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Can't cope with my course, can't quit either...

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Emotional advice So, I started a PGCE (teacher training course) in September and I started planning and teaching my own lessons properly 2 weeks ago. I am not coping with this at all. Every time I need to plan a lesson I sit staring at my laptop with no idea what I'm doing for hours, and then I cobble together something absolutely crap and the lesson falls flat on it's face. The kids are learning nothing (which I feel horribly guilty about) and I am getting beaten down every single day by this feeling of failure and a new list every day from my mentor of all the things that were bad about that lesson.

I come home every evening and cry. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and cry because of how much I don't want to go in to school and face it all again. The only times I have been happy in the last month are Friday evenings and Saturdays. Sundays are filled with dread and every weekday evening is filled with stress and despair.

Sorry, I know I'm being dramatic, but this is how I feel and I need to get it out.

The problem is two-fold:
- Teaching is what I have always planned to do, since I was a child. If I can't do it, what the hell will I do with my life?
- The government is giving me a sizeable training bursary (£20,000!) and my fiancee and I are currently planning our wedding which we wouldn't be able to pay for without that money. So if I quit, the wedding is cancelled too.

The thing is I don't know if I can cope with this until July. I feel like I'm going to have a mental breakdown. How do I deal with this? Any and all advice appreciated.

Can't cope with my course, can't quit either...

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Have you been given a curriculum guide to follow? You must have a "sponsor", too who oversees you. Get some help with this. No one should expect you to create lessons out of air.

Can't cope with my course, can't quit either...

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Your head intends one thing but your feet are refusing to comply. Feet always win. They're trying to tell you something. And so desperate to that now they're crying the minute you emerge from unconsciousness into reality.

So WHAT if this was your MERE sole plan since When. "The best laid plans of mice and men...".

It basically means, "Ha-ha-ha, you typically arrogant human, you think you can predict what you'll be like and what it is you'll want in however many years' or decades' time from now, like you're Mystic Meg with a crystal ball into the future or something? Well, I've got news for you. No, you can't."

"If I can't do it, what the hell will I do with my life?"

Something else. But just because you haven't got your clue about what, right here right now, doesn't mean it won't come to you the minute the time becomes right and ripe. So I suggest you find just any job whilst you wait. Bartending, waitressing, ...whatever.

"The government is giving me a sizeable training bursary (£20,000!) and my fiancee and I are currently planning our wedding which we wouldn't be able to pay for without that money. So if I quit, the wedding is cancelled too."

Good. And so it should. What the HECK do you think you are you doing using a BUSINESS loan to fund your personal life with! Doooo WHAT?! Furthermore, why are only YOU footing the bill and not your husband-to-be?

And anyway, what are you suggesting - that you want your wedding day now-now-now rather than whenever later, so much so that you're willing to in the process basically defraud the government? ...even if that means you walk down the aisle gibbering and crying replete with mascara rivers and a psychiatrist in tow?

Listen, if you're in that much of a state the minute you wake up and remember what the main chunk of your day-to-day life consists of, then, no WAY should you try to continue, and I'm surprised you're even ASKING.

You *know* the right thing to do. So start doing it. Begin by asking for a meeting with your mentor.

Can't cope with my course, can't quit either...

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It's not a business loan and I'm not defrauding the government! It's more of an incentive. Yes it's stupid, and no I don't deserve it but that doesn't mean I'm going to turn it down! They are giving this money to every student teacher training to teach a subject that is facing a serious shortage of teachers, in an attempt to get more people on the course and to make them stay until the end. We don't NEED the money for anything teaching or studying related and there are no stipulations about what we spend it on. I'm not defrauding anybody.

My wife-to-be is also working and earning and if my money is contributing a bigger portion of our wedding savings than hers then so what? It's not my money and her money now, it's OUR money.


Aside from those two points I completely hear what you are saying and at this point we would probably postpone the wedding if it was that simple.
Unfortunately we have already paid several deposits we wouldn't get back AND we have already sent save-the-dates, some of our guests have even organised hotels already.

I am going to talk to my mentor asap though.
Thanks for your help.

Can't cope with my course, can't quit either...

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Oh, sorry, I must have got the wrong end of the stick, both over the loan aspect AND your gender - the latter because of your admission about crying. Well, huge kudos for that rare level of honesty, then!

Oh. Ah. Non-returnable deposits. That IS a problem, then, yes. With this the case, I think you're going to have to allow the wedding date to remain but [a] really get your arse moving on finding some stop-gap job that pays just enough or [b] as I say, talk to your mentor to see what ideas or solutions he/she can come up with. I mean, I'm sure you wouldn't/couldn't be the first student to experience this sort of crisis, wouldn't you think?

I do have ONE really canny idea, though, albeit it depends on whether or not you've settled on a wedding day theme or if that's changeable: Instruct all the guests that instead of wedding gifts, you're plumping for the Greek tradition of each of them safety-pinning banknotes onto the bride's dress during the reception. Bear in mind that if you time it right, the guests will be extra-extra generous due to typical wedding bash tipsyness. Dosh City here you come!

Does that sound like a useably cunning plan? [wiggles eyebrows]

Can't cope with my course, can't quit either...

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PS: "We all make mistakes", said the tortoise as he climbed, red-faced, off of the rock. ;-)

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