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Starting teacher training Sept 2013

(22 Posts)
MercuryRising Mon 26-Aug-13 10:04:22

Hi. Im starting a SCITT course next week and wondered if anybody else was starting teacher training and fancied sharing the highs and lows?

I have one ds7 and one dd5 and next week will be the first time either of them have been in childcare so it is going to be a period of adjustment for us all. Im excited about starting the course but also a little apprehensive about how we will all adjust and cope with the changes it will inevitably mean at home.

RegainingUnconsciousness Mon 26-Aug-13 10:10:11

You'll be so busy you won't even be able to think about it till at least Easter!

Welcome aboard! Good luck!

MercuryRising Mon 26-Aug-13 10:22:03

Thank you for the welcome Regaining

You are probably right. I have worked p/t for the last 7 years so I am expecting a massive culture shock!

If anybody has any tips on how to juggle the house, dcs and studying I would be very grateful.

jamster66 Mon 26-Aug-13 10:37:07

I'm starting secondary PGCE and I'm absolutely dreading it! I was excited initially but everything I'm reading online is giving me mahoosive wobbles. I'm a single parent but DD is quite independant (6th form) so I'm lucky there. I'm aiming to stay at school as late as possible weekdays to get as much done as possible there. But will ALL my weekends be filled with work too? And what about half term etc? Not scared of hard work - I've worked and been a single parent since DD was born, including time as an unqualified teacher full time, but it's the mountains of paperwork to get through outside of the classroom that is stressing me out before I've even started. Feel like running away at the minute which isn't good hmm

Redlocks30 Mon 26-Aug-13 10:41:26

I did my PGCE fifteen years ago with no children and was so tired I regularly wanted to weep-I'm in awe of anyone doing it with kids! Get v organised with meal planning and rotas for jobs in the house. Do lesson evaluations and marking at the end of each day before you forget what happened (and have to make them up!)

I am dreading going back to work next week sad

Auntfini Mon 26-Aug-13 10:50:31

Don't read articles online about how hard it is. I was crapping myself before mine as I had so many people telling me how hard/bad etc it would be. Don't stress out thinking about it. Just focus.
Enjoy time in Uni and don't do more work than you have to. When on placement, make sure you take advice and work on it. Don't plan lessons that have loads of prep when the activity will last about ten mins. Do not try to reinvent the wheel- focus on what the children are learning. And how to get them to progress.
Enjoy your free time and use time wisely. Don't waste time at school in frees, work work work. Work in evenings after kids are in bed. Give yourself time of no work and don't compare yourself or amount of time spent planning to your coursemates.

On my pgce, a single mum friend of mine with no family nearby had 2 week long holidays in half terms. I had 3 weekends abroad. I'm saying this because there is space to have a life. Do not do work that is unnecessary and do not say yes to everything!


MercuryRising Mon 26-Aug-13 10:56:15

Jamster what subject will you be teaching? Im trying to avoid reading too much online at the moment as it all sounds very overwhelming. I have a few friends who teach both primary and secondary and they have all assured me it is manageable as long as Im organised hmm so for the moment Im hanging on to this thought.

Your dd is lucky to have you as a role model.

Redlocks I am expecting a few mini breakdowns. Luckily dp is supportive and can generally help me to see the bigger picture when I start to panic, although I don't think he realises how much more intense the course will be than my undergrad degree. I have explained to the dcs that they will each have a chore to do in the morning so the house is tidier when we return in the evenings.

Am I being naive to hope that I can have one day at the weekend to spend just doing family stuff?

jamster66 Mon 26-Aug-13 11:06:08

Computer Science. Whole subject is in a state of flux at the minute so not sure what I'll be facing in school! Haven't programmed in AGES so am having a wibble about that too although I'm pretty sure they won't let me loose on a 6th form class straight away smile. You posted this morning just as I was googling "PGCE workload" and finding blogs entitled "donotteach". shock So I'm staying away from google and getting stuck in to sorting out the house, some work space, back to school supplies etc before it starts. Teacher pals have told me to just enjoy the summer etc but I've spent the last couple of weeks getting stressed so need to calm down! I've bought a pair of comfy shoes (Fly London wedges - sooo comfy) so I'm kidding myself I'm getting prepared....

Auntfini Mon 26-Aug-13 11:58:02

That is getting prepared! Definitely need some very comfy shoes

RegainingUnconsciousness Mon 26-Aug-13 12:05:24

It is hard. DH has just done his, we have a 2yo. I did mine back when we were young and free!

I find it best to be home as early as possible (after detentions, clubs, meetings, whatever other faff), pick DS up from cm as close to 5pm as possible, have tea and get him in bed for 7ish. Do the lunches & bags for the morning, then work till 11ish.

Weekends are DS time, although I'll sometimes do a bit of work while he's watching beebies, and evenings again (although depending on how the weeks gone, I'll give myself either Friday or Sunday off).

Mornings are manic. It's a finely tuned duet with taking turns in the shower and getting DS through his twelve breakfasts before dropping him off at the cm for 7:30.

If management appear to be in any doubt about my work as I nip past their offices at 3:20 (sometimes, 4:30 most times) I make sure I reply to emails, etc when I'm still working at 10pm+!

In my experience, the training year is the hardest. You're planning for other people, whereas your NQT you're planning for yourself. It gets easier after that (but you end up volunteering for more!)

jamster66 Mon 26-Aug-13 12:12:34

Thanks Auntfini - so reassuring to hear positive stories about having a life while you're training. I would like to make the most of my holiday time with DD before she flies the nest next September <sob> I'm lucky that my mum and her partner live within walking distance and they're both very fit and active (and retired smile)and dote on DD. MercuryRising, have you thought about getting a cleaner? I had one when I was teaching full time as DD was around the age of your DCs and I was too pushed for time (and tired) to deal with the house on top of everything else. Seriously, it was the best money I've ever spent!

