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desperate pgce student

(10 Posts)
larry5 Mon 28-Apr-14 23:15:20

My dd is doing a secondary maths pgce at the moment and her mentor at her placement is very unsupportive and criticises everything she does. She knows that she needs to improve but the final straw was that he stood and ranted at her for five minutes without her being able to reply. She taught two of his classes today and his reaction was that she was not making them all singing all dancing so they were not good enough.

She is working from 7am to 10 pm everyday and is absolutely exhausted.

My question is is this normal mentor treatment or is it bullying. Dd has wanted to teach forever and feedback from other teachers has been good. University are not being very supportive and her tutor is on jury service so cannot help at the moment.

Any ideas for how I can help her. Is it possible for her to repeat a placement else where next year?

antimatter Mon 28-Apr-14 23:22:47

I don't know if rules changed but if she fails and it is her fault she needs to pay fees and should be able to get placement at a different school. She must however inform her uni now that she is having those issues.
If she is lucky she may pass aĺl assesments but her placement. She may be transferred straight away. School she is at is getting paid for having her so they aren't doing her a favour.

Make her contact her course director tomorrow!

LizzieVereker Mon 28-Apr-14 23:35:10

It is certainly not OK for a mentor not rant for five minutes, and it is not normal practice. If she feels up to it, I would suggest she speaks to whomever oversees PGCE or Schools Direct placements in the school, and expresses her concerns about being treated poorly. It sounds unfair on your DD and any subsequent students to be subjected to this.

The mentor's opinion is not necessarily what will decide the final outcome of your DD's placement. What are her reports like from her Uni tutor, and how has she performed when being observed by other staff? If her mentor is the only person who is critical of her, then it will be fairly obvious that he is being unfair. Therefore there should be no need for her to repeat a placement. Presumably the final report on her PGCE will be due very soon, and if her other feedback has been good she should pass.

PGCE/NQT years are horribly tough, I do feel for her. Has she got a nice job lined up for her NQT year?

Nonie241419 Mon 28-Apr-14 23:46:45

It's not normal. I currently have a PGCE student who is struggling. They are getting lots of support and encouragement, as well as constructive (calmly and sympathetically given) criticism.

pgcestudent Tue 29-Apr-14 00:00:26

I was a pgce student last year. At the risk of outing myself, I left before the end after I broke my ankle and my mentor refused to acknowledge I was in pain, so I worked with a broken ankle for 5 weeks. One teacher raged at me for 15 mins + because I emailed her my lesson plans instead of printing them out (because she was too busy to print them out, apparently). That may well have been the case, but raging at someone is still unprofessional.

I was a career changer, so realised that this was not normal workplace behaviour and when the doctor confirmed my broken ankle, I limped out of the place and have never looked back.

Unfortunately, bullying in educational establishments is common and not just among students.

Sorry to hear your dd is having a hard time. Unless she is at risk of failing the year, I'd say stick it out, get the qualification and move on to a nicer school.

larry5 Tue 29-Apr-14 07:42:00

Thanks for your replies. Dd is not going in this morning as she needs to go to the doctor but I will talk to her about your replies .she does not have a job yet and that is partly down to her mentor.

13Stitches Tue 29-Apr-14 08:05:48

That doesn't sound right, no. But I'm not surprised, unfortunately.

I would suggest she speaks to her uni/coordinator to see if she can change placements. DH did his PGCE last year and the difference in placements was nearly the difference between completing the course or not.

It can have absolutely no bearing on whether she's a 'good' teacher. A good, supportive school/department will bring out the best in people.

Please encourage her to see if she can move sooner rather than later.

TheLateMrsLizCromwell Tue 29-Apr-14 17:51:41

Completely agree that this is not rare, but is unacceptable. I was also a career changer and did not accept the crazy lack of professionalism and insisted on being moved to a placement in a school that took mentoring seriously. The university does not like doing this, because they struggle to get placements, but it is important that they are told, and in writing, so if they fail to do anything about it, she can appeal to a tribunal who will make them act.

gleegeek Tue 29-Apr-14 18:06:44

I had a similar situation on my final placement - class teacher did not want a PGCE student and hadn't been asked, so she took it out on me and wouldn't relinquish control of her class to me. Fortunately my course director recognised this and chose to ignore her feedback...

It's such a tough couple of years, and a poor match can make or break a teaching career. I agree your daughter needs to complain in writing immediately so it is in her record if necessary.

toomuchicecream Tue 29-Apr-14 20:19:43

Stories like this make me very angry. It's completely counter productive to treat someone like that. Definitely speak to the uni ASAP.

I had a BEd final placement student who was due to finish next week. Unfortunately, despite receiving huge amounts of support and encouragement she really struggled with lesson planning ie she didn't do it. So she went to the uni with a sob story and they've let her defer the placement. So get your daughter to speak to uni first thing tomorrow.

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