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Does confidence improve on the PGCE?

(6 Posts)
Applejack2 Sun 09-Nov-14 07:14:11


So, I spent the whole of last week volunteering in a local primary school. I spent time with the entire age range apart from year 3.
I have already spent the odd day in other schools but decided to sacrifice a week of annual leave to gi into school.
No problem with the work they were doing but my biggest confidence issue was class control and behaviour. The majority of children were fine but I did pick up on a couple of children, in each class, who disrupted the lesson. I was also shocked that the teacher shouted at the class of year 2's for not going for their own pencil when needed. She told me that OFSTED had pulled her up in observation for not encouraging them to do more for themselves.
This is where I would seriously fail. What training do you receive on the PGCE for this? I would be seen as a soft touch! I had one little boy (6) who was a handful and I was afraid to discipline him. Mainly, though, this was because I was a volunteer to the school so wasn't confident in doing so.
How does the PGCE prepare you for this when you may be a sweet and soft trainee? I am an older entrant to the profession.
I have another week later this month in another school.

DownByTheRiverside Sun 09-Nov-14 07:45:47

Confidence improves with experience. Did you follow the school behavioural code with the children you found challenging, and did you have it at your fingertips?
Did the teacher shout at the children, or project her disapproval in a clear voice?
You need to read up on strategies, observe good teachers and how they handle challenges and be proactive rather than reactive if you are going to have a good learning environment in your classroom.

saadia Sun 09-Nov-14 08:01:43

Hi OP yes confidence definitely does improve and if (like me) an air of authority does not come naturally to you, there are lots of strategies you can learn and you will come to realise that there are many factors that contribute to a controlled and 'well-behaved' class. It doesn't just happen.

I'm not saying I have got there but it is gradually getting easier. Have a look at Sue Cowley videos online for some good ideas and remember that as a volunteer your status is a bit vague and also that with some children a continuous strategy is needed (clear reminders about behaviour and praise when they do something right).

FabulousFudge Sun 09-Nov-14 13:49:06

Yes, confidence does improve with experience 100%. Also having your own class all day every day is very different from helping out or taking on someone else's class for a few weeks on placement when you're not their 'real teacher' and you have to follow the teacher's already established behaviour systems and procedures.

You will get there. I felt the same as you and I did. You don't have to be a shouty teacher either. I'm not, but I have very high standards and can get the children to behave using other strategies. You just have to run your classroom so that it's in the children's interests to behave well! Good luck!

Applejack2 Tue 11-Nov-14 06:22:36


I wasn't given any details of the school's behavioural code. I didn't expect to be told about managing behaviour with only being a volunteer.
Yes, the teacher 'raised her voice and tone' rather than shouted but it was still enough to make me jump! I guess I will have a lot to learn when it comes to class control.
I did feel that I would feel differently had I been in the teacher. It is difficult when it is not your class and you are not in charge.
Good to hear that experience will improve things.

Coolas Tue 11-Nov-14 06:48:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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