Gagne’s Theory class training

This week was what I felt was a continual lesson from the previous week which I unfortunately missed so I felt throughout that I was missing information that was needed to fully understand.

I did however find the class useful with the upcoming essay as it was a useful base of information to allow us to research further although I would have liked perhaps more detail or at least context relating to the previous week as I have had to research the other theories to help understand this theory further as many are linked and based off of each other.


I have also noticed a change of pace to the lessons since our usual tutor is not in and feel although I am enjoying the discussions that spring up I feel that sometimes we do not get enough out of them and that tangents are gone down. I felt that sometimes there would be more done with our typical tutor and am trying to figure out why this is the case as it could help me understand about the affects of changing teachers and even different strategies as there is obviously something this teacher is doing differently.


A Week Off Sick

So I’ve just spent the past week off ill and it wasn’t nice. Although too ill to think about work as I started to get better I did start to worry about the time I had just had off. I have just had my first day back in at PGCE (I have yet to teach after having the time off) and I am now really concerned about getting the work done.  I was surprised at how lost and behind I felt with only missing that one lesson but it was more the days off from doing work that I missed.

This course I knew would be full on but just having those extra few days off (I typically don’t get much work done on Mondays –my full teaching day- and Saturday/Sunday where I work in a shop so really I only had three/four days not doing anything) but that is a massive amount of time in this short course and now I hope the pressure of having to get these two assignments done in two weeks, teach and work doesn’t end up being too much to handle. Working even means I don’t really get that week off for Christmas either which isn’t helping the stress levels (working the week up to Christmas including Christmas Eve and Boxing Day) but I guess I just have to deal with these next two weeks and then it’s over for a bit.

I’ll enjoy my Christmas after Christmas…

Feelings so Far

It’s been 9/10 weeks (I’ve lost track a little) of the PGCE now and it has honestly been (please excuse the cliché) a massive rollercoaster of feelings and emotions. The most common feeling I have had is that of an overwhelming daunting pressure from the amount of stuff that needs to be done.

I’ve found that the lesson plans and the lessons are coming easier, I still get nervous, especially if I am doing something new or getting observed but these elements of the course are typically becoming the least of my worries as I feel I am steadily improving and getting the hang of it. My lesson plans are taking on average less time to do and I am actually finding myself enjoying classes. The full amount of paperwork a teacher much do hasn’t quite hit me yet (I’m expecting this after Christmas) but I have started dipping my toe in, making sure my registers are correct and absences sent to the reception to be chased and the students’ progress being tracked on my very own spreadsheet.

In regards to the other emotions I’m feeling we recently had one of our eight assignments which I was slightly concerned about, a micro-teach with reflection. Again the teaching aspect I was only slightly concerned about as would anyone who was about to stand in front of people might get but the written reflection was what I was/am most concerned about. 1000 words for a reflection isn’t really a lot anyway but then when we have to link that to theory – something I am still trying to get my head around – the pressure of doing it, and doing it well hit and I froze with no clue of what I was supposed to be doing even though I have basically done this task already in typical class observations. I have basically done it now but my biggest concern is that it is absolute rubbish and not at all a show of what I am capable of. But I can’t think about that for too long anymore because the next assignment has loomed its ugly head from the background with only three weeks to do it which really hit me today as seriously not enough time!

I have come to think the pacing of these assignments is ridiculous as the Micro-teach really should have been earlier as now I am just getting the hang of everything else thinking about an essay is now in my mind possible but thinking about an essay with three weeks to go is insane! Personally I was so busy thinking about normal classes and then this micro teach that the essay was a tiny (and I mean tiny) niggle in the back of my brain… my main concern was that I was using my time to plan and teach actual people! These poor teenagers have a student teacher as their teacher and I need to be the best that I can for them, their future is at stake and yes I know mine is too but that leads on to other feelings… those of doing enough for me and doing enough for them.

Almost every day I have to remind myself why I am doing this and why these assignments are there, to make us better teachers. We are learning as we are doing as well as learning outside of doing which is pretty full on and hard (not that I thought it wasn’t going to be) but the thoughts of ‘well I could have just stayed in retail, worked my way up’ are hard to fight as I struggle with this pressure that really got me in my Masters.

Some days it is a real struggle, I just want to sit and cry and think why I am doing this to myself. I try to take my own advice, taking little bits at a time, make the lists and progress little and often through it but when I’m trying to do so much as well as do the work it’s not as easy as it should be to just sit and do the work, especially when you just want to sit and have a Harry Potter Marathon to cheer yourself up.

But anyway I digress, these 9/10 weeks have been hard, I’ve enjoyed parts and dreaded parts… I’ve already cried (they said we would before Christmas) and had thoughts of packing it all in (more precisely, packing it ALL in and just going off to read in a corner of the world somewhere where it’s warmer AKA my “if I actually played and won the lottery” plan). The dread these couple of weeks have outweighed the happy feelings and I know that once this essay is out the way things should run smoother… maybe after the feedback too? I’ve had other little worries, some personal some college based as well so it has been tough emotionally, the bigger picture is what matters I and each day am that step closer, I just have to repeat that a lot.

No matter what I feel though I must get back to doing actual work as this blog has turned somewhat into a form of positive procrastination.

Activity Makes the Class Run Better

Last Monday I had an observation and it could have gone a lot better, the students were really rowdy and would not keep to task, they got little done in the session and it was s big waste of two hours. They were however doing Risk Assessments and Health and Safety of the workroom… not the most interesting of subjects and since this task was sprung on me as something they had to do that lesson I had not planned for it so a whole heap of things just went wrong and that old saying which our tutor is fond of saying came true ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’.

Anyway my thoughts on the class were that I should have got the students working together with me to do the risk assessments, worked as a larger group to 1. Keep them on task and 2. Actually get the damn thing done but alas I didn’t and it all went to pot and I would rather not dwell on it here.

This week however the class were being practical, working with fabric manipulations and though many were apprehensive about using sewing machines and hot wax they were angels!! The class was split into two groups due to the number supplies and although not split how I would have split them (making sure the two trouble makers were in different groups) it was like a whole different class. Okay so soon they need to sit and annotate their samples but this class really hit home how activity in the class is the best way to get certain levels of student (in this case low achieving level 3 BTEC students) working.

Learning by doing is after-all considered one of the seven factors that underpin successful learning (Race, 2010).



  • Race, P. (2010) Making Learning Happen: A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education. Second Edition. London: Sage Publishing