of it, you aren't really doing anything. You need to get up to your full 7 hours ASAP ideally within the next week. After Christmas those hours will go up and again before the end of the course you are ready for the 17-19 hours you teach in your first year.

Teaching is hard and it does occasionally destroy you - I had a totally rubbish day yesterday. But equally, it will either make or break you. If you can do teaching you can do anything. And ultimately, it is rewarding in that you are making a difference. You are doing something that really matters.

"I am really passionate about sales / marketing / human resources / admin..", said absolutely no one ever!!!
Original post by hotpud
Teaching isn't a golden panacea. We often imagine a class full of darlings hanging on our every word. It is rarely like that. You are not finding it intense because by the sounds of it, you aren't really doing anything. You need to get up to your full 7 hours ASAP ideally within the next week. After Christmas those hours will go up and again before the end of the course you are ready for the 17-19 hours you teach in your first year.

Teaching is hard and it does occasionally destroy you - I had a totally rubbish day yesterday. But equally, it will either make or break you. If you can do teaching you can do anything. And ultimately, it is rewarding in that you are making a difference. You are doing something that really matters.

"I am really passionate about sales / marketing / human resources / admin..", said absolutely no one ever!!!

Even though my school know im on a support plan, even then they are being nice,relaxed and supportive. The person who oversees my PCM also said to me he didn't think it mattered if I didn't hit 7 hours...
The ethos of my school is very supportive they don't seem to be being harsh on their trainees.
I guess I can just keep going and see what happens.
I won't be crushed if I fail. And I can sense I might be so it won't be a shock.
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by stickylikehoney
Even though my school know im on a support plan, even then they are being nice,relaxed and supportive. The person who oversees my PCM also said to me he didn't think it mattered if I didn't hit 7 hours...
The ethos of my school is very supportive they don't seem to be being harsh on their trainees.
I guess I can just keep going and see what happens.
I won't be crushed if I fail. And I can sense I might be so it won't be a shock.

It's not about whether he thinks it matters.
That's what you need.
Make sure you get those 7 hours or complain to the uni until you do. You cannot just abide by what your mentor tells you if you know it doesn't meet the requirements of the course.
Reply 6
Original post by stickylikehoney
Even though my school know im on a support plan, even then they are being nice,relaxed and supportive. The person who oversees my PCM also said to me he didn't think it mattered if I didn't hit 7 hours...
The ethos of my school is very supportive they don't seem to be being harsh on their trainees.
I guess I can just keep going and see what happens.
I won't be crushed if I fail. And I can sense I might be so it won't be a shock.

With respect your school sound lazy. Mentoring a mentee is hard. It is much easier to continue doing your job teaching kids with a trainee sat quietly in the corner doing nothing than motivating, supporting and helping a trainee to get the same outcomes a good teacher can do standing on their head.

You need to start teaching 7 hours a week. You need to be getting weekly feedback in your weekly meetings (you have a right to these meetings) and you need to be evidencing your progress so that you can show you have hit all the teaching standards.

This isn't about chilling and being friendly. This is about you effectively throwing yourself onto a very steep learning curve crash course so that in 6 months time, you are ready to go into the world of teaching and the only way you can achieve that is by throwing yourself in at the deep end. It is time to get serious and starting putting the huge amount of effort in that is required.
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by hotpud
With respect your school sound lazy. Mentoring a mentee is hard. It is much easier to continue doing your job teaching kids with a trainee sat quietly in the corner doing nothing than motivating, supporting and helping a trainee to get the same outcomes a good teacher can do standing on their head.

You need to start teaching 7 hours a week. You need to be getting weekly feedback in your weekly meetings (you have a right to these meetings) and you need to be evidencing your progress so that you can show you have hit all the teaching standards.

This isn't about chilling and being friendly. This is about you effectively throwing yourself onto a very steep learning curve crash course so that in 6 months time, you are ready to go into the world of teaching and the only way you can achieve that is by throwing yourself in at the deep end. It is time to get serious and starting putting the huge amount of effort in that is required.

I don't think lazy, I think they just don't want to rush/go hard on pupils. From observations they said they didn't think I was ready to take on that amount of classes yet as I was still struggling with behaviour management so they made some targets for me and hopefully building up to 7 hours. I think the person mentoring me thought I had more time to get to the standard the uni expected.
I don't feel passionate about fighting a case for myself or soldiering on and fighting for my life. I haven't loved or hated this experience... I feel kinda meh about teaching
I think I might just keep going til the end of the year and see what happens
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by stickylikehoney
I don't think lazy, I think they just don't want to rush/go hard on pupils. From observations they said they didn't think I was ready to take on that amount of classes yet as I was still struggling with behaviour management so they made some targets for me and hopefully building up to 7 hours. I think the person mentoring me thought I had more time to get to the standard the uni expected.
I don't feel passionate about fighting a case for myself or soldiering on and fighting for my life. I haven't loved or hated this experience... I feel kinda meh about teaching
I think I might just keep going til the end of the year and see what happens

If you do leave the course it ought to be because you want to, not because you are being forced to as a result of failing to meet the requirements of the programme.

You have asked for some advice, you've had advice from more than one of us saying the same thing - your hours need to go up. Now.

Say whatever you want about how kind/lazy you think the school are, you need those hours.

I won't be repeating this advice for a third time.
Original post by 04MR17
If you do leave the course it ought to be because you want to, not because you are being forced to as a result of failing to meet the requirements of the programme.

You have asked for some advice, you've had advice from more than one of us saying the same thing - your hours need to go up. Now.

Say whatever you want about how kind/lazy you think the school are, you need those hours.

I won't be repeating this advice for a third time.

They won't push my hours up because they said I'm not at standard to teach 7 hours
Original post by stickylikehoney
They won't push my hours up because they said I'm not at standard to teach 7 hours

You need to take that straight to the uni as that isn't acceptable.
Original post by 04MR17
You need to take that straight to the uni as that isn't acceptable.

The uni knows as it is in the support plan
Original post by stickylikehoney
The uni knows as it is in the support plan

Then I think there has been a misunderstanding in this thread - are the uni in constant dialogue with the school and are you party to that all?

So can you see the school telling the university this information directly?

If so, what are the university saying?

Because at the moment what you're telling me is that the university have you on a support plan because you haven't been teaching the hours you were supposed to, with the expectation in the support plan you need to get 7 hours in ASAP. And what you are also now telling me is that the school have simply said "no". And I'm confused as to whether they have told the uni "no" or just you, because if the university know that the school have turned around and said no then they need to find you another placement as this isn't in your control any more.

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