I know there's quite a lot of old threads from brave mums who have balanced home life with the demands of a full time pgce but I wondered if anyone is currently doing, about to do, or have recently completed a pgce and remained sane ( kept their children fed etc and not gone potty).
I'm very excited that I have passed my QTS tests and been accepted onto a primary pgce with science at greenwhich university starting this September. I am a single parent, I can't afford to run a car so don't have one, and I have two children (10 and 3). I don't have a support network around me but I have arranged for my youngest daughter to go to nursery full time (8-6) and my daughter will attend the breakfast and after school. Club (8-5:45),
When I asked on the student forum website about time tabling and placements I got a very frosty reception and was told I would have to be on placement for 8 and not leave till 6/7 - which is quite impossible as I can't drop off till 8 so the easiest I could arrive is 8:30 bearing in mind I'm on public transport too.
Are you really expected to be there for these hours or is there some consideration for single parents?
I've worked my butt off to get onto this programme and I'm sure as hell going to give it my all - just looking for some tips and reassurance xxxx
Did my pgce years ago pre-kids so can't give exact comparison but as a teacher I'd say the frosty reception about hours was a bit OTT, particularly in regard to staying until 6/7pm. However, it depends on the school. TBH I'd say arriving at 8.30 is cutting it fine to prep lessons etc for the morning but it depends on the school timings. At my school the children arrive at 8.30 but in a previous school it was 9.05. In my experience teachers fall into two camps - the 'early arrivers' who get everything done/prepped in the morning and the 'late leavers' who do it after school. As a pgce student you are likely to need to be both on occasion! And work in the evenings too. Also bear in mind you may be expected to attend a school staff meeting once a week after school (1hr or so) and possibly a briefing in the morning before lessons. It is tough! (just trying to be realistic) but you can and will do it. Good luck!
I did my PGCE at greenwich too. I want to say that during the course I thought they were rubbish and disorganised, but now I have started teaching I have found that their methods were great and I am flourishing! They make you do loads of reflective writing that seems useless but now my current school praise me on how reflective I am. They make you independent and if you can't fend for yourself at greenwich you struggle, which is how teaching is!
I did my PGCE last year when ds was 13 months. My (much older) cousin who is a head science pointed out that if you do it when they are tiny they don't remember and then it is done.
I found it hard, but found that I was much more efficient than my free and single colleagues who spent 24 hours a day doing pgce stuff. When you have a kid you cannot work while you are looking after them end of. They whinge and then climb on your head, scribble on your important documents and stress you out.
I was lucky that I had family to support me through it and provide childcare (which I could not have afforded while training). I now spend all my wages on nursery!
On placement I dropped ds at MIL at 6:50 and scarpered when school ended, picked him out, did his evening routine then stayed up till 1:00am doing my school work. Now I am an NQT I leave school at 5:00. It varies school to school, but as a PGCE student they will not fret about your childcare. When you get an NQT job make sure its in a school that will understand you leaving "early".
It is knackering but I love teaching. I am now doing my NQT year and next year going down to 4 days (ds's 15 hours free nursery will kick in so I can keep him nursery when its my "day off" to get the work done and have the weekend with him)
I would say that with children you need a lot of support to do a pgce, and people need to accept that you will take take take and have no time to give. I found it hard enough with a DH and two willing grannies to help me.
Looking at your nursery times it is possible, but arrange an appointment with the course leader specifying your needs when it comes to placements. It really depends where you live. I would chat to them personally, I found both the university and school understanding.
Thanks everyone - I'm trying to look into a child minder too in case I'm needed longer - I'm hoping to get a local placement - I live in Bromley and I'm told greenwhich do have links to Bromley, beckenham penge and Anerley schools which would be great.
I do worry about money though - my rent is £1000 a month and childcare will be about 275 a week - gulp - deep breaths and positive thoughts
Fingers crossed I can do this
Another question - when not on placement what sort of hours do you do at university