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PGCE courses

(38 Posts)
PhDMumof1 Thu 12-May-05 16:23:29

OK, I'm back, and plse tell me I'm not mad ... I have applied to do a PGCE course. Anyone done one / what's it like juggling with a tiny one (or maybe 2) little people??

Ameriscot2005 Thu 12-May-05 16:27:53

I did my PGCE with two little ones - a 1 year old and a 3 year old. I had been previously working so was used to the childminder routine.

The course and school placements all took place within the normal workday, so there was nothing unusual to arrange with the childminder.

TBH, it's easier to do it before they are into the school routine when there are no visits to their school to tempt you.

mancmum Thu 12-May-05 16:28:44

my DH is a SAHD with our 2 kids and is doing a PGCE.... he would say it is HARD HARD work... he is doing a distance course so it is taking him 18 months and it is hard to motivate yourself to study at end of day when kids are in bed(and I am lounging on sofa with large G+T!!)

however, I know primary(what he is doing) is a lot more labourious than secondary ...

PhDMumof1 Thu 12-May-05 16:32:29

Ameriscot - good points re school routine
Mancmum - I am hoping to do a f-t course. More full on but at least will have excuse to spend grant on childcare / cleaner etc and not try to juggle too much housework.

DOn't mind juggling childcare (love spending time with DS), just want a job that is more child-friendly!!

Hope to work p-t once completed

happymerryberries Thu 12-May-05 16:33:09

Did one myself not that long ago in secondary science. Took 2 years. It was very hard work and time consuming. Dh was often away on long term detatchments and I had no family support in any way.

Hard work but very satisfying. If you are thinking about secondary take some time to looks at how schools run now. It came as quite a shock to me!

Ameriscot2005 Thu 12-May-05 16:57:13

The PGCE that I did took one academic year. It started at the end of September and finished at the end of June, with the usual school holidays in between.

I found it a lot easier than the job I had been doing; the only bit that was harder was having to do a lot of reading over the Christmas holidays of <yawn> educational research, sociology books etc.

I had time during the course to do lesson planning as I taught a maximum 50% timetable.

PhDMumof1 Fri 13-May-05 10:41:43

Ameriscot - if that is normal practice it sounds great. I might get my place, then negotiate a postponement so that I can do all my lesson prep while being a SAHM ... I have access to good libraries, etc, so maybe some observations etc as happymeryyberries suggested would work.

BTW, are any of you teaching now?

Ameriscot2005 Fri 13-May-05 10:51:43

I did my PGCE at Reading University. Not sure what the others are like - I chose that one because it was the easiest to get to.

I'm not sure I understand about a postponement and preparing lessons outside of the course. In the course, you are given different tasks to do and different areas to focus on each week, and then to reflect on them with your tutors, teachers and other students. You use your experience of lessons in the planning of the next ones, so you can't do a lot ahead of the actual lessons. Also, you won't know what the school wants you to do until you are there.

PhDMumof1 Fri 13-May-05 11:18:35

Good point Ameriscot - you are the voice of reason here.

Just scared of startign something new in Sept when have just half killed myself finishing PhD!

Ameriscot2005 Fri 13-May-05 11:23:36

What subject are you hoping to teach, PhD mum?

happymerryberries Fri 13-May-05 11:53:31

I am in teaching. Off work and typing from my bed at the moment, as i cannot move my neck and am in a great deal of pain! Dh has set up the lap top for me. I'm Mning in between planning next terms sixth form lessons.

One thhong that they will be looking for you to show is that you have integrated your reading/lecture/discussions with mentors into your lesson plans.

Your school will give you a range of classes to teach and will give you a list of the sujects you will have to cover. There should be a scheme of work that will help you, but not always! My first placement had nothing!

You will not be expected to teach a 50% timrtable first time in. In fact , most courses will encourage you to teach parts of lessons , say an intro or plenary and then build to teaching a full lesson. you will also get the chance to team teach which can be very helpful. What are you looking at teaching?

happymerryberries Fri 13-May-05 11:54:34

Oh and I did my PGCE with a 2 year old and a 5 year old

PhDMumof1 Fri 13-May-05 12:10:25

ModLangs. Just done a PhD in Italian, so would be French & Italian. Looking to do it here in Cambridge, they still have vacancies on the MOdLangs PGCE for a Sept '05 start.

Hadn't planned to do it this quickly but hey pourquoi pas? prob easier with one 2 yr old, than 1 school age and 1 pre-school, for example!!

happymerryberries Fri 13-May-05 12:27:48

If you don't want to start in sept look at the OU PGCE. They have 3 start times through the year. You do all the book work in your own time, school placements have to be full time. But it does make it easier with little if they are ill and you have a lecture etc.

