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On placement and struggling.

(5 Posts)
avocadosarentmiddleclassed Sun 18-Jan-15 16:55:29

Hi I have just completed my first week of a 3 month long placement in a year 1 class. I taught a few lessons last week and had some great feed back and enjoyed a very busy but very productive first week.
I agreed that I would teach half of the lessons this weeks but am feeling quite intimidated by it.
It has taken me all afternoon and evening Friday, Saturday and the best part of Sunday to plan these lessons and I'm still not feeling that confident.
I feel like I should be confident as this is my final placement but I'm just so unfamiliar with the job as a whole.
I have to write my dissertation whilst on placement and do lots of assessment tasks too and I already feel like Im drowning.
I need to wash and dry my clothes ready for the week and I feel out of control already.
I am sat in my sitting room with a pile of papers all disorganised around me, dreading tomorrow and feeling scared of messing up.
I hope it's not going to feel like this all the time, I want a life too.

KinkyDorito Sun 18-Jan-15 18:24:04

Take some breaths. It gets easier, I promise. It will still be busy, but you will get used to it. Each time you get anxious, breathe and focus on those breaths. It will help you to settle.

Firstly, your planning will be fine. I know this because you have spent time on it, which shows you are thoughtful and you are putting effort into it. You are on placement, you are there to learn - you can make mistakes and it will be fine because you will learn what you need to do differently next time.

You sound very conscientious so you must take care not to burn yourself out. If the work load feels too much, have a conversation with your mentor. You are training, you will be very, very busy - that is not unusual - but you should not start to feel overly worried, anxious or stressed. I'm a mentor and have been for many years, I always ask my trainees about how they are coping and to talk to me about their workload. I also encourage them to try and get a good block of time for themselves each weekend. You need to learn to manage the workload and it can be very full-on when doing uni essays too.

One thing to remember, perfect doesn't exist in teaching, if you try to be perfect, you will go mad!

Now, step away from the work, get your clothes sorted and make yourself a cup of tea, feet up and good telly for the rest of the evening.

KinkyDorito Sun 18-Jan-15 18:27:15

Also, you are at the start of your final placement, not the end. Don't expect to feel like you know it all. That can take years and the government like to keep us on our toes with constant changes.

rosiecg Wed 21-Jan-15 20:18:31

I agree - have a chat with your class teacher and your mentor (if they are different). I was in the same situation on my final placement but was honest about it and told people that I was struggling. I also asked them to give me the positives before the negatives when giving me feedback as that seemed to help me remember that I actually was doing a good job.

At this early stage in your placement I would be expecting your class teacher to be planning most of the lessons and you only taking on one subject eg literacy or numeracy. Then in the following weeks you could swop subjects or add in subjects.

In terms of managing your home life (getting clothes ready etc) I found it helpful to write myself a list each day so I knew what I was going to need the following day, and get it out before bed. I also made myself a timetable for the week eg Sat - put a wash on/dry it. Sun - check plans and resources are ready. Mon - Bulk cook meals ready for lunches. Tues - Essays. etc.

Also remember you can get ideas and resources very easily and for free online. Don't do twice as much work as you need to!

Good luck!

rosiecg Wed 21-Jan-15 20:20:28

PS. PM me if you would like to chat more. I'm happy to have a phone call or skype if that's easier.

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