Saturday, January 07, 2012

Resources: "PGCE Survival Guide" and "Move Me On"

I've just come across two fantastic 'crowd-sourced' books, both of which are available for free download.

#pgcetips - The PGCE Survival Guide, the Essential guide to your teacher training
#movemeon - Tips, ideas and suggestions for all teachers from the Twitter community

This, from the creator of the PGCE Survival Guide, really hit home for me:
Why was the book written?

Tim decided to try to put together the PGCE Survival Guide as he remembered the anxiety waiting for his PGCE to start and how much he wished he could find lots of first hand experience and tips from people who had ‘been there and done that' and how useful these tips could have been throughout his PGCE year. This book is his attempt at answering this wish for trainee teachers and also to give something back to the education community!
 I am exactly in that position now, scouring the internet and looking for advice from teachers on how to do this PGCE thing. Whenever I stumble across someone else in my situation, it's rather comforting but also not exactly helpful! Finding people who have blogged about the PGCE process, and then this goldmine of a Survival Guide, gives me hope. I've shared it with the handful of people in the Rhodes PGCE Facebook group, hopefully others will find it useful.

Move Me On came before PGCE Survival Guide, but since the Guide is far more relevant to me at the moment, I'm going to begin with that.

Thank goodness for the digital age.

To 2012 and Beyond

Welcome to 2012, everyone! I hope that you didn't party too hard. The new year slipped by me without even a thought spared for those Resolutions that everyone is so fond of. If I was to have any, they might include:
  • Succeed at the PGCE course, receiving my certificate and managing to find a teaching position for 2013 in Cape Town. My family are there and my best case scenario would be for me and my boyfriend to both find a job somewhere in the city.
  • Get into better shape and become more comfortable with my body. This is going to be a combination of making better eating choices, forcing myself to exercise and deciding to dress in a way that is more appropriate to my own style while taking my physical features into consideration. I'm very self-conscious about my appearance, and I'd like to work to overcome that. Better fitness will hopefully help my self-image and I'd like a stronger body!
  • Improve at socialising. This includes going out more with my friends when they offer, with or without my other half. This may be my last year in this university town and I should make the most of it. I have good friends, and the potential to make many new ones within Gamesoc and HvZ. Many of the people I know are also introverted, and they are happy with that, but far too often I don't go to an outing or event and feel self-loathing at missing out on the fun. The times I went to things last year, I had a blast, so I need to push myself to try harder.

I finally received some information from the Education Department about my course. Our first day is Monday 6 February! We are going out on a class trip to a place which is wonderfully named Hobbiton-on-Hogsback, presumably for group bonding and team building, also in February. I know two other girls who have been accepted into the course, so it should be fun.

In Foundation Phase, which is teaching grades 1-3, we take Languages (Home Language and First Additional Language), Mathematics and Life Skills Methods. In South Africa we have 11 official languages, so having additional languages at an early age is important. I must admit, I have little-to-no knowledge of any other language apart from English, but since they will only be instructing me in the level appropriate for children as a second language, I'm hoping that I'll do alright.

We also have three teaching practice opportunities throughout the year, with the first one in March. I have been informed that we spend between 10 to 12 weeks as full-time members of staff in schools- this is exciting and scary! The course, excluding breaks and holidays, is 27 solid weeks of instruction, and then that's it- after that I may get to be called a teacher. There are no details yet on which schools we shall be placed at, I am sure there will be a variety so that we experience the huge differences between schools in this country.