to plan to be pregnant while pursuing a pgce in primary education

(82 Posts)
giggles123 Wed 23-Mar-11 23:33:56

Hi, does anybody know of anyone out there who has attempted a pgce programme while pregnant. Plan is to deliver in the summer so conveniently after the baby is born. Please kindly respond.

GilmoreGeek Wed 23-Mar-11 23:42:19

Is this your first child?
Some of my friends are/have been doing PGCEs and say it's really hard. They often get very little sleep. Do you think you could cope with that during pregnancy?

LewisFan Wed 23-Mar-11 23:47:15

my friend got pregnant on our PGCE. She had to stop in May to go on Maternity Leave as she couldn't cope. She had her baby in the July and came back the following September to finish.

penguin73 Thu 24-Mar-11 00:10:00

Being a new mum is hard and time-consuming, as is doing a PGCE. In both cases the demands on your time are huge - in terms of the PGCE it is not just the uni study/placements but also all the paperwork/planning/marking/assessing and preparation/stress of observations. I did mine when DS was at school and found that hard enough, I can't imagine being able to commit to a PGCE with a newborn and have any quality of life (or energy!)

sammac Thu 24-Mar-11 00:17:12

I did PGCE when dd was 8 months old. Honestly don't know how I did as the workload is huge. Helped enormously by dh and many very long nights- or is that early mornings- till 3 or 4 trying to get things done.

Not sure if you're going to be pregnant or new mum, but either way be prepared for exhaustion.

LDNmummy Thu 24-Mar-11 00:23:42


As I write this my DP (an NQT come September) is sitting here still planning lessons and marking books. He will get 4 hours sleep, (5 if he is lucky on some days) and be up and off in the morning for a day of teaching 30 kids. It is very hard and I cannot imagine being pregnant (as I am now) or having a new born and doing a PGCE. It is hard enough being pregnant and the partner of someone who is doing a PGCE as his late nights often mean late nights for me too due to domestic stuff. We have to plan everything around his schedule now and he is on go 7 days a week as planning and preperation for the following week never ends. He is lucky to get two hours break at home to eat and relax.

Just stressing the realities for you because it really is no fun. The teaching itself and getting to know the kids and being part of a school is great and my DP loves it so teaching is a great career. But the PGCE year is more stressful than I ever thought it would be when he was going into it, I think he was prepared but I have a new found appreciation for what new teachers do.

I am going to do a PGCE but am taking a year out to be with the LO, won't do the course itself till LO is two and DP and I can share childminding duties more equally.

Good luck! smile

missslc Thu 24-Mar-11 00:26:32

just wait a year- it will not be enjoyable- you work crazy hours.

MaisyMooCow Thu 24-Mar-11 00:26:36

Enjoy your pregnancy and do PGCE later.

RealEyesRealiseRealLies Thu 24-Mar-11 00:32:36

No. Just no. Sorry.

I did a PGCE - secondary, not primary admittedly, but I was grateful I had no family and it was just me to look after. How those who had families, or were pregnant would manage, I used to wonder, I had no idea.

I echo everything LDN says above - it was the most exhausting, stressful, draining and physically demanding year of my life. Do not let the word 'student' deceive you - you are working as a professional and have to hand in uni assessments, and plan, and mark, and teach, and travel... I remember going to bed at 1/2 and getting up at 5/6 to get it all done - the weekends were endless playing catch up with yourself. My friend on her primary pgce described similar - stressful days, not having time to eat lunch, no sleep - so far from ideal.

I survived it, that is the only word. I now enjoy teaching and have a lovely job - but it has taken me two years to get here, and it's been a long journey. Being in the classroom with the children, teaching what I love, makes it worth it - the rest, you learn what you can deal with, to cut corners, and what your limits are.

All the best!

sleepywombat Thu 24-Mar-11 00:37:21

Having done a PGCE (without being pregnant), I'd say YABVU!
My NQT year was even worse (bullied by headmistress, given no support, expected to work very late & throughout holidays), cannot imagine doing it with a baby.

Concordia Thu 24-Mar-11 00:52:05

i have done a variety of things, including a masters, two different jobs including teaching and i can honestly say that my primary pgce year was the hardest and most time consuming of the lot.
i wouldn't do it tbh.
also, you don't know how well you are going to be in pregnancy- as someone who has spent chunks of pregnancies in hospital, how would that fit with teaching practice? you may well find yourself repeating a year or two down the line anyway.

Dont forget that after your PGCE you will have your NQT year - with a newborn baby. You do not get anytime to yourself with either of those things, you will have to seriously decide which one to devote your time to.

Also what about your maternity leave? If the birth was perfectly timed you would have 5 weeks at home with baby before you had to start again.

