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Should I do a PGCE? Advice please!

(6 Posts)
blindmelon Thu 12-May-11 15:17:48

I'm thinking about doing a Primary PGCE - in fact, I've been thinking about it for about 3 years!

When DD1 was 7 months I decided to apply, did 2 weeks observation in a primary school, and I was offered a place to do Primary with Spanish. However once I worked out the childcare costs it was just unaffordable, and it seemed too much of a risk to quit a reasonably well paid job to do it, so I ended up going back to my old job.

Now I am a SAHM to 2 DDs, age 3 and 10 months. I'm thinking about applying to start in 2012 - my local uni offers a flexible PGCE that can be done over 2 years and is mainly distance learning (apart from the school placements). DD1 will be in school by then and DD2 will be in preschool. I think I want to do it but I just can't make up my mind.

I love being with young kids, and I think I actually now want to do lower primary, to be with the really little ones. I think I have a good rapport with kids, yesterday I was reading with DD2 in the park while DD1 was playing and ended up reading to a group of 4 other kids who all stopped playing to come and listen! But I am quite freaked out by the thought of dealing with bad behaviour - I think I am enough of a pushover already when it comes to DD1. Is that something you learn on the job, do you think? I am also pretty rubbish at public speaking and used to be absolutely crapping myself in my old job if I ever had to do a presentation. Again, do you think that is something that comes with time? Although looking back, when I did the 2 weeks classroom experience last time the teacher got me to do bits and pieces in front of the class or with groups of kids and I didn't feel nervous then.

If you are doing a PGCE now did you have similar nerves before applying? And are you glad you did it?

pozzled Thu 12-May-11 15:36:35

I've been teaching for almost 8 years now, and when I first stated I did get nervous about standing in front of a class. At first I had to have everything planned to the last detail, so I knew exactly what I wanted to say, what order it all went in etc. Now I can walk into a classroom without a plan (I sometimes have to stand in for colleagues at a moment's notice) and it doesn't bother me. I can even stand in front of 300 children and demonstrate how to sing a verse of a song, and my voice is rubbish!

So, yes, it does get a lot easier with time. But of course you will need to be prepared to get stuck straight in, and the more confident you can be at the start (or at least appear) the easier it will be. Same thing with the behaviour, you will develop more of a teacher 'presence' with experience, but you will need to be ready to implement the rules from Day 1 in the class.

Can you try to get some experience over the next year- not necessarily in a classroom, something like Brownies or Beavers would help as you get used to getting the attention of a group, leading games and setting behaviour expectations etc. That would also help in your application if you do decide to go ahead.

Good luck!

blindmelon Fri 13-May-11 10:37:15

Thanks for the advice! Good to hear it gets easier with time.

I think I definitely need to get some more experience before applying in September, as it's been over 2 years since I did the 2 weeks observation. Brownies or Beavers is a good idea, the main problem is DH gets home late and also I'm still BF DD2 at the moment, but perhaps I could find something in September. I think my next step might be to get DH to take a day off so I can go and spend a day in a local primary school to get a feel for it.

ChunkyMonkeyMother Tue 24-May-11 06:51:17

This has been very helpful, I seem to find myself in a similar situation! I'm in my second year of an English degree and definitely want to become a teacher but it just seems so far away that I wonder sometimes if its all worth it, my DH supports me and our DS and I feel like it may be unfair to ask him to do this for another year while I get my NQT - I have heard of different routes into teaching which sound interesting but extremely competitive but they would mean I could work at the same time as gaining my qualification - I have yet to speak to somebody that has been down one of these routes and completed the course confused - especially with a DS ha ha Good luck in your choice! I know mine is going to take a long time to decide!

SineadMc Mon 06-Jun-11 21:44:12

Hi I would think about doing something like this myself when I've finished my degree. Do you know what type of financial support would be available for you doing this part time?
I think you would regret not doing it and always be thinking what if, at least give it a try. I can imagine the really little ones will be easier to handle discipline wise, its secondary school teaching I would hate! DP teaches History for 11-18 year olds and they back chat all the time, think I would run out crying lol.
Good luck smile

overthemill Wed 08-Jun-11 11:36:41

do it! it is such a good job and so flexible with kids and you obv want to do t. i had a friend who applied for a job turned it into a gtp position somehow (music) and told them 3 months later she was preg. they weren't best pleased but it all worked out fine. she as a sp too and she managed it with very little help and very little money.

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