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Shall I stay or should I go?

(22 Posts)
PGCEwoes Tue 14-Nov-17 18:04:19

Started PGCE (secondary) in September with a SCITT I absolutely hate it. Within a day of starting at my placement school I wanted to leave. I don’t like my mentor, I don’t like teaching I don’t like school life and Im crap at it. I have been persuaded by lots of people, friends and lots of people involved in the training to stay, until I change schools, on the “it might be better next time” pretext. Someone told me how you get on is very mentor dependent. The next school is different. I have a couple of weeks left to go. But it’s making me utterly miserable.

MiaowTheCat Tue 14-Nov-17 18:27:34

It IS very different in different schools. I loved my first placement school, and really didn't like my second one - by the end I got on nicely with my mentor but she was really hard to warm to initially and the head was not a pleasant person to deal with. Other people on my course had such a shit time they were moved out of placements by the uni (I did a traditional uni-based PGCE) and into other ones (I'll admit I did inwardly smirk a bit when the course bully who'd been picking on me and had taken joy in doing things like slamming doors in my face in uni had her placement break down and ended up in my placement school where I was really having a good time!).

Plus this bit of the year in teaching I always find shite anyway - it's that trudge through the weather getting crapper and having to de-ice the car on a morning (hate hate hate that task) and not quite being in to the the Christmas stuff starting to kick in and carry you along a bit. I'd keep that factor in mind - every single time when I was teaching and my mental health started to wobble it happened end October/start November - without fail.

Acopyofacopy Tue 14-Nov-17 18:33:34

Another one here to say stick it out for a bit longer. The school and people you work with make all the difference.

StellaRigby Tue 14-Nov-17 19:07:45

I'm in exactly the same boat as you OP. I'm seriously thinking of giving it up. It's only the thought of being considered a 'failure' that's making me carry on. I know that I don't want to be a teacher but I wonder if I ought to try and stick it out and the get the qualification. However, it's making me so stressed and miserable that I don't think I can. I can't find one single thing to enjoy about it. I thought I would get a buzz from teaching, but nope, no buzz whatsoever. In fact, I find it really boring (and stressful at the same time).

MaisyPops Tue 14-Nov-17 19:13:51

I can second what someone has just sais about this point of term being shite. It's the worst half term of the year.

It sounds cliched but it is very school dependent.

I would try to have some balance and down time. Do what you need to and then leave it. You don't need millions of card sorts or animated powerpoints.

And finally, don't waste your time on trainee group chats. Our trainees were saying last week that the group chat was going wild and it was mainly 2 thinhs:
1. People bitching about school/ mentor
2. People gloating about what an awesome teacher they are and how much thr school love them

The middley people are too busy gettibg on with it.

PGCEwoes Tue 14-Nov-17 20:00:59

Not on group chats so don’t have that problem.
I too don’t want to be considered a failure or someone who gives up easily. But am struggling to see how I’ll benefit by sticking it out. I don’t need the qualification. I rarely get a buzz and can’t find anything positive about it. I’m spending my every waking moment on doing either lesson planning or studying for the course I’ve just hate it I feel my whole life has been taken over by something I can’t stand.
Stella I’ve pMd you.

MaisyPops Tue 14-Nov-17 20:34:03

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks as long a single you've made the right decision for you.

I think people who go on about the 'buzz' all the time don't really help because the reality isn't like that in any job. It's not all educating Essex rewarding moments and in your training year it's really tough at times.

Teaching is a mixed bag but I do think it makes a different what you school is like.

E.g. My last week looks like this (middle leader):
Filling in more data for SLT
Safeguarding concerns
Dealing with a child wandering the site
Marking marking and more marking
Keeping notes on intervention without writing 'child doesn't need intervention. They just need to bloody work'

But, it also includes:
A couple of really meaningful pastoral conversatoins
Planning a great visit for ks3
A week to great year 11 lessons where they've made me laugh
Watching y7 'get' a tricky topic
Talking about post 16 with GCSE students
Having a laugh in the staff room (usually about things SLT mention to you on Tuesday that they ideally wanted last Friday!)

You have brilliant days and rubbish days, but that's any job.

As a mentor, I would advise caution dropping out during the first placement. You're new to the job, finding your feet, there's loads to learn so feeling overwhelmed is kind of normal.

But, if you need to and you think that it is the right call for you to make then you absolutely should do what is right for you. Maybe give it some thought for a while and see how you feel.

MrsPeel1 Tue 14-Nov-17 20:58:02

I stood in class today and realised I was really enjoying myself. And I’ve been doing the job for 15 years. However it’s been a while since I’ve felt like this and I’m not sure that, if I knew then what I now now, I would go into teaching again.
I agree that you should wait til yountry your next school but if not, leave. There’s no shame in not doing something you hate. It’s hard enough when you like it.

