This is a Premium feature
Hi, I’m looking for advice regarding studying for my PGCE this year. I would love to hear from mums or dads that have studied for it whilst having kids. I am due to start in September but all I ever hear are horror stories about the training. I’m worried that the workload will be too much for me. I’d love to hear from others who have done it.
Hi @Bogley, we're just bumping this thread for you in the hope that some Mumsnetters will be along shortly with some advice.
We're also moving this into the Staffroom section.
Have you got a place sorted? Which subject and way of training?
It’s bloody hard and the workload is horrendous.
Hi @Bogley I'm also starting a PGCE this September and hear and read exactly the same. Would love to read some positive stories.
I don’t have any children but have mentored NQTs who did have children. One of our best NQTs did her PGCE year starting when her youngest was just 2 months old. She then did her NQT as a part-timer on a 0.4 timetable over a few years. She said the
PGCE year was full-on but manageable.
As a teacher without any children I was full of admiration. Yes, the training is full-on but every year there will be people doing it who have families. Lots of them will be very successful.
I did my training whilst DS2 was very young and had multiple medical issues. My advice is to ensure you have a strong support network at home who you trust as your focus has to be on school/planning/evaluating/research and essays but also ensure that you build in time for your family and yourself (even having a bath with no distractions is helpful).
You don't have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to resources and try to observe as many staff/subjects/year groups that you can. I would also suggest not hiding in the staffroom when you are not teaching as just sitting in the corner of a classroom whilst completing planning etc will give you a lot of experience
I did my PGCE via Schools Direct and am just finishing my RQT year. DH works away Monday to Friday and we have a primary school aged DD so I do all the running around for her. It was hard work - especially with the assignments - but it was manageable. He'd take over when he got back at wknds so that allowed me some time then.
NQT year was marginally easier with the extra time given for NQT time. I was given a full day out of the classroom for PPA and NQT time and it really helped me to manage my workload.
Yes it's very stressful. Long days, brief gap with kids to feed and do hw etc, then back to the assignments and planning etc. It is only 9 months though.
One of the most annoying problems for me was that my placement schools hated anyone leaving before 5.30 or so even if there were meetings so I couldn't take marking home to do after the evening meal etc. Hopefully work life balance is better now as this was 14 years ago.
Thanks for all your advice/experiences. I just feel like I hear only bad stories and it’s really starting to put me off.
Hardest year of my life. I was desperate or I wouldn't have done it. Taught for 21 years.
It’s just such a hard decision. I’m borrowing a lot of money to do this and worry that if I had to give up I’d have wasted all that money.
If you decide to do it, you'll probably carry it through. Whether you should or not, that's different. I paid for my daughter's education, her wedding, bought my house, destroyed my health, suffered 21 years of hell.
You can do it! I trained when my little boy was 2, almost 3 as it was a case of if I didnt do it now, I never would. It was hard work but completely doable. I was always strict- i did work at night and half terms and weekends were our time. Managed to stick to this throughout x
Ps i too was put off by all the negative stories. I'm really glad I did it, my nqt was lovely. We were very lucky to have a planned pregnancy at the end of my nqt year. My little one is now 10 months and my head has agreed I can go back for one day a week
I completed mine as a single parent of an 18 month old DC. It was exhausting but enjoyable and in the long term has been completely worth it. I'm now in my 15th year of teaching and am so glad I took the plunge! My advice echoes a PP-don't try and reinvent the wheel, there are huge amounts of resources out there. Also, ask for help if you need it-friends, family, your university and school based mentor.
I've just finished my PGCE year and, while it was busy and stressful, you can do it if you want it enough!
If you're worried about the work/homelife balance, have you enquired with your ITT provider whether they offer a part-time option? Might be good to have that knowledge in your back pocket for reassurance.
Good luck OP!
I have just finished my PGCE. I have 6 dc, although 2 of them are over 18. It was hard work, but I'm so pleased that I have done it!
My dh wasn't able to help much, as he needed to work to support us, and he works long, unsociable hours.
If you want it badly enough, you can do it, but be prepared to exist on very little sleep!
Name changed as incredibly outing, but I'm here to say: do it, do it, do it!
I've just finished my PGCE in Secondary English. I've got twin boys who had just turned 1 when I started. I regularly had people saying to me, "oh my god, I can't believe you're doing this with TWINS!" and I would think, "it's not that hard..." and to be honest, it's not that hard! If you're a capable person generally and you really want to be a teacher then you won't struggle. You will read a lot of negative stuff online, I did and I'm glad it didn't put me off. Some people are not suited to the profession, can't deal with any kind of stress and will therefore find it very difficult.
Also, I had pneumonia and was very ill for about 3 months during my first placement and then at Christmas my husband got made redundant, but I still passed. Chances are you won't encounter that much bad luck during your course!
I will add the disclaimer that I had nice schools for placements and a supportive husband at home.
Go for it. It goes really fast and it'll be over before you know it, and then you'll be a qualified teacher! It feels awesome to have achieved something that felt so massive at the beginning.
I loved my PGCE year and didn't find it stressful at all. I had lovely mentors and our course tutors were good.
Placements make a big difference to trainee experiences and not everyone suits every school. E.g. I've trained some wonderful trainees who we've then employed as NQTs, some great trainees who probably wouldn't be a staffing fit for our school long term but are really good teachers and they had a successful placement, and some trainees who hated my schools and I also felt were probably not up to teaching.
The best trainees in my experience:
Are proactive and use their initiative.
They ask their mentor and colleagues for advice when needed
They're aware of school life and other people's pressures (e.g. don't expect people to co plan every lesson or always interrupt)
They see the theory and teaching as two elementa of the same thing rather than a box to tick
Similar for reflections and evaluations, they evaluate and reflect because it makes them better (not because there is a box for it on the planning form)
They ask if they can get involved in another area of school life e.g. a club or show or mentoring etc to give them a broad experience
They accept professional constructive criticism and act on it (there's nothing worse than telling a trainee the school routine is blah blah blah, only for the trainee to ignore whole school routines then complain about behaviour problems not being their fault and they aren't getting supported)
Had a life outside the course. There is no reason not to have a social life, family life, hobbies. You've just got to be organised. No lesson is perfect so have a day at the weekend and do nothing.
Avoid trainee bitching and comparison. There's always some who like to brag or exaggerate how good they are. There's always some who are happiness sponges and suck the joy out by whining about placement all the time. It's best to avoid it.
I'm happy for you to PM me if you have questions though.
A network of support will really help, supportive placements and mentors will make a big difference.
I did my pgce when dd was 1 year old and I was pregnant with ds. Husband in the forces so not around a lot and were living away from extended family.
It was difficult but not impossible. Stayed at school until about 4.30pm most nights, picked dd up from nursery and were home by about 5.30. I then got on with ppa when she was in bed on an evening and on the weekends when she took her naps.
Just be really organised, know when to stop working (don't stay up until the early hours working each night, it is counter productive!)
Please login first.