That being said people do it and survive.

startail Thu 24-Mar-11 01:07:42

Sorry, just don't. For all the reasons given above and because the competition for getting a job in a decent school afterwards is so intense.

SnapFrakkleAndPop Thu 24-Mar-11 03:27:57

Crikey no!

You would have to make up any placement hours missed for maternity appointments, your Uni may struggle to find a school willing to accommodate that, you will be exhausted on 2 counts and if you develop anything like SPD you'll fond it difficult to get down to the children's level and no matter how justified you are in not doing that it won't reflect well in your obs.

I really wouldn't plan to do it that way.

missslc Thu 24-Mar-11 03:32:58

A friend did it with an 18 month old. To this day she regrets it and wonders why she did it rather than enjoy her daughter and do it later. She left teaching pretty quickly because of how stressful she found it.

Misfitless Thu 24-Mar-11 04:18:38

Don't do it. I know single people with no family commitments who struggles during their PGCE year. There's no way I could cope being pregnant whilst doing it - it's horrendously stressful, you get hardly any sleep - all that stress would be dertrimental to you and your baby IMO.

noodle69 Thu 24-Mar-11 06:11:13

I did an Early Childhood Studies degree whilst pregnant. I was there on my due date and I took 10 days off. I didnt get one essay in late and got a 2:1. I wouldnt have had any time off at all but the only reason was it was half term.

Its possible if you are committed. (I was told it wasnt do able though wink ) I was doing placements as well.

I was 23 though so that helped. It can be hard as you have to be up all night with a screaming baby and then bounce up in mornings and be on the ball. Just think though its a short time and then it will be out of the way.

noodle69 Thu 24-Mar-11 06:14:42

Also my bits were ripped to shreds (TMI!) and I had to go to an operation to fix them 4 months on. I arranged it for a Friday though and made sure I was back in on the Monday. Things like that were a bit difficult so factor in anything like that happening. Also she had colic and cried a lot on the night (by a lot I mean I had maybe 2/3 hours?) some nights so you need to be able to survive on little sleep.

Gottakeepchanging Thu 24-Mar-11 06:34:16

It is quite hard for nqts to get jobs. You woukd be heavily pregnant when being interviewed. in the summer term. I would think very very hard before I employed you.

I started my pgce when my daughter was 6 months old. That worked pretty well.

You have to workout what is more important being a teacher or having a baby now.

As an nqt with a baby 16 years ago I paid out more in childcare and travel than I earnt. My childminder earnt more than I did.

janajos Thu 24-Mar-11 06:48:56

I did PGCE when I was a single mum with two children aged 3 and 6; it was exhausting, I had to get up and be at the station by 5.45 every morning in order to be at my first placement on time (by 8-8.30). But I managed it; I re-married and had my third child nearly two years ago and managed to teach until 3 weeks before I gave birth. All is possible, it depends on your attitude. If you are pregnant now, don't give up. If the baby is due this summer though, I think I would wait a year before doing a pgce.

camdancer Thu 24-Mar-11 07:06:04

A PGCE is like doing a full time teaching job with a full time degree on top of it. It is not a matter of just doing a few essays and going in to schools to help out sometimes. If you really want to do teaching then do the PGCE and NQT year and then get pregnant.

Also, have a good look around at jobs first because if you are doing primary teaching there aren't many jobs around at the moment. So you might do all the training just to find yourself unemployable.

noodle69 Thu 24-Mar-11 07:09:05

camdancer I was in placement 3 days a week 9 - 3 and then 2 days uni 9 - 5. It was my final year. Also we had loads of essays/exams I still say its doable.

SlackSally Thu 24-Mar-11 07:10:19


If, as I am assuming, an early childhood studies degree does not involve teaching and is based in university, it is NOTHING on the scale of a PGCE.

Obviously doing any kind of study while pregnant is hugely admirable, but an undergraduate degree simply doesn't compare to a PGCE.

If it does involve teaching (and planning and marking and observations) then you are, quite frankly, superwoman and I take my hat off to you.

noodle69 Thu 24-Mar-11 07:14:45

One of the girls on my course did the PGCE and gave birth September 14th and then started PGCE September 25th at the same uni I attended.

She graduated last June and got good grades. Cant find a job though as no jobs round here at mo but thats another story!!

blackeyedsusan Thu 24-Mar-11 07:19:03

extremely very totally completely unreasonable? are you mad?

Skinit Thu 24-Mar-11 07:20:49

Giggles only you know what you're capable of. I was 4 months pregnant with my 2nd child when I took on a huge writing commission with the BBC...there was no question of putting it off, so slightly different circumstances.

I had to travel to London on overnight visits pretty regularly and continue to care for my 3 year almost drove me up the wall but I did it.

If you have a supportive partner and you think you can do it, then go for it.

