Secret Teacher: I am too overworked to give trainees the support they need

The latest Secret Teacher in the Guardian bemoans that while new recruits deserve mentors who can spend time with them and be role models, all he/she can offer is a team of burnt-out teachers struggling to meet targets…

…Mentoring a PGCE student takes time – far more than the additional period we are given. We have to coach them, guide them and comfort them when yet another student has left their lesson through the window or locked them in a cupboard…

The bigger problem is that PGCE students start by watching us teach. I’m a head of department so the amount of time I now spend planning lessons is negligible. Usually it happens when the first student walks in and I ask, “Where did we get to?” That’s it: the rest of the time I am filling out paperwork and crunching numbers…

But if a PGCE student is watching you, you have to pull out all the stops. Objectives, tick. Starter activity, tick. Differentiation, tick. Peer assessment, tick. Plenary, tick. Silencing the child who asks why all your lessons aren’t like this, tick…

I am sorry that I won’t be offering a place to a PGCE student this year. I am sorry that even when we manage to attract new graduates into the profession, I can’t offer them the training they need and deserve. PGCE students across the country are being trained by overworked, disillusioned teachers who don’t have time to do the job properly themselves, never mind showing someone else what to do…

More at: Secret Teacher: I am too overworked to give trainees the support they need

 

Do you recognise the scenario being painted here or see things differently and have an alternative way of dealing with PGCE students?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. We are now at a point where, if we want to improve learning, we need to reduce the workload on teachers and stop running them down.
    There is no teacher-shortage; just that too few trained people are willing to do this over-worked and under-valued job.

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