PurpleGirly Mon 26-Aug-13 12:12:59

I am a teacher and mentor PGCE students in my department. My tips would be to
1. plan your time and stick to it - build in free time. Keep a day at the weekend for family
2. Listen to advice about lesson planning
3. Try not to just use 'Internet' lessons - sometimes it is good to try and reinvent the wheel, too many trainees today turn up with reams of Internet copied resources that they have not adapted - use them as a base only
4. Ask for help if you are struggling
5. Attend all meetings that you have been asked to (our last few trainees seem to think these are optional)
6. Try and get involved in extra curricular stuff
7. Be friendly but not over familiar with staff (last trainee told us everything we didn't need to know on her first day and never stopped)
8. You are a teacher to the kids not a friend.
9. Remember it will be hard work but it is all worth it - teaching is the best and worst job in the world, I for one am looking forward to my new year starting with new classes and new challenges. I have been teaching 16 years and am still enthusiastic!
10. Don't panic!

Am sure some of these are obvious! You will make good friends on your course, you will work hard, you will probably question your decision at some point - keep going, keep smiling and remember what made you make the decision in the first place

mrspaddy Mon 26-Aug-13 12:17:40

My advice ... Get some pharmaton or good multivitamin into you. Will really help with tiredness.

Also 'find' and 'replace' is a lifesaver when adapting lessons for form groups etc. the PGCE is so much easier than not year. Try not to worry.
Best of luck.

mrspaddy Mon 26-Aug-13 12:19:58

Than NQT

MercuryRising Tue 27-Aug-13 08:16:17

I had not heard of Pharmaton Mrspaddy but having looked it up online I will be off to get some today. One of the TAs I worked with in one of the schools I volunteered in also advised me to start taking vitamins.

Thank you for your advice Purplegirly it all makes sense.

Jamster my mil has offered to do some ironing for us so that will help. Im going to see how we cope with the house until Christmas and then maybe consider a cleaner. Luckily our house isn't very big so it can be cleaned and tidied quickly!

bibbetybobbityboo Tue 27-Aug-13 08:41:11

I just did my primary PGCE with a 2-3 yo dd. yes it's hard work but it is totally doable. Don't worry you'll be fine and don't listen to all the scaremongering. The thing you need to remember is you can't do it all and it can't be outstanding all of the time. Most of the time you just need to concentrate on surviving. My top tips would be go out of your way to build up a good relationship with your mentors, whatever you might really think of them. Don't try to change everything on a placement even if its not the best example of teaching practice. Tweak what you can to make the best of it but don't waste your time and energy trying to fix the unix able in such a short space of time. Always think about the fall out from the lessons you plan in terms of resources, prep, tidying away and marking. Get the children to do as much of this as poss but minimise as much as you can. And probably most importantly of all for this year - good enough is good enough. You can worry about becoming that outstanding teacher when you have a job. I worked most evenings and weekends after dd was in bed but never worked later than about 11pm and usually more like 10. Enjoy it!

Apileofballyhoo Tue 27-Aug-13 08:46:28

Make a space in your house where you can study, if you haven't done that already! Get yourself a huge calender and write all your college dates on it, when assignments are due, that kind of thing. And stay on top of the work - whatever you do don't leave assignments to the last minute. I'm doing teacher training and finding it so much more intense than my primary degree, so after a terrible last minute scramble for the last assigment I'm determined to do all the reading and note taking as I go along from now on!

MercuryRising Tue 27-Aug-13 09:05:35

Thank you for posting Bibbety it is reassuring to hear your positive experience. Did you work during the day at weekends or just in the evenings?

Dp set a desk up for me in the conservatory yesterday Apileofballyhoo so I plan to spend today sorting out my work space. I did my undergrad prior to having dcs and thrived on the pressure of working to a deadline. But I know this time round I am going to have to make sure I get assignments and reading done in advance of deadlines. Are you enjoying the course and finding the workload manageable?

rosy71 Tue 27-Aug-13 09:20:15

Dp has just qualified as a teacher and last year was extremely stressful! I also teach full time and we have ds1 (8) and ds2 (5). You need to be really organised. Keep one day at the weekend free from work and try not to work all holidays. Try to get away for a few days so you're totally removed from your everyday situation and can switch off. Don't worry about housework: our house has been a total tip all year! Let the kids have school dinners so you don't need to worry too much about packed lunches and cooking.

Good luck!

bibbetybobbityboo Tue 27-Aug-13 10:53:44

Sometimes worked during the day too. There are busier and quieter times so when I was doing the placement and completing my research project and trying to keep on top of other written tasks I would work probably a full day and an evening at the weekend but it certainly wasn't always like that. More often than. Not i grabbed half an hour to do a bit here and there while dd was playing by herself or having a snooze and then did a bit on sat evening while I was watching tv and set aside Sunday evening to make sure I was prepared for the week ahead. Also some will say make sure you have a quiet space to work but I didn't do that, I had space to store my work but mostly worked infront of the tv on the sofa or the living room floor which meant I could still chat to DH while I worked and could still chip in while he was playing with dd on days I was working. I preferred that, I didn't feel as cut off from the rest of the family. It's whatever works for you though really, not everyone can work like that and I did also have quiet days in the library when I needed to.

bibbetybobbityboo Tue 27-Aug-13 10:56:28

I should probably also say my house was a complete tip for a year! You can only do so much and I prioritised urgent health threatening housework and spending time with the family and a bit of quiet time when I got the chance.

jamster66 Tue 27-Aug-13 11:27:08

This thread is making me feel soooo much better. smile Thank you

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