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Advice for trainee Math teacher regarding secondary/middle schools

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by madroswellfan, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Hey all,
    I'm a trainee math teacher, half way through a SCITT at a secondary school.
    However, Ive been told I'm much better at Year 7 and 8 and not so at 9-11. I love teaching 7s & 8s as I feel that above this the students become rather cocky and I'm not good at controlling their behavior. I can deal with year 8's and all is going well there, but I've been told by my base school to 'think seriously if this trainee course is for you'
    Should I be sticking out the year when my base school is trying to convince me to leave? (Though I change schools in febuary until easter)
    Should I be looking at stopping my course now and then next year doing a middle school trainee program?
    If I completed my secondary SCITT would I be able to teach at a middle school?
    Would appreciate any advice given (since no one has really given me actual advice - it feels like I'm being pushed to do what others tell me!)
    Many Thanks!
  2. You can still apply for jobs in a middle school with a secondary qualification, and if you change schools soon I would give the new school a chance. Not all ks4 kids are cocky, you might just have a couple of bad classes. Give it time, not every teacher can fit straight in to every school.

    I had a very difficult first teaching practice, and seriously considered giving up myself, but now I'm a Maths NQT, and am very happy in my job and pleased I stuck with it. I know how you feel about having no support, thats exactly how I felt. It seemed like all I ever got was criticism, and when I couldn't take it my "mentor" made me feel as though I wasn't cut out to be a teacher at all.

    You can give up any time, but you have come so far, think of all the sleepless nights, sundays spent planning and essay balancing you have already got through, you can surely get to february half term. You should know how you feel about teaching in general by Easter, and that will hopefully get you through the final term.

    Have you spoken to anyone at your course provider about your feelings? They get this all the time, and might be better placed to offer independent advice than anyone associated with the base school.

    Good luck, you will get through this, one way or another.

    "Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, then its not the end."
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Finish your course, if you think you will pass. Middle training courses are few and far between.

    Just keep going and apply for posts in middle schools. I trained as secondary and taught just two years in them before moving to middle school. Loved the next 8 years more than any other time in my career. Was fabulous and the best place ever to work. I worked in two and loved them both. I now teach primary due to relocation, but, although fab in a way, isn't a patch on middle.

    Also think about prep schools, which are younger and with smaller classes.

    Once you pass you are qualified to teach any age you so choose.
    Best of luck.
  4. Thank you so much for your replies, I wasn't sure anyone would let alone get so nice, friendly responses :)
    I was really upset yesterday since my school basically said to 'think about your future and if this is right for you', so seeing these messages has really helped to make me feel a bit better.
    The head of the maths trainees at my provider does know I'm struggling, but like responses here has told me to stick it out. I'm 23, so yes it would make sense that the older students see me as being too close to their own age, particularly as I do look younger than my age according to most people.
    Thank you again for all your wonderful replies, and I will certainly post again now i know how wonderful everyone on this site is!
  5. I would think through where you female you are best suited in teaching. If you go ba ck to your tutor and talk through where you see yourself being employed e.g in a middle school or in an independent prep school you can show the tutor that you understand your own abilities and limitations at this point. Say that you know you need to work on being better with older pupils and that will improve as you mature as well. If your are meeting the standards (and you do need to show that you can do at at both ks3 and ks4) then once you gain QTS you can seek employment at any age range.

  6. Firstly, I am glad you're enjoying it. Stick with it and get the qualification - besides, you yourself have found a weakness so try to work on it (easier said than done, I know only too well!) and ask for tips from mentors and other teachers.

    Secondly, middle schools are closing left right and centre. It's a real shame, I went through the 3-tier system and I really prefer it, but because it's not juxtapositioned to the curriculum (I'm sure amongst other reasons) they're closing down. However, some aren't for a while, and you should definitely look into them! I met a middle HoD in maths who had trained as a primary teacher. There should not be any barriers to you teaching there, as others have said.

    The important thing is you get a job that you like and want - after all, isn't that why you're going through all this training?

    All the best for the future!
  7. I teach maths at a middle school in Bedfordshire. Our department is made up of a mixture of primary, middle and secondary trained teachers. Most teachers in our school trained or have taught in secondaries previously so if you did want to go into middle after training then that wouldn't be a problem at all. In my experience middle schools don't expect middle school trained teachers as there are so few about so expect either primary or secondary trained.
    If you did decide to leave and go to a middle course (not that I'm saying thats what you should do) you need to consider where in the UK middle training courses are (as there aren't many) and if you could realistically work in a middle school, based on where they are in the country. Here in bedfordshire middle school are fairly safe for the moment but i know thats not so true in other parts of the country.
    On the other hand though, you may find it totally different at a different school, you will go into the new school knowing more and being able to manage behaviour better than at the start of your course.
    Hope this helps slightly, let me know if you need any other help/info!

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