NinkyNonker Thu 24-Mar-11 07:24:18

I fell pregnant 2 months into my Gtp, given my family medical history we thought it would tale a year. I was lucky I had an easy pregnancy, no morning sickness etc. It was hard work, especially at the end. I ended up being signed off at 35 wks with low amniotic fluid, luckily I had my final assessment (passed as Outstanding!) 3 days earlier.

To be honest, it was fine. I had changed from a stressful career anyway I guess so I didn't find teaching that bad.

noodle69 Thu 24-Mar-11 07:33:13

The one thing is its difficult to predict how you will feel. I worried before I got pregnant but I was working in a bar after uni/ school placements up until 8 months until 2/3am on the weekends. The only part of pregnancy that I noticed was the first few weeks when I was a bit tired and felt a bit sick the rest I didnt even notice I was pregnant and carried on as normal.

Its a difficult thing to predict though how tired you are going to be, if you will get sick etc. Thats the one thing will you lose your place and not be allowed back if something went wrong.

Spinkle Thu 24-Mar-11 07:35:14

You. Are. Mad.

Do not even consider it. It's gruelling for the unpregnant. And if you thinkk getting a job and actually teaching after will be any easier you are wrong. Not a case of 'a tough year'

Teaching is an endurance lifestyle. You get 6 weeks off in the summer for very very good reason.

mummytime Thu 24-Mar-11 07:54:57

No, YABVU. I quit my PGCE because I was having a nervous breakdown, at the lack of sleep, and totally neglecting my kids. NQT might also be tough, but it is possible to do that part-time, you have to do full-time placements for PGCE.

Pregnancy also can involve complications from the mild ones of tiredness and speed uncontrollable vomiting to the more serious ones discussed elswhere.

Either get pregnant or do a PGCE don't do both!

jenga079 Thu 24-Mar-11 08:11:50

I kind of like the 'neatness' of your idea and can see why it's so tempting. 'Hmmmm.... if I get the baby and the PGCE all wrapped up in one year, then I can take maternity leave and come back to a nice family friendly career...'

Except... the PGCE will be the second hardest year you ever have (the NQT year will be the hardest!) adding a pregnancy to that would be madness; primary teaching jobs are very hard to find so you will have that added stress in your first year with your new baby; teaching isn't all that family friendly for the first few years (until you've worked out which corners you can cut!!); presumably you wouldn't be entitled to anything more than statutory maternity allowance so finances might be tight too.

Erm, can you tell I think you are mad?

Only you can decide what will work for you, but if I was you, I would decide which is more important to you at the moment - teaching or children? If it is more important to get your career on track, then do the PGCE and NQT, then have children (you will have more support, more money and more idea what you're letting yourself in for!). If it is important to start your family, then have the baby first, then do the PGCE in a few years time, once you have child care etc sorted.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

camdancer Thu 24-Mar-11 08:22:44

noodle, when I was doing my B.Ed, I housed with people doing PGCE. They were doing 5 days a week in school, with all the preparation that involved, then they also had essays and even sometimes lectures after school. I did the 4 year teaching + degree and so it was much easier, we either had teaching practice, or lectures and essays.

The PGCE students had no social life, they were either at school, college, library or asleep. And that was when they were young, free and single!

The early years foundation degree is built for people who are already practitioners and already working. So as hard as it is to do while you are still working (and I know how hard it is 'cos a good friend just did it), it just isn't the same as a PGCE.

scaryteacher Thu 24-Mar-11 08:26:25

I did my PGCE when ds was 5 and dh was working away. That was bad enough, I could not have done it whilst pregnant.

Do the PGCE and the NQT year (the hardest one!), then get pregnant. You are off your trolley to even contemplate doing it the other way around.

Violethill Thu 24-Mar-11 08:29:29

You'd be mad to try! Also, what would your plans be about starting work? Primary jobs are like gold dust at the moment. Presumably you'd be going for interviews while pregnant- would you be able to start a job in sept if you're offered one? You wont have maternity rights if you haven't actually started work! If you are planning to get your PGCE and then take time out before looking for jobs, then I'd still so no, because you'll be disadvantaging yourself compared to other candidates who are fresh out of a PGCE.

giggles123 Mon 28-Mar-11 01:08:53

Sob! Sob! Sob! . I'm not sure I was prepared for the responses above. Sincerely, I was hoping for some encouragement to go ahead but I guess I was being unreasonable or shall I say completely ignorant about how much work the pgce will require. I am so glad that you 've all been honest because I really needed to hear it as it truly is. It just means that baby will have to wait. I feel so sad as I was hoping to have it all by next year. I.e have my pgce and a lovely baby too. Gosh, just how difficult is a PGCE? I have an undergraduate degree and a professional accounting qualification and I thought they were quite hard but I can see from the comments above that all that is nothing compared to a pgce. Thank you all for the comments and advice. I really appreciate it. Yours Sadly...

