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I still find it incredible that a YR teacher can be paid the same as an English Lit teacher at A Level.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by The Red Heron, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Lets nail a few myths here, of people who have said to me in the past 'a secondary teacher couldnt hack yr' blah blah

    Two things, a yr teacher could definitely NOT TEACH A level english due to lack of subject knowledge, thus it would be impossible to teach Chaucer, Shakespeare to them-a secondary teacher COULD have a damn good go at teaching younger kids.

    The marking, subject knowledge, and feedback is SO much more at secondary than infants, and barely any marking at YR.

    I say all this having just done a days supply in R, and had the easiest day ever.

    Im sure I will get jumped on by a few who feel most aggrieved, but it is just plain common sense.
  2. <h4>I'm neither a primary nor secondary teacher so I'm pretty unbiased here. I'm curious though - what makes you assume that a YR teacher would not have the subject knowledge of a 6th form teacher? A friend of mine is a primary SEN teacher with a degree in English from Cambridge. She doesn't use her first degree much to teach but you can't fault her subject knowledge nevertheless! </h4>
  3. I've always found infants very challenging unless you are trained in early years.

    Maybe you struck lucky and walked into a well organised set up with good support.

    Anyhow good to see you are flapping those big red wings.
  4. <h4>Ugh, my grammar gives away that my degree is NOT English [​IMG] </h4>
  5. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    yep fair enough if you have an english specalism in the classics, in my experience, not many yr teachers have-infants 'tricky' .....sure.
  6. <h4>Like I said, I'm not a teacher so I may have misunderstood, but I thought that all teachers that qualify nowadays have to have a degree. So surely YR teachers have a subject specialism and degree-level subject knowledge even though they don't necessarily teach it? </h4>
  7. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter


    Their degree could be in education rather than a subject, and although there is subject content at the appropriate level it's not relevant to teaching (often) and is quickly forgotten. IME.

    I'm not afraid to admit that I've forgotten most of my degree. And my A levels, being honest! However, I know I can still do the work at infant level!
  8. <h4>Oh, of course I would expect that if you don't use it you lose it - I can't remember most of the maths I did at A level, for instance. But I am confident that I could brush up on the maths pretty quickly again should I need to teach it, whereas I don't think I could teach, say, English at any level with any degree of confidence.
  9. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    unless you're doing all the observations and paperwork that goes with EYFS, you will have a good day. YR is pretty labour intensive during school hours - marking is observation, and you have to be on the ball at all times! can't take home a pile of conversations to mark.

  10. I was a reception teacher for a few years - I have a degree in English and History, with a specialism in Shakespeare.

    Doing a days supply in reception does not give you even the remotest insight into the demands of the job.
  11. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Oh - by the way - I started out in Primary (reception and KS1) and couldn't hack it.

    Secondary is MUCH easier!!
  12. <h4>I find teaching adults hard enough at times - I wouldn't even know where to begin with littlies (especially as my instinct seems to be to hold them at arms length and look frantically around for a 'real' adult to come and take care of them!). </h4>
  13. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I suspect, however, that you were not doing all the planning, assessment, recording, matching to curriculum objectives, etc that the regular teacher would be doing: I imagine that it is very difficult to ask a supply to do very much of that - especially if they are not an early years specialist. I can imagine some supply teachers going into secondary lessons where a written task has been set, and coming out thinking ithey've had an easy day - but they're not seeing the whole job.
    Yes, but to do a good job, they would be best doing some specific training, and why should they not be rewarded for that? If you think that on balance, reception teachers get the better deal on pay, then by all means switch phase.
    I'm not aggrieved, and I'm secondary. I'm quite happy that reception teachers are paid on the same scale as me, and I would rather have an early years specialist teaching my daughter than someone with any other qualification.
  14. midnight_angel

    midnight_angel Senior commenter

    Red heron, I am a (well trainee) secondary English teacher. I taught both A Level English Language and English Literature last term. My degree is in literature and I knew nothing about the language. Basically taught myself as I went along. I still managed fine. Same with literary texts. I have not read EVERYTHING that has ever been published and found myself reading texts shortly before teaching them.

    Anyone who can actually teach a four/five year old to read and write, as well as do the pastoral role required for that age group, deserves my utmost respect. I applaud themm.
  15. I find it amazing that someone who received so much caring support over the past couple of days could post such a crass OP.
  16. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Red Heron
    why is your post so condesending and codematory.we are all teachers and although your experience might be of a nice class in nursey i do assure you all teachers can and do face similar problems, irrespective of thier qualitications.
    To suppose that primary are not qualified to teach elsewhere says more of your condesending nature than the reality
    Iam specialist RE teacher with a degree, i have taught in secondary and primary and i assure you I have met primary teachers with knowledge way in advance of their position,.That we chose to teach in a certain area is not to suppose we couldnt hack it...although one will admit their are differnt systems, strians and stresses and pressures on each area.
    It would be so much nicer if you were to comment upon the nice day you have had, rather than use it as some sort of chance to suggest one section has it easier than others......I assure the yr2's i had today where not a doddle!

  17. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Mandala, I thank everybody for their caring support, it was appreciated. It is only my opinion (realise its on personal) having a friend who teaches 11-18 english who has 200 pieces of coursework and individual targets to set post xmas that leads me to this.

    My opinion which I am allowed, he could have a go at yr for a few days, the same could not be said of most yr teachers teaching english upto 18. Simple fact.
  18. Honestly, after working Primary and secondary, it is not as easy as people think to switch. The Primary curriculum is packed, issues are different asin behaviour wise than in secondary.

    Firstly, if a kids messes around, you will still have them for 4 more days really, in secondary, you can be shot of them after an hour. I think you are too easilydismissing actually the hard work of primary teachers.
    One of the more difficult things in Primary is actually being able to break down what may be simple to us as adults in an acceptable way.

    So let us not play down their roles at all. Everyone is essential at the end of the day. One day in R, I assume reception, does not mean you know the full issues etc. Frankly it makes you look really naive.

  19. midnight_angel

    midnight_angel Senior commenter

    Yes, he could have a go at teaching reception for a few days, heron, doesn't mean he'd be any good at it.
  20. I think foundation teachers are amazing. At that stage, the range of ability in one class can be staggering, even if you haven't got two year groups atuck in oneclass, as is often the case. I also think that this is the age where profoundly damaged children and children with severe learning difficulties are hardest to cope with.

    I think that yes, I would enjoy a few days supply in a primary school and think that it would be great to spend the day building on the amazing things their teacher has managed to get them to do. I do not however, imagaine that it would be an easy job. There is tons of assessment and learning very much targetted towards specific needs. Primary teachers may not always have an academic degree - they have to do four years learning to teach little kids. It' a completely different ballgame.

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