What advice would you give your younger self?

Hello all,

Firstly I hope I am doing this correctly and I apologise if not!

I am a PGDE Modern Studies about to embark on my final school placement before probation next year (I also ticked the box).

I recently attended an excellent talk through the PGDE by a  certain ‘The Real David Cameron’  who articulated many pieces of advice for PGDE folks – particularly signing up for this website.

I felt a bit of a fraud snooping on all the awesome sharing of ideas, experiences  and resources on here without posting something myself…

So was just wondering what advice people would give their younger selves prior to their final placement and entry to probation generally?


7 thoughts on “What advice would you give your younger self?

  1. Fearghal

    Thanks for the post Thomas!

    Great question. The answer that leaps to my mind is that I’d tell my younger self that you’re becoming a teacher of young people, not a teacher of a subject. It’s not your role to dole out the same information year after year with varying success depending on the kids in front of you, but rather to try to bring the best out of each and every individual student in your care. Oh, and I would tell my former self not work so much…it’s ok to have a life!

  2. DiKadic

    Welcome aboard. You’re a brave young man.
    Don’t let them drain you (at least not too often) and as I said I my new blog ( I had to give in with the demand)”I’m committed to make a difference in the lives of young people, but also to have life of my own.” And I’m saying it after 30 years of experience and would like that someone had told me that when I was beginning.
    Also, use all possible sources you can find on the Net,adapt them to your needs and wishes and make your life easier.If you add something to a goooooood recipe it can only be better. A strawberry on the chocolate topping 🙂

  3. James McEnaney

    You’re going to upset people if you’re doing this job properly, and that’s absolutely fine – just focus on getting better every day.

    Also, DO NOT WORK UNTIL MIDNIGHT EVERY NIGHT! You, like the rest of us, will be a better teacher if you have a life of your own to help you cope with what is an immensely high-pressured job.

    Finally, when the weans annoy you, try to remember yourself at their age 😉

  4. Caitlin Mackie

    I am just finishing my probationer year in Modern Studies. One peice of advice I would give is to be brave and initiate your own ideas no matter how big they are! It is difficult at first, especially in an experienced department but just go for it, you will reap the benefits!

  5. Thomas Robertson Post author

    Thanks everyone for the comments. My placement was exhausting but a great experience in terms of my professional development. As advised by James I found setting myself a time cut off point (usually 9pm) by which I would do no more work past that time of night no matter what.

    This was hugely beneficial and if anything I became more productive and efficient in managing my workload. I found myself more focussed at school and able to finish the vast majority if not all of my work at school and could come home with a clear mind. I was still getting through just as much work if not more than I had been completing when staying up late most nights in earlier placements.
    The best piece of advice I have received out with pedagoo was to “focus on the young people’s learning experience” and ensure they got a high quality and engaging/enjoyable lesson rather than constantly worry about upsetting or working with difficult fellow teachers/pupils etc. This helped me remember why I wanted to teach in the first place 

    I am now set to embark on my probation in August!

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