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advice for final year student?

(3 Posts)
primarynoodle Fri 29-Aug-14 10:16:20

on a 3 year ba primary course,

first year I had a great placement in which I spent 3 days in each year group and 3 three week blocks in r, y2 and y 3... the school was amazing, so supportive and I got an outstanding! me and my fellow students felt such a massive part of the school it was so sad to leave!

last years placement was a disaster. Teacher told me she hated having students, never had "constructive" criticism just told what she didnt like about my teaching, I was constantly asking how I could improve or whereabouts on the standards she thought I was so I could look to those for guidance which she refused to do as 'I should just know' which lead to an RI at interim report - massive confidence knock.
I spoke to my uni mentor and went through plans and evaluations etc and teacher's observations and she couldnt see why I had been put down as RI but just to suck it up and try really hard for the last report, which I did and narrowly scraped a Good after really fighting my corner. (she even tore down a display I made as part of my professional development checklist because she liked to do her own as 'it was her classroom')

Even thinking about this placement makes me feel sick, it was such a huge confidence knock and now im really worried for my final year sad

any advice/stories of your own nightmare placements to help me feel more positive about my final year??

toomuchicecream Fri 29-Aug-14 14:41:42

My placements were all fine, but there are lots and lots of people out there with nightmare stories. You are definitely not alone in your experience. Unfortunately, there are too many teachers out here who either have a student because it gives them the time to carry out their other responsibilities (so they leave the student unsupported as they don't have enough time to mentor them properly), or teachers who are told they are having a student, whether they want one or not. Add into that all the situations where someone who would normally be a good mentor but something has gone belly up at home or they're not well, or they are suffering from issues of their own in school. And to top it all off, universities which struggle to get enough placements for their students so they end up sending people to places they know will be unsupportive or bad to work at. Not a great mix....

In terms of your options - most important of all, make sure that your course tutor/placement office/whoever is responsible know what happened before. Don't rely on people remember or passing on messages. I had a student a couple of years ago who'd been BADLY let down on her first 2 placements and so came to me for her final 8 week placement having never taught a whole lesson! The uni told her & me that my school had been specially selected for her as somewhere that would be supportive.

Make sure that if you're unhappy at all, you follow the uni procedure to the letter, including contacting your tutor early on. Make sure your tutor knows your prior experience - they will be able to tell the school if they feel it's appropriate.

And finally, follow all the usual advice about how to make a good impression. All the things my last student didn't do! Call the school before the start of the placement to introduce yourself. If possible, go in before the start of the placement to get to know people a bit. Don't disappear off by 4pm every day. Get your plans to the class teacher in plenty of time so they have time to give you feedback and then you have time to act on the feedback. Make sure you take part in all the extra things going on in school - playground duty or lunchtime and after school clubs. and when you're in the observation phase at the beginning, offer to mark work, prep resources etc for the teacher. But I'm sure you know all that already - it's not exactly rocket science. Good luck!

primarynoodle Fri 29-Aug-14 18:04:53

thankyou ice cream!

there were a cluster of 8 students who all felt utterly dejected after that placement and previous students told me they had a similarly bad experience so I feel very let down by uni but hey ho! praying I get a great school like my first one for next year!

I think you are right and I actually enjoy doing school discos etc it makes me feel part of the furniture as it were..

im just feeling a bit sad and anxious!

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