Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Life of a Primary PGCE student...

I have never been so tired/stressed/worried in my entire life.
I haven't posted in way over 6 months due to my commitments of starting a full time PGCE which has left little room for sleeping, never mind actually having a life.

I am training to become a primary teacher on a course that is spread over 10 months. I am 7 months in and am on the home straight now!!! YIPEEEE
At first I didn't think I was going to survive, getting up at 5am to arrive at school for 7am and not leaving school till 5.30pm and then staying awake till 11pm trying to plan and evaluate... it was hard... did I mention it was in a year 6 class. But it got easier and I loved my first placement. Time seems to have literally flown by and now I'm starting my final placement, this time I'll be teaching year 1, a refreshing change. I now know what to expect in terms of work load and organisation so at least this won't come as much of a suprise!

But now comes the battle of the job search, many of my friends have already secured local jobs for September and I am so proud. I, on the other hand, am making the big move to South Wales where me and my partner have decided to settle, the job market seems a little stagnant and the competition for jobs is a lot higher, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that maybe I will have to supply for a while to get my foot in the door and do some networking. Although this is slightly annoying after all my hard work I always believe that, 'hard work pays off', and that round the corner there may be the perfect opportunity.

For those who may be contemplating a teaching career, here are some little pointers you may wish to know;

PGCE checklist:

  • Buy a printer that is cheap on ink - this will be a blessing during placement.
  • You can never have enough stationary, especially plastic wallets and staples.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff - your only learning, everyone makes mistakes.
  • Organisation - when your tutors say its key... they mean it!
  • Give yourself a deadline, if you stay up till 1am marking and planning is this really going to benefit your teaching when your 5am alarm sounds.
  • Don't reinvent the wheel, there are already so many cool resources out there for you to use and edit.
  • Don't take everyone literally, there will always be that one person on your course who is 'practically a qualified teacher' before they even begin, don't worry they don't have a clue.
  • Stay positive :)
  • Find a work life balance, once you find a routine it will all become easier.
  • It's ok to cry -  providing you can wipe away the tears and shrug off your bad days.
  • Being nervous is normal - I haven't spoken to any PGCE friends that didnt have a dry mouth when being observed.