The day finally came, starting my teacher training PGCE! I got accepted on the course around new year, turning into a blubbering mess at the interview when they told me, and it has been a hell of a wait to get to this point now. I’ve had to say a sad goodbye to all the wonderful children and adults in my last school, and I have had a summer holiday full of running, exercising and making the most of the free time, and I’m now on my way to becoming a fully qualified teacher!
Enrolment day came and I was up at the university early enough to sit and have a coffee before it all began. I’m studying at the university where I did my undergraduate degree, and it’s so amazing to be back there again. After enjoying some peace and quiet, I went to line up for enrolment. I got talking to a couple of new friends that are on my course, which settled the nerves a lot! We got given lots of freebies and our ID cards and then went off to our first lecture – introducing the course!
Overall, the first day was mostly welcoming us to the course and the university, reminding us to keep track of our well-being, and the expectations of the course. Pretty chilled out, with such friendly and supportive staff! Then the second day came…
I had my metaphorical diving suit and flippers ready for day two, and boy did I need them! We had a lecture and seminar each for English and Rights Respecting Education (which I absolutely love from using in my old school!), and it was straight in on the directed tasks and the first assignment from that day onward! If anybody tells you teacher training is easy, they’re lying!
It sounds like I’m ranting, but I’m really not! I love being busy, I love a good challenge, and this really is ticking both of those boxes. I’m sat writing this whilst surrounded by library books, paper, stationery (because teachers have an unhealthy addiction to it!), and notes. I have dark bags growing by the second under my weary eyes. I’ve made an ever-growing to-do list that seems as long as my commute to university… But I love it and I feel so fired up for this course!
Last week was absolutely brilliant… and hard! We have had lots of introductions to different elements of the primary curriculum, such as drawing different objects in art, taking pictures of little train model people around the campus (mine is called Gordon and now lives on my desk!), and planning imaginary lessons for an imaginary class. It isn’t all sit down, listen and take notes. It’s actually been pretty practical and incredibly fun!
In terms of the weekends, I can see them being a big mixed bag when it comes to how busy I am. I surprised myself last weekend as I managed to fit Park Run in amongst it all, albeit a slow time, but it taught me just how important it is to take time out regularly on a teacher training course. I didn’t do Park Run yesterday as sleep was priority, but the rest of the day was full of getting everything done for the next week, then today I’ve taken time out to spend with my family. A note to all prospective trainee teachers: you-time is super important!!!
So that’s been my first two weeks of teacher training! If you’re thinking of doing a course yourself, the best pieces of advice I could give so far would be:
- Make time for YOU. Plan a shut-off point in the evenings, and plan your workload so you don’t run over this time. If you don’t finish something, then don’t worry. There’ll be time to finish it later, and sleep is much more important!
- Socialise widely in your course group! Make it a plan to work with a variety of people as they’ll have totally different teaching ideas to you that you’ll be able to magpie.
- Stick at it. The first two weeks are incredibly difficult, especially if you’ve come straight out of university or had a long summer holiday before you start. If you are really struggling, talk to a friend as they’ll most likely be in the same boat! Other than that, speak to a lecturer and they’ll point you in the right direction to get help with it all.
- Make sure you eat properly! Make lunch the night before or make use of the meals the campus food outlets offer.
- Simply enjoy it! There’s no point doing something you don’t enjoy, so really engage in all the lectures, seminars and workshops.
I hope this helps someone hoping to get into the profession like me, and it hasn’t put anyone off! I’m hoping to do a blog like this every couple of weeks, workload depending. I’m out on school placement from mid next month, so look out for all the antics of the class I borrow!