So half term has come and almost gone again! And that leaves just one more batch of 6 weeks until the course is over (well kind of, the last deadline is just after the Easter break with a conference in May, but then it’s over).
Unfortunately for myself my deadline is pushed forward due to a holiday (booked before I accepted a place on the PGCE) which falls on the two weeks before the Easter holiday. This means I have the most stressful four weeks I can imagine coming up. One big part of this stress is having to squeeze in four observations within those four weeks. I’ve managed this by having two in one day which isn’t perfect as I feel it isn’t really showing much teaching progress having the observations so close together. I am glad to have two in the one day however, as the day they are on is the first day back after half term which always brings its own problems regarding classroom management (A.K.A. these days are great tests of experience and sources of reflection). These observations also bring with them the paperwork and 1000 word reflections each which take up time and rely on others getting feedback to you which if they are busy delays your own work.
The observations however are the least of my worries (apart from the physical doing the lessons) as I also have to write a 3500 word essay on professionalism due the 13th March – something I should be working on now but I’ve decided to vent via blog first. The essay I understand is important but I feel time would be much better spent with more experience in the classroom, behaviour management and admin – elements which we have been learning more on the job rather than in session and I feel depending on your situation there could be serious gaps in knowledge once you get into a real job (I simply feel that there are things I don’t even know I need to know).
I know that this course has not run as smoothly as the college or any of us students wanted but coming to the end of it, I now feel that the varied classroom experience you get in a traditional PGCE is something that this course could do with adopting. I know from friends who have completed secondary and primary PGCE courses that you would typically have two or three placements in differing institutions but that with this PGCE being aimed at life-long learning the varied experience has obviously been deemed unnecessary.
With the last leg of this journey about to begin I know it is going to be tough getting everything done, but I will knuckle down and get it done – it will all be worth it in the end.