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8yrs secondary teaching about to start as a Yr5 teacher in Sept. Advice/tips?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by MrG_Englsh, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    I've been teaching English in secondary schools for eight years and decided to apply for a primary teaching role, which I duly got.

    I had been working there one day a week helping to prepare the Yr6s for their SATs. I've got to know most of the staff (including the invaluable admin team) and have witnessed the school's practices first hand.

    I've been swotting up on the new curriculum and brushing up on the variety of subjects I will need to teach. Luckily for me, the new curriculum has been going for a year now and so many schemes of learning are already in place. Still, we all like to personalise them don't we?

    I'm not concerned with the content I will need to cover for the reasons outlined above. What concerns me is the finer details:

    - preparing my classroom (I know what needs to go on the various boards), but I worry my creative juices might have dried up after teaching KS3 and up for the past eight years.

    - fun ways of recording awards (and sanctions to a lesser extent). I have my class list of names which I will be using to design name tags to attach to various charts etc.

    - behaviour management routines (I know what has worked for me in secondary education, but I already know some of it just will not suit a Yr5 class).

    I'm looking for what has worked well for you.

    If you wouldn't mind jotting down just one idea, I'd be very grateful.

    All the best.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I am one of the few people who is Jun/Sec trained (back when one could train for that range) and have worked in all sectors from Nursery - Y8, plus up to Y11 on supply when my family were growing, so I do understand the 'demands/ expectations of the different ages. I've 'supplied' across most KS during supply too.

    I'm also currently class teacher (last & next year) to a Year 5 class in a 3-18 school. So feel free to PM (Personal Message) me if you think of any particular questions.

    I find 'rewards' are more freely used in Juniors (my children often grumble the specialists forget to award House Points) and you need to work with the system within the school. Some have merits, House Points,others stars, marbles in a jar . . So try to find out what the school system is.

    Don't worry about the 'creative juices', they'll probably start to flow again as you 'get into' the curriculum. Take it one term at a time- even half-term.

    As to behaviour management that needs to follow the school system again, but don't think you can go easy just because they're younger. As someone once pointed out you have to be even 'stronger' the younger they are to set the correct expectations/ standards etc.
  3. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Your not the only one Laura I was the middle school trained one lol

    Firstly the hardest is to adapt style and language.I have taught from nursery through to secondary A level.These days in still hovering on Primary supply and I still enjoy it even though I should have retired .

    Secondly do take time to read the planning of the last year 5 teacher if you can.It gives you ideas for formats and areas which you might need to cover and think about.

    Thirdly go firmly but lightly.if you utter words and kids look no fazed then check they understand the word/work/idea.Amazingly many say they do but don't.So if your in a lesson and they seem to be struggling stop and reiterate.

    Fourthly don't expect instant action....a lot depends upon your organisation and you have to train them to your expectations and standards.To that extent be fair but firm....be tough at the beginning and try not to slacken off.Surprisingly primary kids like to know you know how to be boss.You can develop humour later but make sure you get the right individual so make a priority of learning names(first ones) and remember to praise the goodies and point out how they reach your expectation,Praise an achievement( I used to stop a class to read or point out things if it was relevant to what was being learnt.

    Fifthly make sure you have control of the TA if you have one.Apportion tasks in a varied way.they often get dumped with the low ability kids.They enjoy a change of venue and task.

    Sixthly....beware of staff room politics till you are really sure of who is who and who is the 'reporter' of events.Most staff are good but its what is said in the dark corners which count......and do remember to be part of the team.You will have your work cut out to do the marking and assessment so make sure you do it and dont let it pile up....mark in class as they work..work with kids,write that you conferred in the lesson on their books and note any ideas...some teachers used to carry post -its which they recorded an observation and then at tend of day could use that as assessment of lessons/individuals.

    I hope that is of help

    Ps do ask other teachers if unsure of systems and methodology.many are generous in their time and expertise.
  4. Sarahmck86

    Sarahmck86 New commenter

    Am following this post closely, after 7 years of mostly secondary teaching (geography) I'm also starting a year 5 role in September. Only done 2 days with my new class at the new school but they went really well. Want that to continue in September and beyond!
  5. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Do check the school policy regarding behaviour management and rewards so you are following these. Many schools have a "happy side" and a "sad side" or similar to record children's behaviour during the day. However, many teachers I know have additional reward systems, for example 'Star of the Day' or sticker charts or prize tins or even jars of small sweets.

    Regarding preparing your classroom, get the boards backed first, then take a look at other classrooms and ask those teachers. There are websites you can use to get up some instant displays and most schools will give you some time before all boards need to be filled, to give you a chance to get the kids to do some work!
  6. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Check the policy re boards as some school's want mainly childrens work, others working walls and some dont mind static displays and children's work
  7. Jonha

    Jonha New commenter

    I would not worry - I think it is harder to do the reverse, go from primary to secondary.

    I found primary school kids, somewhat understandably, cannot master any real conversation or analysis, which can be a bit boring at times and need you to have other things to do or prepared for when it all dries up in a lesson.

    Having said that, as you may naturally pitch lessons and expectations above the norm, you could find the class react very well to challenges they have not been given before. I most certainly did.

    Sorry if that sounds like an attack on primary school teachers, it is not meant so. More that they have a way imposed upon them that you do not and if you dare be yourself you may get a lot of success.
  8. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Or a lot of flack!

    As a point though i often pitch work above the expected, as a supply, and find the children rise to the occasion ,although with varying levels of success.
  9. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    In addition to the above .....

    Find lots of excuses to visit teachers in their classrooms in the first weeks, especially after school, look at their displays and info boards, talk to them about the way they organise their classrooms, ask if they mind you pinching any of their ideas/methods (Very Important), just get your boards backed and your own ideas for lists, labels and notices implemented before the children start. - you can change anything that doesn't work later.

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