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Can a primary bod teach secondary?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Lilybett, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. I'm a newly-qualified primary teacher (Dec '10). Couldn't get NQT post so went on supply last year and now working as LSA in secondary school.
    It's made me think... I wish I had studied English at university. English was always my THING, ever since I was in Reception class. I was the dork who got Level 8, and A*, but without ever quite knowing why, it was just a LOVE in me...!? Then I was an IDIOT and dropped it after AS Level (grade A) cos I didn't like who would have taught me into A2. Stupid, stupid girl. EVERYONE thought I'd do an English degree. Ended up doing Politics at uni and training in primary.
    English is always my favourite subject to teach and I'm good at it because my enthusiasm is catching. I inwardly roll my eyes when teach stuff like D&T (no offence to any teachers of it, I just don't find it interesting) --- and now I've seen the amazing stuff secondary English teachers can do (teach clever kids up to A Level, share your love with budding book worms, try to engage those who think English is 'gay' and 'lame' and irrelevant and worse, try to find ways of proving how exciting it can be, showing kids it's a way to understand the world around them and express how they fit into it...), I waaant it! Is there any way I can have it? Do I need to get an English degree? (Without a lottery win?)
    If I can't teach English... how about Citizenship...? Would I need to do ITT again? Do I have to work in primary for a few years first so I don't look like a major flake?
    Don't get me wrong, there are things I love about primary: like teaching children to read and enjoy literature for the first time, getting all the basics in-place so they're sorted for life, harnessing creativity, nurturing the whole child and trying to encourage them to be kind, tolerant people... But surely these are all things secondary teachers get. And if I could do that, I could just do English all day, every day!
    Any advice very gratefully received... xx
  2. If you have QTS, you can teach in any school. I have taught in both Secondary and Primary.
  3. I've heard of Primary trained teachers moving into secondary. Although it is hard, it is possible, and much easier than moving from secondary to primary. QTS allows you to teach all levels, you just have to convince the head that you are the best for the job. Good luck.
  4. One of our best teachers ( I am a senior manager of a large secondary school ) started out as a primary teacher. He started mainly key stage 3, then up to key stage 4 and now successfully teaches A level. Go for it ! If you can show how keen you are at interview they will love you.
  5. Great to hear from someone who loves the subject! As an English lover (and teacher) myself, I would say that having a passion for your subject and being creative about it is such a huge plus when teaching the subject, and will definitely show in an interview. As for teaching secondary, the only extra thing an English degree gives you is an extensive knowledge of the history of literature, but it sounds like you have that anyway? I know of a Secondary teacher who's recently changed to Primary, so the switch is by no means impossible. If you get a permanent job they can always re train you anyway. Just a word of warning though, engaged as students might be in the subject there is no getting away from it being heavy on reading and writing, and for weaker students (a higher proportion of whom think all school is 'gay' and 'boring') that's a real turn off. If you can find a way to transfer the enthusiasm to being willing to read and write it can be very rewarding. Good luck!
  6. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Sad but true. You might risk your enthusiasm in the constraints of the pressure to achieve results. I found much of my enthusiasm was sucked out of me.
    However, I do know of many teachers who thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
    It's one of those dilemmas which can only be sorted after experience. I assume you are a young-un, in your early 20s. If you are going to take this leap, now is the time to do it and then,whatever the result, you can say you tried.
    (Personally, I would rather have a class of bloody-minded 15 year olds that a class of primary rug-rats-they terrify me!! It is horses for courses!)
    The very best of luck to you, whatever you decide.

  7. I trained in Primary and now work in 6th form so yes you can! I am a NQT too!

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