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In your own time - PGCE jitters, hirsute horrors and too many balls

Forget RR: on the forums, levels of anxiety and irritation are as high as ever

Forget RR: on the forums, levels of anxiety and irritation are as high as ever

While teachers across the country are relaxing, some student teachers on the TES forums are fretting about starting their PGCE courses. It is a mixture of nerves and excitement, or as u7h46 says: "extreme excitement and complete terror!"

Autumn87 has been told to expect a stress-filled year that would put paid to any hopes of a social life, and barely time for even the necessities of life. "The most you could hope for was basic hygiene and a tenuous grasp on your sanity if you wanted a passing grade," she says.

A coveted resource for starters is the lever arch file. katnoodle stuck a "wanted" advert on the staff board at her council and has been inundated with offers, while GreyHam warns against the Tesco option - held together with "spiders' webs and magic".

Elsewhere, ladies on the forums are knee-deep in a depilation debate. Beestoni has taken it upon herself to address the "monster-beast" that is her legs and buy an epilator, treating the forums to a play-by-play account of the results. Just minutes in and things were looking bad: "The glowy light made me feel like it was some kind of weapon lasering in on me." Ominous.

Sympathy abounds, though. seren_dipity describes her relationship with hair as a "lifetime's chagrin". Don't think bikini line, she says, "think football shorts". Whereas buntycat turns a wax into a "tag team" session - with girls tagging in and out to secure arm power. It's a scary, hairy world out there.

September fears aren't to be found elsewhere as chat on the forums takes a relaxed turn. "Oh, that wonderful sound ... of tea being poured from the teapot into the cup," says enigmatic - finally, something to distract from a year of teaching stress. dinx67 was particularly excited as she had "proper" tea in a china cup only two weeks ago. "It was very refined," apparently. Ah, the small things.

Cups of tea all over the country are being interrupted by neighbours from hell. Eva_Smith found herself contending with a high-tech curtain-twitcher when she spotted the green light of a video camera pointing "quite directly at the front of my property", while ABC2010 gets her Scrooge on as she is bombarded by footballs from her young neighbours.

Salient advice from pookyrobin on the peeping Tom front: "Write this website on a large piece of paper and put it on your door ... www.yourprivacy.co.uk" and coffeekid gets into the spirit of things with "I'd wait until the footballs numbered 20, THEN chuck them all back over."

It's nice to know our teachers love to see kids having fun.

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