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 21:05:12

Why did you start a PGCE in the first place? Are those reasons still valid?

lettuceWrap Tue 14-Nov-17 21:26:11

My DS is also coming to the end of his first PGDE placement (in a shortage STEM subject). He’s been struggling not with the teaching or the workload (although says he’s never worked such long hours, even during uni finals), but he’s clashed in fairly minor ways with the HT of the school, who he feels is treating him like a school pupil rather than an adult (he’s given examples which sound quite petty and controlling), and there’s a lot of disorganisation in the running of the PGDE placements within the school, with students being unhappy and concerned enough to raise it officially. 2 of 6 students doing the same shortage stem subject as my DS have already dropped out of the course.
DS is sticking with it and hopes for better at his next placement - he’s not ready to throw the towel in yet.

PatchworkGirl Tue 14-Nov-17 22:00:56

I also enjoyed my first school and didn't like the second one, so it can vary a lot. It might be worth sticking it out until you start the second placement if it's only a few more weeks - just to reassure yourself that you're making the correct decision. But don't hesitate if you know it's not for you. I spent the PGCE year slowly realising that I did not want to teach. I'm glad I finished it (the qualification has come in handy for me) but the idea of teaching now gives me the shivers!

PGCEwoes Tue 14-Nov-17 22:03:31

I’m also in a shortage subject. We’ve lost two last week again shortage subjects. I too feel I’m being treated like a school pupil. I’ve never been spoken too in the way I’ve been spoken too on mumerous times since starting the PGCE, I have raised it and no one is really listening. I’m a mature student career changer. Like him it’s petty and really controlling. It’s totally knocking my confidence I’ve juts never experi coed anything like it.. In my previous job I would have been considered exceedingly resilient and very easy going, (according to my last appraisal) my old collegues would be amazed they would say I’m the epitome of confidence and trust me I didn’t have some dodly job I worked in an exceedingly pressurised environment, but now I’m tense all the time I can’t sleep because I so bloody unhappy.

Scissormister Tue 14-Nov-17 22:37:35

Another career changer. It's so hard. There are bits I really enjoy.... But there are so very many bits I am bored by, angered by or just dislike. I want to finish but cannot help feeling I am wasting my time every day. If the workload was less, I feel I could get more perspective, but it's 8 till 8 regularly.
I know I can't apply for a nqt job: I could not sound convinced and passionate in an interview. So it's one year max for me, or possibly try to swap to a purely academic course (not do QTS).

Scissormister Tue 14-Nov-17 22:40:05

We also lost one on a scitt shortage subject. Uni keep wittering on that we will all be in SMT in 5 years. I think it's supposed to be motivating. confused

PGCEwoes Tue 14-Nov-17 23:18:29

If so many are saying the same thing there’s something very wrong here.
What a waste as well, three in two weeks.

Scissormister Tue 14-Nov-17 23:21:10

It's shocking waste sad sad of time, public money, everything...

leccybill Wed 15-Nov-17 00:21:45

Those of you saying you feel bored - when? During lessons?
I find the job frustrating, frantic, overwhelming sometimes but I've never been bored.

PGCEwoes Wed 15-Nov-17 05:46:45

noblegiraffe I started teaching because I love my subject and love telling others about it. Over the years I’ve informally helped friends DC’s and mine with their school work and all have said you’re a brilliant at explains X or Y I didn’t understand it till you told me why don’t you train to be a teacher? Friends (including teachers) and colleagues when I’m explaining something (I teach other things in and out of work) have also often said over the years have you thought of being a teacher?
Only one dissenting voice, 1 very good friend with school experience said “it’s not for you”.
I fancied a career change, researched it really carefully, talked to loads of teachers, observed numerous lessons etc liked what I saw and applied.

disappearingninepatch Thu 16-Nov-17 06:56:43

If you've only got a few weeks left in your first school, I'd just bear it and see if things are different in the next school.
Interesting what you say about the way that you are being spoken too. I read something on here yesterday about how SLT try to manage staff the way they managed children in the classroom, as that's the only experience they have.

Devilishpyjamas Thu 16-Nov-17 07:06:59

If you like teaching - but not (so far) the school environment then I would say stick it out for the qualification if you can possibly bear it.

I loved teaching when I did it (in an A level retake college). I didn’t have a PGCE and life intervened so I didn’t ever go off and qualify (I suspected regular classrooms weren’t for me anyway). However, over the years I have seen loads of related but non-classroom jobs that I would love but require a teaching qualification.

Donthate Thu 16-Nov-17 22:23:47

I'd cut your losses. I stuck it out got my pgce. Now in my third year of teaching and it will be my last. Should have gone earlier

PGCEwoes Fri 17-Nov-17 23:20:34

Donthate I think you’re right. I’ve decided to cut my losses and get out now. I feel like a new women it’s such a relief that I’m out of it God I hated the whole thing. I’m going back to my old job, which belief me has lots of difficulties but at least I’ll be treated like a valued member of the team not a 6 yr old who’s left her brain on the doorstep.

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