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doing a full time pgce with two young children - possible

(53 Posts)
thesmallissue Fri 01-Feb-19 15:14:25

I am thinking of applying for a full time one year PGCE either for 2019 (still places) or 2020 entry. However I have two young children aged 3 and 6 (or will be if doing PGCE in 2019). Have a husband who works full time but no other support.

Realistically do you think this is possible? Uni/ placements require 5 days a week 8am to 5pm with college work done in evenings and hols - which will surely mean I don't see my kids at all for the duration of the PGCE?
I also need a lot of sleep and like to be in bed by 9.30!

Be honest - if you have done a PGCE - do you think this is doable?

OP’s posts: |
Nuffaluff Fri 01-Feb-19 15:19:49

Honestly I’d say no.
When I did my PGCE I was working every night until about 11pm when on placements. I was 21 with no commitments and I found it hard.

Acopyofacopy Fri 01-Feb-19 15:23:19

I did school direct, so slightly different setup. I could not have done it if dh had not taken a sabbatical from work. In my training year school work is all I did, dh took over everything else.

The only other trainee in my cohort with younger kids dropped out after a couple of months. A few other people had older (teenage) kids and found it very hard going.

Dh went back to work full time during my NQT year, which I did full time. It was crap. I have been part time (0.8) since NQT+1 and it is bearable, kids are bigger now, though.

MiceSqueakCatsMeow Fri 01-Feb-19 15:35:09

Even after the pgce teaching will take up all of your time and your bosses will want more. You will end up knowing and seeing your class more than your own dcs.

thesmallissue Fri 01-Feb-19 15:35:54

Hmmmmm, thanks for this. Lots to think about there.......

It's a PGCE for primary by the way.

OP’s posts: |
thesmallissue Fri 01-Feb-19 15:37:24

And I would like to specialise in nursery or possibly reception, but probably nursery.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Fri 01-Feb-19 15:38:13

No, not in those circumstances. You don’t know where your placement schools will be so could be out of the house much longer than 8-5 and realistically you’ll not be in bed by 9:30. Not sure what your childcare arrangements currently are, but pick-ups and drop-offs will need to be done by your DH.

If you’re really intent on doing it, at least wait till both kids are in school so they’re in the same place. But no, you won’t see much of them in term time.

Jackshouse Fri 01-Feb-19 15:39:51

Qualified primary teachers work an average of 50 hours per week but newly qualified and training teachers work longer.

I know lots of teachers with young children who get up at 3 in the morning to plan and mark.

CraftyGin Fri 01-Feb-19 17:04:49

I did my PGCE when I had a 3yo and a 1yo.

I had till then been in full time work, so already had a childminder.

I found it fine.

noblegiraffe Fri 01-Feb-19 17:06:24

Were you in bed by 9:30pm Crafty?

thesmallissue Fri 01-Feb-19 17:28:38

@craftygin - how many hours work a day did you have to do after school?

My husband leaves the house at 7am, and is back about 6.30.

I know lots of teachers with young children who get up at 3 in the morning to plan and mark @Jackhouse, do you think there is as much out of hours work for nursery teachers? I know there would be planning and paperwork but at least there would not be marking, surely.

OP’s posts: |
TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Fri 01-Feb-19 17:30:09


Primary is harder than secondary in terms of workload

My PGCE split my marriage up

Goodynuf Fri 01-Feb-19 17:30:37

As a Teach...No. Not at all. Wait till the kids are more self sufficient like in high school.

Goodynuf Fri 01-Feb-19 17:32:08

😂 you'll never be in bed before 11!!! When I trained I was on my own and most days midnight was when I finally made it to bed! With kids I'd hate to think!!!

fruityb Fri 01-Feb-19 17:33:03

I did PGCE secondary at 25 when I was single without children and it nearly broke me. I have never been so tired. The first few years were hard and even now, 11 years in, I feel like I’m struggling but have accepted I just can’t work as hard as I did as I have a two year old ds and quite frankly I want to spend time between end of day and bedtime with him!

I couldn’t have done it now with one - let alone two.

Luaa Fri 01-Feb-19 17:33:13

No. I had one 2 year old when I did mine and I barely spent any time with her. It was horrible and pushed me to go in to a career with a better work/home balance than teaching.

CraftyGin Fri 01-Feb-19 18:00:27

Were you in bed by 9:30pm Crafty?

I don’t think so. My younger child was certainly “reverse schedule nursing”.

CraftyGin Fri 01-Feb-19 18:02:12

how many hours work a day did you have to do after school?

Not much, tbh.

I’d really only work at home on essays, rather than lesson planning.

ohreallyohreallyoh Fri 01-Feb-19 18:07:44

I did a PGCE as a single mum with 3 in primary. It is possible. It changed my sleeping forever, however. I was an 8 hour a night minimum but now I manage about 11:30 -12 to 6.

Stadt Fri 01-Feb-19 18:09:28

I did my pgce with a 2yo and I was pregnant too (dh worked full time and was often away with work for weeks at a time). I found it tough but actually made me more focused to crack on and get things done and not procrastinate. I picked dc up from nursery and home by 5.00 most nights, did her bedtime routine and when she was asleep at 7ish, I'd get on with some work until 10pm latest. Then I'd give myself half a day at the weekend (or a full day in busy periods). I did have to cut some corners but at the end of it I came out with an outstanding grade in teaching practice and a merit in my masters credits. It's difficult but is possible.

Nuffaluff Fri 01-Feb-19 18:18:49

Not much, tbh.

I’d really only work at home on essays, rather than lesson planning.

This is not usual surely? When I did my PGCE (admittedly 20 years ago), I had to do lesson plans - a whole A4 sheet per page. Preparation of resources for lessons. A review for every lesson. Sheets with tick lists for most lessons. Plus lots of other stuff I can’t remember. I’ve blocked it out, it was that hard!
Has the PGCE now become a piece of piss then?

Nuffaluff Fri 01-Feb-19 18:20:38

I wonder if the schools direct route might be easier OP. Perhaps someone else will know.
We have this type of student at our school and they are well supported. It probably depends on the school though.

woolster Fri 01-Feb-19 18:36:19

I’ve run a secondary subject PGCE for 10 years. Plenty of mums with young kids take the course. It’s not easy (see above), but it’s certainly possible. Unis usually try to prioritise parents with young children when sorting placement schools. If things get too much in 2019-20 you can always interrupt and defer to the next year. Or you cld interview for 2019-20 and see how things are in sept. If your family isn’t ready you could defer to the next year. Talk to the uni about your options. Good luck!

Jackshouse Fri 01-Feb-19 20:33:09

do you think there is as much out of hours work for nursery teachers? I know there would be planning and paperwork but at least there would not be marking, surely. Yep - I taught secondary but my sister teaches nursery and her resources and planning takes less time but she has to fill in a million plans and they have to be available for others to look at and then she has 60 learning journeys to keep up dated.

theluckiest Fri 01-Feb-19 22:45:04


Ok, so I did my primary PGCE with a 3 yr old and a 1 year old. I did really well and came out with a job. So it can be done...

However...I had absolutely NO idea how hard it was. I went into it utterly blind and had many an evening of working until 2am and crying. It's is hard. If you have an amazing support network of amazing partner and solid childcare, it's doable. Not enjoyable, but doable.

I don't know what the bloody hell I was thinking if I'm honest...

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