They run MFL PCSE courses and I know people who have done them in the cambridge area

Don't worry about schools not taking OU PGCEs seriously, I was employed before I finised mine!

PhDMumof1 Fri 13-May-05 12:31:20

good idea
so you still get the funding?
advantage of staying with cambridge is tht i could pick up extra bursaries etc

happymerryberries Fri 13-May-05 12:40:54

Yes, you get all the grants and benefits that you would get in an 'ordinary' PGCE.

£6000 training grant, half paid at the start half at the end. You are also intitled to all ,means tested benefits, but I didn't get any so I can't give you the detail on this. You also get the golden 'hello' when you start to teach if your subject is one of the ones that are in short supply (don't know if MFL is).

Benefits to you is that you don't have to go to collage every day, you can do your reading work when the kids go to bed/weekends, and I guess that you are good at doing that at the end of a PhD . For example I once did most of my part three reading in a week when dh took our kids to visit his cost implications. You get your own tutor who you can contact by e-mail/telephone. There are chat sites where you can discuss probelms with fellow students. There are day schools on weekends but these are not compulsory.

Down side is that you are not in collage and it can be quite solitory, but I expect that you are used to that following the PhD.

I can give you more info on the course if you like. Oh and you can get exeptins from part of it if you have relevant experience of teaching.

Ellbell Fri 13-May-05 12:52:54

Hi again PhDmum
Shouldn't be here really. Up to here [wild gesticulation over the head emoticon] with marking and have been doing oral exams all week! However, just to say that you should also look into the Graduate Teacher Programme. My dh nearly did this a few years back, and was offered a place by a local primary school. Basically you work in a school with 'time out' for more structured 'lessons' which I think are taken with people doing a PGCE by the 'normal' route. The scheme is designed specifically for people like you and my dh, who are well qualified (he was looking into doing this after his PhD too) and more mature. My dh did some supply teaching after his PhD and he found this a really useful way of getting contacts in local schools (funnily enough, we were in Reading then too, Ameriscot).

Anyway, good luck with it all. Any news on your viva, btw?


PS Hope your ds had a good birthday. My dd's party was Sunday and it was manic, but lovely at the same time!

happymerryberries Fri 13-May-05 13:02:26

Only possible down side with the GTP route is that you only get QTS at the end, and not the PGCE and QTS. It isn't supposed to make a difference to schools. But I know of some that can be a bit sniffy about the thing. Wrongly in my opinion, but worth taking into account.

Plus side is that you do get more money , £10,000 a year I think?

PhDMumof1 Fri 13-May-05 13:03:23

Hi ElBell - yes, ahem, I am more "mature" .

I am sure you need a break from all that marking too ...

Will look into GTP as you suggest.

As for cost implications, from what Happymerryberry says, I may not get funding either - I assume they take DH salary into account? If I don't get funding then will look at OU / GTP route.

Did any of you get funding? What is the salary threshold?

PhDMumof1 Fri 13-May-05 13:05:08

HMBerries - good point. If possible to admit to such a heresy, I would like to stick to independent sector on qualification. Cos I'm lazy like that.

Elbel - DS had great birthday, he got loads of presents and we had lots of our friends round and drank wine all afternoon!!!

Ellbell Fri 13-May-05 13:05:42

We didn't follow it up beyond the original 'thinking about it' stage, because in the end my dh decided that he was too much of a b*stard to be a primary teacher so he went and found a career with more possibilities for being nasty to people . Also, he was interested in primary, which may be different from secondary (and they were desperate for men in primary schools). Also, there's no way my dh would have done ANY more studying EVER after his PhD. You clearly have greater stamina PhDmum!

PhDMumof1 Fri 13-May-05 13:06:28

Oh and viva is 6 July, allowing me ample time to join my cousin in Tuscany for that 2 wk break she invited me and DS on .... poor DH will be left at home slaving over his GMAT (we are suckers for punishment, us 2 ...).

PhDMumof1 Fri 13-May-05 13:07:43

haha Elbel - I have included stamina in my list o personal qualities on my applicatoin - I kid you not!!! altho I might actually have nap this afternoon because all this m'netting is sooo exhausintg

Ellbell Fri 13-May-05 13:08:34

Dh is 40 PhDmum (and I can laugh, cos I'm not quite there yet!). I meant 'not someone straight out of an undergraduate degree at the age of 22'!!!!! Honest!

PhDMumof1 Fri 13-May-05 13:08:52

I am off now to make some phone calls re courses etc

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