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Going back to teaching- this time Primary

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Sol22, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Sol22

    Sol22 New commenter

    Dear all,

    I am writing on behalf of a friend who gave up teaching in Seconday 10 years ago after a bad experience and is now thinking of going back to teaching but this time primary.
    My friend is currently observing lessons in a primary school but is now time to move forward. He has applied for some TA jobs, however I do not think this is suitable since he is a qualified teacher. I have advised him to do some supply teaching, although it can be tough at least he can get a good idea about what schools are like in the area whilst earning some money.
    He also needs to read some literature.
    Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Where to go next? and what to read to get ready? He is going to start applying for jobs after Christmas to start in September.
    Thank you
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If he's happy to do TA-ing for a while, and can cope financially, it's not such a stupid way to get some primary experience. I have a friend who returned to teaching after >10 years, and started as a TA. The school fairly soon started to use her to do supply cover when needed. (The important thing is to make sure that they do actually pay you accordingly when you switch between TA and teacher role. Her school were very good about doing that.)
    Supply is not a bad idea either, but it may depend how much supply there is available.
    Sol22 likes this.
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    He is a qualified teacher, but he presumably has little experience with primary teaching? Teaching a variety of subjects to one class is quite different to teaching one subject to a variety of classes. I don't think it's a bad idea to spend a year as a TA to gain experience and confidence.
    Sol22 likes this.
  4. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    I would test the waters doing supply. He may realise that it is not for him after all. Having worked as both a TA and Class Teacher, I don't think a TA job is representative of the role of Primary teacher and all it entails in terms of workload.
    Sol22 likes this.
  5. Sol22

    Sol22 New commenter

    Thank you all for your comments. He is really enjoying being in the classroom as an observer. What worries me is the following scenarios:
    1- he's doing supplying and we know how hard that can be. It might put him off.
    2- he does a TA job where he's treated as an unqualified teacher and he could be working for someone very competent he could learn from but it can also work the other way.
    There should be some training available. As you said, it's very different to teach all subjects to a group than teaching the same subject to different groups. It's a different skill all together.
    And where do you go to find out about what books to read or further training to do? The dept for education advises work experience...
    Thank you again x
  6. KatKam33

    KatKam33 New commenter

    Cally1980 apologies, I am not sure where you work but my experience as a TA is very different to yours. I am an ATA/HLTA in a Year 1 class and regularly cover the class teacher (on my own, despite her having me there whenever she is teaching)! I am stressed to hell and back. I prepare all the resources for my Art and Science lessons .... and fully plan for RE (whole of KS1) ensuring my Medium term plans are on the server for each half term. I do not get PPA time, so all this planning takes place at home in my own time. For my troubles I get paid as an HLTA only on the days I cover. For example, this week I have taught the equivalent of 2.5 days and earned an extra 5 hours pay (whooppee, aren't I the lucky one). I also mark, set next steps and stick work into books for every child I 'teach' so in terms of workload I completely disagree with you. Sorry. All this for an incredibly paltry pay. I have had enough.
  7. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    I knew someone would be offended by that. Yes, you work hard and yes, you are VASTLY underpaid but your workload still does not compare to that of a full time teacher. You plan one subject and prepare the resources for 2 others. Imagine doing all that planning for progression (differentiated at least 3 ways), resource preparing and the added job of assessment full time for every single lesson, every week. Next step marking up to 120 pieces of work in a day, setting and monitoring targets in 3 core subjects, analysing data & carrying the weight of responsibility for progress, preparing samples of work that provide evidence of this, that and the other for justification, writing IEP's, drawing up interventions & assessing their impact, weekly additional CPD tasks given at staff meetings, moderating samples of work etc, etc, etc. Then there are assemblies, theme weeks, whole school priorities to tie in, evidence, evidence, evidence. I in no way suggested that the job of TA is easy and I do think you should be entitled to better pay and 10% PPA time for the the time you teach a lesson you have had to plan but I HAVE done both and I can categorically tell you that working as a TA does not prepare you for the life of a class teacher and I make no apologies for that statement.
  8. Sol22