FellatioNelson Mon 28-Mar-11 10:16:30

I have several friends who have done this course, some were quite young, no kids, and others already had families and busy home lives. The one thing they all had in common was that they all found it incredibly intensive and stressful. I don't know how industrious and resilient you are, but even assuming you had a very straightforward PG with no health issues, DO NOT under-estimate how tired and over-emotional you will become. I really really would not recommend this if you can avoid it.

FellatioNelson Mon 28-Mar-11 10:17:25

I think the main issue is not about how difficult but how intensive and what a massive work load!

knitonepernilleone Mon 28-Mar-11 10:29:46

You also need to think about how you want to work afterwards.

If you are in a part of the country with plenty/a surplus of Primary teachers, then you will find it extremely difficult to get anything more than a temporary contract with a young baby, as the school will presume that you
a) cannot give the time/commitment to your NQT year.
b) you might soon want to take maternity leave to have another baby in the next year ot 2.

There are also very few part-time jobs (here at least). It's possible to reduce full-time hours, although many parents don't like job shares, so it depends on your headteacher. You also need to think ahead about how you'll arrange evening childcare for staff meetings, concerts, parents' evenings, fundraising events, etc., especially if your dp doesn't work regular hours (like mine, who works abroad a lot).

There is probably never an ideal time to have a baby but maternity leave and it's implications are a little more complicated than in many jobs, before you add the complications of PGCE and your NQT year.

atthecarwash Mon 28-Mar-11 12:36:48

I did a PGCE and it's hard work. Fun but hard work...don't think I could have done it whilst pregnant, sorry

fluffywhitekittens Mon 28-Mar-11 16:35:36

Agree with everyone else. I ideally wanted children when I was 30 but ended up doing a PGCE the year I was 30 then 3 1/2 years teaching and had dd at 33.
No way could I have done both, especially as I was very ill when pregnant and signed off work.

freddy05 Mon 28-Mar-11 17:07:36

Go for it.

I did my PGCE last year with a two year old daughter and i was pregnant when I started. I miscarried in october but was pregnant again in december and DD2 was born in september. I have my PGCe under my belt am sorting out a job for this september and couldn't be happier. All my friends on kmy course said they couldn't work out how i managed it with all I had to do but to be honest it wasn't that hard to fit it all in because I wanted to.

If you want to do it go for it lifes to short to wait till the time is 'right'


FellatioNelson Mon 28-Mar-11 17:36:49

No freddy no. You have gone against the grain completely. It is a very bad idea. Very bad indeed. shock

deaconblue Mon 28-Mar-11 17:40:22

I think you are being ambitious. My PGCE year was the hardest year of my working life. I had over an hour's travel each way to all 3 placements and often worked into the small hours. Stress is high which isn't good for pregnancy and potentially you could have to work in a really tough school with horrid kids - also not good for pregnancy.

coorong Mon 28-Mar-11 17:46:28

A friend was doing 5th year medicine when she got pregnant, had the baby 4 weeks before her exams then bf during exams. Did her 6th year and then intern year. She got pretty much straight distinctions. I think her OH was working / studying too and she had hospitable stints and clinics throughout.

You can do these things, it depends on your support network. But having a baby is exhausting, and you've no idea how much until you have one.

Caz10 Mon 28-Mar-11 17:55:23

I think it would be extremely ambitious, and quite possibly a bit mental!! Noodle, sorry, it is nothing like the childhood studies course. The hours and workload others have mentioned is spot on, esp during placement, home from school 7ish (if you're lucky to be close to placement school) working till early hours, up again to be in school 8ish at is relentless. I am teaching atm, 32 weeks Pg, could not have done my pgce year like this!!

Caz10 Mon 28-Mar-11 17:56:34

Oh and yy to shoppingbags, you could easily be placed in a school where behaviour issues might put you physically in harm's way

noodle69 Mon 28-Mar-11 17:58:47

I wasnt comparing it with me doing a degree and working when pregnant as that was easy imo. I was comparing it to doing a degree with a 10 day old baby as I only took 10 days off maternity leave and was back at uni.

I dont think being pregnant is any different to not being pregnant in my experience. I felt exactly the same all the way through to the end as I would if I wasnt carrying a baby. Again though it depends on how you deal with pregnancy.

noodle69 Mon 28-Mar-11 18:07:52

I think doing something when you are pregnant is a good idea, but doing a degree with a 10 day old baby was hard! Thats why I think if you are going to do it, do it now.

