My first PGCE teaching placement was an amazing experience and the children definitely made it for me. As some points, it was the hardest 8 weeks I have ever had, but at the same time it also had some of the most rewarding times of my life in it. Everyone has down days, and I had my fair share, but that moment, when a child in your class finally understands something you’ve been working on for days, makes the whole thing worthwhile!
I worked with a lot of the groups with lower ability children academically and those with Special Needs, as this is my specialism, and it does mean that some things may take a bit longer to understand, but that feeling when a child can complete the task independently is really what teaching is all about for me.
Whatever your degree subject, a placement in your studies is invaluable. It can be very difficult and stressful, but it gives you life experience in the working world and teaches you lessons that you could never learn from a lecture hall. From my placement, I learnt a lot of things about myself, including:
- I can be confident with new people
- I can get up at 6am (a time of the day I’ve never seen before!)
- I can work a full-time week and come out the other side
- I really do want to be a teacher
- I can actually do the job I want to do, and be successful at it!
- I can keep on top of what seems a never ending pile of paperwork
These things are just a few things that nearly everyone finds out about themselves on a placement during their studies, whatever the subject.
It was one of the most rewarding, challenging and also tiring 8 weeks of my life, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. If you have had taken part in a placement in your studies what did you learn about yourself?