Advanced search

Starting teacher training...panic!

(21 Posts)
catquestioner Mon 23-Jun-14 17:57:25


I was wondering if anyone would mind giving me some advice. I'm due to start school direct teacher training in September and am having a bit of a panic about whether I'm going to be able to manage it.

I am a single parent of one DC and have only ever worked p/t since having him. I currently work in school so am not unrealistic about the workload...hence the panic. I have a fantastic mum who will do the school drop off/pick up...thank goodness.

I'm not the most organised person in the world. Any tips for being more organised?

The other thing is I pick up every bug going so never manage more than a month or so feeling well. This isn't so much of a problem at the moment due to being p/t...but need to be well next year. Any tips?


fuckweasel Mon 23-Jun-14 18:11:45

File EVERYTHING you need for evidence (e.g. lesson observations) straight away. Keep electronic resources etc filed neatly on laptop or whatever by class or topic.

Don't reinvent the wheel; use ready made resources and tweak them to your requirements. TES is a good place to look.

Take echinacea to boost your immune system and keep hands clean religiously!

Decide on a cut off time to work until, you could work 24 hours a day and still never get it all done. I have always kept one day a week work free, usually Saturday even it it meant working super hard on Sunday. You need a mental break. Good luck.

Justtoobad Mon 23-Jun-14 21:14:12

As above.
And be confident, in front of teachers and the students.

catquestioner Mon 23-Jun-14 22:32:51

Thank you for your replies. I'm
kind of relived no one said 'don't do it' as the majority of stuff I've read makes it sound near impossible.

I think being organised is going to be my biggest challenge! confused

Justtoobad Tue 24-Jun-14 17:03:48

Are you doing primary or secondary - sorry if I've missed you saying.

catquestioner Wed 25-Jun-14 07:23:02

Primary. Just the small matter of passing my skills tests in the next couple of weeks! confused

rollonthesummer Wed 25-Jun-14 21:33:46

I'm in at 7.30am and leave school at 6pm-this is pretty standard in my primary. Is your mum fine with having your DS these sort of hours ever day? If not-get childcare sorted earlier rather than later.

Meal plan-bulk cook at weekends. I have 3 DC and they are desperate for dinner the minute I get in- food that can eg done quickly is good! Clean/do washing little and often.

Get several usb sticks and keep duplicates of everything.

Don't do it ;)

roaringwater Tue 01-Jul-14 19:36:00

I've just finished School Direct. Here are my top tips:

Make friends with the other students in your cluster. Join up on an FB group or something similar because when it's tough (which at times it will be) you'll really value having other people who don't teach in your school but know what you're doing.

Don't be tempted to book lots of lovely things to do in your holidays - you will need some time to just regroup a bit. I spent all of October half term in a gite in France frantically working!

File everything all year so you don't have a complete nightmare when it comes to the week before file submission. When you come in from work, mark a thousand books, plan and resource the next day's lessons and then have to do your filing, it seems like a chore. Trust me, it is time well spent (I didn't do this. Can you tell?)

Don't be afraid to assert yourself, question and challenge. The university will determine a whole range of planning proforma, umpteen forms to complete and various records they expect you to keep. These may or may not fit with the way in which your school works. If they don't, be prepared to negotiate on whether or not you really need to do them. My tutor signed me off onto just using school planning after the February half term. If you don't ask, you won't get.

Be prepared to make mistakes, struggle and then get your second wind. When I was putting together my evidence file, I was amazed at how much I improved over the course of a year.

It's an incredibly tough year but worth doing - and it does pass very quickly!

zingally Sat 05-Jul-14 14:54:50

- Keep up to date with filling.
- Be militant with hand-washing, particularly with primary age kids. And avoid touching your face as much as possible.
- Keep a stash of tissues/strepsils/painkillers at school.
- Buy the nicest stationery/folders etc you can afford. You are much more likely to remember to record important dates promptly if your diary is gorgeous. smile

catquestioner Sat 05-Jul-14 21:45:48

Thank you so much for your replies.
Passed my skills test last week so it looks like it's really going to happen.

Any other organisational tip would be greatly received. The ones already mentioned sound great...thank you.

rockpink Mon 07-Jul-14 21:50:37

Well done on passing skills test!
(I am very maths phobic so I'm looking at some coping stragegies)
My best mate is doing this schools direct programme this September, so proud of her!
I'm going to direct her to this thread as there's some great advice.

QueenofWhatever Tue 08-Jul-14 10:47:32

I hate to bring this thread down, but I started the Schools Direct primary training last September, but had to drop out. I'm also a LP but have no support except for DD going to her Dad's every other weekend (he is very difficult though).