I had to go in to my due date which was fine. Then gave birth, was off for half term doing essays. Then back straight in on the Monday like nothing had happened and straight back in to it. I was doing night feeds every couple of hours, up for uni, still had to go in to finish off my placements, doing essays when I got in and revising. I did it and got a decent grade but it was pretty hard. Thats why I would definitely do something when you are pregnant and you feel the same than when you have a little baby.

lurkerspeaks Mon 28-Mar-11 18:36:30

Having seen several people do PGCE / PGDE/ GTP I think you are totally mad.

The workload is massive and so is the workload during an NQT year.

Depending on where you are there also aren't very many jobs when you finish that.

Caz10 Mon 28-Mar-11 19:08:52

Noodle I take it back, it is you that is mental not the OP grin

I feel much healthier when I have given birth, but everyone is different.

LDNmummy Mon 28-Mar-11 19:21:16

Noodle that is great for you, but the majority of women do not have that kind of pregnancy. My close friend is three weeks ahead of me in pregnancy right now and has not had anywhere near as many changes to her physical, emotional and mental state as I have had. But the odd's on the OP having your kind of pregnancy are pretty slim. I am at uni at the moment and it is hard, almost ahd to interrupt this term but figured it would be better to extend my portfolio hand in date than return with a 3 month old baby.

LDNmummy Mon 28-Mar-11 19:23:03

Oh and giggles, we can lament together, I thought my DP's NQT year would be easier but according to the post's that will not be the case sad

Thank goodness I can take the year off to be a domestic goddess grin

On my PGCE as a 22 year old with not a responsibility in the world I was so tired that I used to get home at 4ish, mark and plan until 7 then go to bed till 7 in the morning. Pretty much without fail, all throughout the placements. And sometimes I was so knackered I went to bed at 6 (on one memorable occasion, in front of the TV during the Simpsons, which my boyfriend (long suffering but now DH) found still on at 11!). I honestly can't imagine having done it while pregnant - but then maybe as I went from a 5 hour a week (English grin) degree straight into it it was more of a shock and if I'd had a different job in between I'd have been used to working so hard? I don't was absolutely exhausting though, emotionally as well as physically and, surprisingly, intellectually. Mine was Secondary and I was amazed at how much I didn't know that I had to learn in order to teach the kids, that despite having a good degree. (I was the generation that was never taught grammar!)

On the bright side, your PGCE year is by far the hardest. In fact, despite more responsibility each year, it's got much easier each year too!

boredwithfoodprob Mon 28-Mar-11 19:44:10

I fell pregnant while doing my primary pgce. The pregnancy was planned but we naively didn't think we would conceive so quickly (first time!) I had to give up studying in the April (DC was born in August) as it was far too stressful and the workload was so much. I wouldn't have had time for NCT, yoga or to generally enjoy being pregnant. I went back and completed it when DC was 13 months old and my mum helped us pay for childcare but it was a struggle having to complete the course while having a 1 year old to care for. My DH had to do most of the care while I studied. It wasn't a great time! But i'm glad I did it. I'm a SAHM at the moment and expecting another baby now but I guess in hindsight it would have been more sensible to complete the course and get my NQT year out the way while I was child free but I don't regret it, i'll be a teacher one day! Good luck with whatever you decide smile

Lara2 Mon 28-Mar-11 19:51:36

You're completely mad if you do this PGCE especially in the last months of pregnancy. You are going to be so stressed and tired that you won't know where to put yourself - and that's without being pregnant!!!!

Just don't do it!!!!!

I fell pregnant during my PGCE year, and had 3 and 1 year old dc at home already. Uni was a 1.5 hour commute each way, lectures went on until 6pm, and placements were unbelievably demanding. The exhaustion was a killer. Quite literally, actually, as I ended up having a miscarriage, and couldn't even take the appropriate time off to recover physically, never mind mentally.

There is no pressure quite like having your EVERY MOVE scrutinised and commented on, I absolutely hated the PGCE! I'm teaching now, and love my job, it is so incredibly different from the PGCE I can't begin to explain.

meala Mon 28-Mar-11 20:02:16

I did my PGDE whilst pregnant with my first. It was absolutely fine, no problems at all (apart from the nausea at the stench coming from the boys toilets smile.

Things worked out much as you were planning it. I finished the PGDE in June and gave birth at start of August. It was amusing when (mostly male) teachers on placements didn't even realise that I was 7 months pregnant!!

It can be done if you're determined and organised and keep on top of coursework.

Newbabynewmum Mon 28-Mar-11 20:04:13

Someone's probably said this - but you have to do a certain amount of teaching quite soon after your PGCE year to get qualified teacher status. Id look into this as it might mean your maternity leave will have to be cut short.