    Sol22 New commenter

    Come on ladies! Do not argue! I think we need to take into account here that being a TA is an introduction to teaching for some, it is a step in between but there is also the danger of exploitation I am afraid. I do not think my friend should be doing that job, purely because he is a man and very few schools will take him on and two because although it gives you an insight I rather he faces up the teacher's role gradually. I think he would not enjoy being the assistant of someone who he knows is not more qualified than him and who might also use him to do all those jobs to support that the teacher does not want to do.
    He has now contacted some supply teaching agencies. Does anyone here know about any possible courses that could be done? The agency mentioned some and he also has to pay some money towards his CRB, is that normal?
    Thanks guys!
  9. KatKam33

    KatKam33 New commenter

    I'm sorry Cally. I am not offended in any way by your initial posting and it wasn't my intention if it came across this way. I have however had enough. I am not afraid to work hard, I am not really even concerned about the rubbish pay, I do however need to enjoy my job. I no longer do.
  10. cat2611

    cat2611 Occasional commenter

    It's normal to pay for your DBS check when you are a supply teacher but it is also normal for schools that employ someone oj a contract to pay for their DBS. I think supply agencies get teachers to pay for their own DBS because some teachers won't end up working for the supply agency and the supply agency doesn't want to lose money.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi sol22

    Over on the supply forum there are many threads which your friend might be interested in in connection with supply teaching. In particular, tell your friend to go with agencies that pay PAYE and not to use umbrella companies.

    Pivotal Education do courses on behaviour management and safe guarding which can be done online and which are very reasonably priced.

    On this site I noticed TES were offering courses on the new primary national curriculum. I don't know if they are still available. I am sure if you did a Google search, you would come up with something and also on amazon for suitable books.

    Perhaps when he starts supply he could do just years 5 and 6 in the first instance. I usually work in secondary but have done the odd day in primary in years 5 and 6 and apart from the marking really enjoyed those year groups.
  12. Sol22

    Sol22 New commenter

    Thank you very much for all your information here! Very useful..
    But how do you know if it is an umbrella agency? I have been recommended three in Bristol by a friend who worked for them. I have passed this information to my friend :)
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Don't pay for any courses, if agencies run them they are worth naff all and teach you nothing.

    I was a secondary teacher and moved to primary by doing supply teaching. It was a lot of fun and I certainly enjoyed my year. Depends on the secondary subject, primary schools could well be biting his hand off to employ him.

    Male TAs are VERY much sought after in primary schools. Positive discrimination is alive and well.

    Either TA or supply are excellent routes into primary teaching.
  14. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I would say your "friend" doesn't really want to be a teacher of you're doing all the research for him...
  15. Sol22

    Sol22 New commenter

    He does! But i know more about teaching than him and I am happy to help him. Plus, he is also doing some research himself! What do you know?
  16. Sol22

    Sol22 New commenter

    Thank you for your information. Very appreciated and lovely to see that it is possible to move in teaching. Unfortunately sometimes people make the wrong decision and do Secondary instead of Primary, when it is not for them. It is not for everyone teaching those teenagers and there should be a way of moving from one sector to the other. In fact, my aunt many years ago started in Secondary and she moved to Primary. She worked with Reception years for ages, until she retired and loved it all the way! She always said it was the best decision she ever took in her life!
    As for his subjects, his speciality is History but he is also a great linguist! He can offer two modern languages, humanities and I guess with Primary you just learn to teach the rest.
    Thanks again
  17. SchoolBoyError

    SchoolBoyError Occasional commenter


    However, it does seem that you are making these decisions for "him". It's not worded as he believes or he feels, it's worded in a way that suggests you're telling him. Perhaps he could make his own decisions? But, what do I know?
  18. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    It's not up to you.
    This is untrue. I have known plenty of male TAs.
    Yes, he's qualified but not as a primary teacher. He would learn a lot from an experienced primary teacher.
    Isn't that the role of a TA? Not do what the teacher doesn't want to, but to perform jobs to support the teacher and pupils?

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