I too had worked in a school and thought I was aware of the workload. The problem for me was that you have both the workload of a teacher, plus all the training stuff. We were expected to be doing 60% of the teaching after 6-8 weeks and plan each lesson. In addition to completing the schools lesson plan, we had to complete the university's lesson plan and then complete an assessment form after each lesson as well.

I'm happy with a heavy workload, but the level of bureaucracy was crazy especially as you are spending virtually all your time in the classroom plus marking homework etc. The only way to do it is work every evening and weekend. That meant DD (8) was in bed by quarter to eight and it was only then I could really sit down and start work. All that to get a job for £22k and then have another heavy year as an NQT!

The best thing I did was drop out pretty quickly as that way I had less money to repay and more of my savings left. I was lucky to get another job by November that paid more and finishes at five everyday without work to take home. I do miss being in a classroom though.

I really don't want to put you off! But it is harder for the training and NQT year than being a qualified teacher and I know many, many teachers leaving the profession. I had no support, so was still taking DD to the childminders every morning and collecting her from after school club etc. Having help with that will make a real difference.

rollonthesummer Tue 08-Jul-14 18:07:32

I have to say in agreement with the previous poster (and I do enjoy my job) that whilst the training year and NQT years were v hard. The year after NQT-when you lose your NQT time and any protection/getting looked after that comes with being an NQT-was much harder!

If I could have my time again, I wouldn't do it.

TheLateMrsLizCromwell Tue 08-Jul-14 18:15:53

It is crazy that the Uni expects pointless stuff on top of the school requirements - it does appear that School Direct is a harder way to do PGCE than just doing a regular PGCE for that reason.
For LPs (any anyone, in fact) definitely recommend a normal PGCE and then NQT year. The Uni fees are the same, and the bursary is the same, but the workload is less.

ProfessorDent Tue 08-Jul-14 18:22:17

"The best way to start is to tell the headmaster to mind his own business."

"Never come to dinner on time."

"Never eat your soup quietly."

"During dessert, always blow your nose."

TheLateMrsLizCromwell Tue 08-Jul-14 18:23:16


catquestioner Wed 09-Jul-14 06:59:08

Eek...thank you for sharing your experiences.

I am very lucky in the fact that my Mum has agreed to have DS when I'm working and he goes to his dads for one weekend day/night a week. So in terms of support, in the childcare sense I'm not too worried. I just hope I actually get to see him and I'm not too stressed to enjoy it!

I completed my degree whilst DS was quite small and I was working part time so I am reasonably used to a balancing act. I just wasn't terribly organised...having to pull all nighters often to ensure assignments were in on time. I actually did surprisingly well but it wasn't easy and I know that if I'm expected to teach there is no way I can pull an all nighter when assignments need doing.

I think my biggest challenge is going to be ensuring I'm organised and plan ahead. Looking forward to purchasing a fancy diary and tonnes of pretty stationary in the hope it inspires me to keep my paperwork organised. Thanks for that tip!

TheLateMrsLizCromwell Wed 09-Jul-14 08:15:35

Catquestioner - good luck! Please come back an tell us about it - we need a positive story!

ProfessorDent Wed 09-Jul-14 19:32:35

I was referencing the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music, by the way, when Fraulein Maria asks for advice...

Phineyj Sat 19-Jul-14 20:55:26

roaring's advice is good. My advice is - spend a little time building relationships. The people assessing you and supporting you in school are human beings. They want you to pass (much more hassle if you fail grin). Listen to their recommendations. Try not to be a nuisance e.g. Not having filled in the form they told you to, or whatever. Also, nothing is as important as getting sufficient food, water and sleep. Problems during the school day are much easier to deal with if you have slept/eaten lunch. Be very, very nice to your mum! As regards the illness, the allowance for time you can miss due to illness as an NQT is fairly generous (I know this as I had an accident during my NQT year and 6 days off) so I can't imagine it's so different for trainees. You will not fail because of a series of run of the mill, brief illnesses, but you shouldn't go into school if you're too unwell to work - helps no-one. Good luck!

mnistooaddictive Sun 20-Jul-14 03:15:52

A few practical points
1) buy loads of birthday cards now so you don't have to worry next year.
2) if you have a freezer start batch cooking now so by September the freezer is full.
3) accept that some lessons will have to be good enough as there are not enough hours in the day to plan for outstanding every lesson
4) do as much as you can for Christmas now, even if it is just anning what exactly to buy.
5) every teacher has lessons that make then want to cry, it is them not you don't let it make you feel a failure
6) if you do have any students with behaviour issues remember not to take it personally.
Good luck, be strong and you will come through

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now