Also, I might be wrong but I don't know how seriously you'll be taken on your PGCE and finding a job afterwards may prove difficult. I presume you wouldn't apply when pregnant so the year after there will be a fresh batch of NQT's to be faced with.

And not to go on but I was a cover teacher when pregnant and that was sheer hell, the thought of all the extra work and being pregnant, no way!

Saying all this I'm starting my secondary mathematics PGCE in september and my daughter will be 1 and I'm a lone parent. Luckily I have a massive support network around me and the university is great and understanding.

Good luck whatever you do x

golemmings Mon 28-Mar-11 20:10:26

At 14 weeks pregnant I'm finding watching my husband do his PGCE exhausting... He is working his socks off - to the point that he has moved into the spare room to save disturbing me when he crawls into bed in the early hours and gets up again at 5 to finish off...

He does however take Saturdays off and spends sat am with dd and we spend saturday pm as a family. It's a HUGE commitment. With a baby due 3 weeks into his NQT year I'm not expecting to feel human again for another year and a bit...

Personally I'm very much in the camp of you'd be mad to try it. However women can and do achieve utterly amazing things. My question could be whether you could do it without compromising your child, your health or you potential to be a good teacher. If you think you can, then go for it!

Ariesgirl Mon 28-Mar-11 20:14:35

I know nothing of pregnancy yet, but I do know that a PGCE was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It's unrelenting. Having morning sickness and being knackered through it, I just couldn't have coped with at all.

theluckiest Mon 28-Mar-11 20:15:38

I'm another supporter of the 'NO! don't do it!! Sheer madness...' I know it can be done, but why set yourself up for such a burden of stress and exhaustion?

Am currently doing my full-time primary PGCE with a nearly 4 year old and a 20 month yr old. It's very hard but I aim to be super organised. I really have to push myself to get work done though, particularly in the evenings. This is the only time I have to do assignments once kids are in bed. It's very tough to keep up the motivation sometimes.

I cannot imagine being PG at the same time. PG completely wiped me out in the first few months and I could barely keep my eyes open let alone do any work in the evenings.

I just about manage now thanks to a fabulous support network of DH and family. But I feel like I barely see the kids. And I can only work because my boys are in a great routine and will be in bed by 7.30pm. Having a very little baby when you start your NQT year would be tough - you might have a very demanding little one (aren't they all?!) and you mustn't underestimate just how shit you feel on no sleep.

I would echo previous posters - decide which one is your priority for now and focus on that. PGCE can wait until your baby is a bit could even look at doing it part-time? I would definitely advise enjoying your baby as much as you can....a PGCE would impact massively on that.

Also, I don't know but would you be eligible for any maternity leave at all if you've just finished studying? I doubt you would be eligible for statutory maternity leave (as you wouldn't have technically been 'employed') and I have a feeling you may not get Maternity Allowance (but don't quote me on that). Worth looking into though.

Good luck

etchasketch Mon 28-Mar-11 20:15:56


A PGCE was the hardest year of my life. I did not have children then and still don't know how I got through it. It was work all day and all night. During the day you were being assessed, teaching lessons, observing etc, and then at night you were planning and doing assignments.

I cannot even begin to imagine how I could have done it with children/being pregnant. One girl on my course got pregnant right at the start and left- couldn't cope. Don't blame her.

Then you have the NQT year.

Pressure upon pressure.

I have gone back to teaching after a break from it to raise a family. My dc are still young and I am feeling the 'NQT' style pressure all over again. It's getting a bit easier now but that has taken since September.

For example, i am writing schemes of work for 5 year groups every half term. Lesson plans on daily basis. I've just finished writing 80 reports for 2 year groups. I'll do 80 again next term - and we are not talking tick boxes here either.

On the plus side I am about to get Easter holidays with my dc next week.

Still like teaching but it is FULL ON.

BikeRunSki Mon 28-Mar-11 20:22:40

Have you ever been pregnant?

I am 9 weeks into my 2nd pg, and have had such severe all day sickness (hyperemisis) in both pgs that I have been in hospital and off work.

Having said that my mum took her Bar Finals 8 months pg with DC4.

tiptoptally Mon 28-Mar-11 20:24:32

DO NOT PLAN THIS!!! PGCE on its own is an absolute killer - and that comes from someone with an undergraduate degree, professional qualifications and used to an hour long commute through central London every day!!! My flatmate when doing the PGCE accidentally fell pregnant at the beginning of the course and even she (fit, healthy, extremely motivated) had to postpone her final placement and finish the course the next year. She found it very difficult to be on placement with morning sickness - the schools made her stay off for 48 hours after every bout of sickness, when she got more heavily pregnant she couldn't bend properly to see to the younger kids, she was constantly worried about picking up bugs from the kids....the list goes on.

Nice idea but utter madness!!

