PGCE and Parenting? Laura’s Story

PGCE and Parenting. Can it be done? Maybe you’re considering doing a PGCE, but wondering how you will be able to balance study and placements with family life.

I don’t have children; I do have a dog. I agree, it’s not quite the same thing, but just making sure he is looked after and walked is challenging enough with my busy schedule and I feel guilty when I have to leave him at home or don’t have time some days to give him enough of a walk. I have empathy and huge respect for those trying to juggle bringing up children and their teacher training commitments and see the effort it takes them to keep up with the demands of the course.


One of my intentions for this blog was to give an insight into the PGCE experience by drawing on different students’ perspectives. Since I don’t have children myself, I will hand you over to student and mum, Laura.

Being a parent of a small child (age 3) and completing my PGCE is hard. It is coming home from a long day and having to cook the tea, do the bed time routine and housework all before completing any Uni or school work. I rarely get to sleep before midnight and trying to fit in any quality time with my daughter is almost impossible.

When children are attending nurseries and pre-schools for the first time they tend to get ill a lot more! They catch literally everything going! When she is poorly and off sick I can’t just take time off to look after her. It makes you feel like a bad parent, but I remind myself I am doing it for her too. Some jobs allow you personal time if you have appointments for your children or if they are really poorly, but we have to make our 120 days in school and therefore we just don’t have the time to do that.

But in all honesty, it is no different from a working life, so I guess this is preparing me. I often think maybe I should have waited till she had started school, but I’m glad I haven’t. I was told before I started the course that it would be intense but I think until you are doing it you don’t really understand.


It’s only a one-year course, and you get such good, consistent working hours and holidays that it honestly makes up for it. In my previous job I was out of the house 7am-7pm. I had to fight with other members of my team for holidays, I couldn’t get Christmas holidays off and it just didn’t feel family orientated.

Anything worth doing isn’t easy! And my daughter sees my hard work and is so proud of me 😊 She sees that I have a dream and that, although it’s hard and I struggle at times, I carry on.


Thanks, Laura!  More student stories to come…