Teacher training like this deserves a red card

10th April 2015 at 01:00

As a trainee teacher, my first impression of my PGCE course was that it was hastily thrown together. The lessons were underprepared and teachers were under-resourced. It had an air of unprofessionalism, and things did not improve.

We spent the first three months being taught about theories of learning and the pedagogy behind a teaching session. For our first assessment, we were required to teach for 20 minutes. Thankfully, I had done more than 50 hours of teaching before this so I had some idea how to handle myself, but I felt for my colleagues as we hadn't yet been taught how to plan a session, let alone deliver one. The majority of the student cohort were at a complete loss and voiced their frustrations about this.

Another issue was my tutor. During my sessions with her, which were primarily based around resource development, we spent nearly three hours in a "discussion" (which ultimately ended up as an exercise in tolerance and resolve) where no learning took place. There was no starter, no objectives, no activities, no plenaries - all the essential components of a "good" lesson that we had been told to include and on which I would be judged in my observations.

Later, my placement turned out to be horrendous - my mentor took every opportunity he could to put my efforts down and criticise my performances. When seeking advice from my tutor, I was greeted with more condemnation.

To put it succinctly, my PGCE has been the worst course of education I have ever undertaken. I am now completely disillusioned with teaching and pondering whether to return to the profession at all.

This is so sad - PGCE programmes should be of the highest quality because they're meant to train the teachers of the future and help them become competent in the classroom. To turn people like me off the job completely is a disaster.

The writer recently completed teacher training in the Midlands

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Email jon.severs@tesglobal.com

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