Ariesgirl Mon 28-Mar-11 20:25:33

Do you still want to do teacher training? grin

penguin73 Mon 28-Mar-11 20:32:20

I think the massive workload issue has been covered but the other thing that is hard is the massive emotional pressure - until you start you have no idea what your placement schools will be like or the support you will receive in school. Regardless of how lovely your school or how supportive your mentors it can be really hard coping with the frequent observations and feedback which will always include something that needs to be worked on/improved. Whilst this is meant to be constructive when you are already tired and stressed it can soon feel like very personal criticism - and that is without pregnancy hormones to contend with!

Ariesgirl Mon 28-Mar-11 20:43:41

Penguin yes, that's a massive issue. If you get a horrible teacher or tutor they can destroy your confidence. I remember lying on the bed weeping with despair at what Bitch Tutor had said to me - for some reason she took against me, and told me that no one in the school liked me and none of the students liked me and it boded very ill for my professional life etc. Seems funny now, and clearly and issue of hers, but at the time I was devastated (as she wanted me to be). The point is, you lay yourself bare on a PGCE and are completely vulnerable and you have to be in the best of health to cope with it.

knitonepernilleone Mon 28-Mar-11 20:59:54

sad Ariesgirl. I had a teacher hide the medium term plans from me because she didn't want a student teacher. She'd also suddenly announce 'there's been a change of plan' at the last minute and I had to teach something utterly different without any preparation at all.

Add a challenging class and I was a gibbering wreck. Contrast with my NQT year when I was in a school where I felt completely at home. You just never know what you'll get.

Ariesgirl Mon 28-Mar-11 21:07:33

These stories makes me bloody angry (sorry OP for drifting off the point, but I think you may have gauged general opinion by now!)

There are bad students and there are good students but all teachers were students once, and those which indulge in that sort of behaviour, knitone, are just out of order. My DP had a teacher who refused to speak to him at all. And he was in there five weeks! Luckily DP is a very resilient and confident person, but that sort of thing would have destroyed many a good student and promising teacher.

Oh and the NQT year is even harder than the PGCE grin

candleshoe Mon 28-Mar-11 22:30:39

I cannoy reiterate enough how much I think you should NOT DO THIS AT ALL - YOU ARE MAD TO EVEN THINK OF IT!

My PGCE was 80-90 hours a week!

candleshoe Mon 28-Mar-11 22:31:00


Catnao Mon 28-Mar-11 22:37:35

PGCE is really hard, and if you are lucky enough to get a job in this climate, NQT with a baby very hard too!

My partner and I both did PGCE when our son was three. It was REALLY hard, and we had lots of family support.

Think carefully (although, we are both happy and successful teachers 7 1/2 years on - maybe wait a couple of years?)

babylann Mon 28-Mar-11 22:40:15

I always thought I could handle university and pregnancy at the same time, but my mum talked me out of it. I'm really glad she did, as I got SPD and pre-eclampsia, and really couldn't cope with normal every day tasks all that well from about 5 months... They let me defer for a year instead, which was much better in the long run, as if I had gone as I intended to, I would have had a really disrupted first year and would have had to take a gap year from one February to the next one, which just wouldn't have been ideal.

Lots of people manage with pregnancy and studies or full time jobs though, there's just a chance you might get unlucky. And unless you've been pregnant before, there's no way of even guessing how your body might react to it.

oldbatteryhen Mon 28-Mar-11 23:29:05

I also found the pgce the toughest year of my life. It's a constant juggle of course work, planning for placements, delivering scrutinised lessons, evaluations, lectures, dissertations......

Saying that, my ds was 3 when I did mine, and had been in the same nursery for 2 years, so his life didn't really change much. His bedtime was fairly early, so I could work in the evenings.

The nqt year was gruelling and gruesome. I was with a bunch of very unhelpful and 'established' teachers who wouldn't even deign to show me where the paper was kept on my first day! The biggest problem was my lack of class management skills. Class management, I quickly found, was needed before the teaching could even begin.... these vital skills weren't given the necessary precedence on the course. (GTP students, I feel, are getting a far more realistic training and experience, as they do so much more class teaching.) So that first year was a massive learning curve and a bit of a confidence knock....... but I'm sure it made me a stronger person!! grin

I love the job now, 16 years down the line. It is still hard work, but the children keep me smiling though!

FellatioNelson Tue 29-Mar-11 11:33:02

Wow - some of you have had a really crap time doing this! My friend had really helpful supportive teachers at her placement. I can't imagine why they'd want to make it harder for you than it already is - mean cows!

candleshoe Tue 29-Mar-11 11:36:51

I was on anti-depressants during part of my PGCE as I was being bullied by my 'mentoring' class teacher! <still screwed up about it all emoticon>

abenstille Tue 29-Mar-11 12:28:36

I did a pgce and no way would i have got through it pregnant. Maybe do it poart time over 2 years?

I fell pregnant while on my PGCE, and no way would I recommend actually planning on being pregnant while doing a PGCE.

I was exhausted, I managed to finish the PGCE, but you cannot plan these things. You may be due in the summer (like I was) but what if your baby comes early?(my DS was premature, born at 30 weeks) sO i had to take time off, I had to finish my PGCE the next year with a baby (who I BF in the staffroom of my placement sachool at breaktime and lunchtime) and then I ended up not working as an NQT straight away as I wanted to be a sahm while DS was young. And when I started looking for work it was even harder as I'd had some years off.

Don't do it. ither start your family now, and do the PGCE in three or more years time, or do the PGCE, do the NQT year (if you're luky enough to find a job that is, they are few and far between these days) and then have a baby.

emptyshell Tue 29-Mar-11 12:50:03

PGCE year is brutal (I found NQT much much easier despite a bullying head). Not only the workload/planning and the like - but the shortages of placement schools often meaning pretty grotty commutes, and the other factor - the sheer barrage of germs hitting your immune system (which takes a while to develop the teacher immunity that means most old hands rarely get ill in term time.... but will spend every arsing half term horizontal coughing/puking/sneezing their guts up in bed).

Plus if you take a break before doing NQT induction (the induction clock starts ticking from the first day you work as a teacher - even if it's just a day's supply, so you're ok as long as you don't start) you're going to be up against the new batch of NQTs fresh off their PGCE with the latest shiny new training ideas and the like - and it might make things rougher for you to find a job (primary's pretty hard to get a decent post in at the moment). I'd wait and go through the full PGCE > NQT system in one go later on.

leeloo1 Tue 29-Mar-11 14:27:30

I had a friend who fell pregnant during the PGCE (Early Years) year - she was around 8 months when we graduated. She found the final placement hard work, but overall coped. The tutors and teachers were supportive, although she didn't get on with her placement partner which didn't help.

Perhaps it depends which Uni you go to and I also think it depends what you're used to but, whilst the PGCE was hugely enjoyable and challenging, I didn't find it that hard after working fulltime in a stressful career - there were many weeks in college where I had so much free time I didn't know what to do with myself and ended up doing things like typing up my lecture notes to feel 'busy'. But... I was used to working with computers (people who weren't found it much harder), used to studying (albeit I'd finished my MA 5 years earlier), used to working hard at a 'profession' (again some people straight from Uni who weren't used to being in a professional workplace really struggled - and 2 of them ended up failing and needing to re-do placements), and determined to do well so I was very organised (use colour coded timetables, lesson plans and organise your placement folders neatly - the teachers/tutors were bizarrely impressed).

Sorry that sounds like I'm full of myself, but I just think I was in the right place to do well in the PGCE and possibly could have coped with being pregnant as well, but only you know what place you're in and how much support you have?! I'd second that the NQT year was much, much harder than the PGCE (I was in an inner London school, whereas my teaching practices were more rural ones) and more stressful and I definitely couldn't have coped with being pregnant too - but you have 4 years to complete your NQT year after graduating (or you did when I qualified).

Also, I went into teaching partly because of the family friendly aspect, but decided not to go back to my job after my maternity leave. I'm now childminding and being a teacher is a real selling point, so my PGCE wasn't wasted and I do see myself going back into teaching in the future.

giggles123 Mon 04-Apr-11 22:29:55

Thank you all. I think I'll wait to get the course out of the way before getting pg.

Kitesurfgirl Thu 09-Jun-11 18:18:40

Don't do it. I've been pregnant for the whole of my final placement. I've had to drive 2 hours each way to the school (hence getting up at 5am) and I don't finish work til 10pm at night. This pcge course has been an absolute killer. Literally. I've just lost my baby at 4 months. Devastated doesn't even begin to cover how I feel. I'm blaming the school, the horrendous kids, the lack of sleep, lack of rest time and everything else you can think of. I can't believe I didn't put the health of my baby before the stress of my placement. I've only been given 2 weeks off to grieve, and now I have to go back and do ANOTHER 3-4 week placement to replace the final 2 weeks I've missed of my last placement (because they won't let me go back to my school because of where they now are in the timetable etc....says it won't show fluidity) . So I don't even get time to grieve before I have to jump through a load more hoops. I'm 37 and have worked in stressful jobs before coming into teaching. It's not so much that the work is hard, its the sheer volume of paperwork and constant justifying that wrecks any chance of a life you have. Prepare to put your LIFE and definitely social life on hold for an entire year. I would not recommend that ANYONE does a Pgce pregnant. I lost my baby. Isn't that enough proof? sad

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now