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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. I just think, heron, that as a supply teacher you didn't really teach that class. I'm not saying you were lazy or not doing your job, just that your job could not possibly be the same as that of the class teacher.

    I must say I think A level English literature cover sounds like heaven - 20 or so motivated 17-18 year olds reading a book, making a few notes, or possibly writing a practice exam essay. I could even join in a nice adult discussion of the book in question if I'd read it. However, I wouldn't presume to think that an English teacher's life was always like that.

    I do think that, for me with my academic background, teaching A level is easier than teaching 4 year olds to read. But that doesn't mean A level teachers should eb paid less. I'm sure there are plenty of people who feel the opposite.

    But I reiterate my point (and other people's) - Reception is a very important year. If the Reception teacher doesn't build the foundations, what hope does the A level teacher have?
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Half the reason education is in the mess it's in is because jo public IS listened to despite not having the faintest notion what he's talking about. I include politicians who've never been involved, other than as pupils, in education.
    There isn't enough money to bribe me to teach any child below the age of 7 and I say that as a fully qualified primary teacher. My placements and in P2 convinced me of that many years ago.
    Plenty of very, very highly qualified teachers DO teach infants and they'd be equally up to teaching various subjects in secondary.
    Having watched many many secondary teachers try to cope with pupils whose academic skills are more primary than secondary level I reckon that most of them would really struggle with pupils who needed to be taught to read, write, count and all manner of motor skills that are required to make a success in secondary.

  3. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    the red heron a woman ..??

    to quote victor meldrew " i don't believe it"

  4. I teach in combined YR and Y1 class and I was dismayed to read your post. I thought I'd offer my own 'common sense advice'.
    In order for the job to have been 'easy' I would expect that in your few days you... observed and recorded (through short and long written observations and annotated photographs) where each child was in their unique learning journey, planned for their next steps and set up the classroom provision to meet all their needs. Oh yes and then recorded what you had done for others to see and linked your adult led group work to the chidlren's interests. And I haven't even mentioned phonics yet!
    If you found your days in Year R 'the easiest ever', then please, please do not return. If this was your experience, then your subject knowledge was hugely lacking. I doubt whether you were able to successfully provide for YR chidlren any more than I could provide for a secondry class, without researching the subject first. Besides, one of the principles of the new EarlyYearsFoundationStage is 'positive relationships'. I'm not sure that the arrogance and disrespect you have shown through your post is recconcilable with this at all. Teaching year R is not an easy job. Enjoyable yes. Easy no.

  5. I think I would be quite inclined to say that the two jobs are not really comparable as they require vastly differing sets of expertise.

    Further, it could be said that teachers in secondary have far greater opportunities to progress up the salary scale than most of their primary colleagues, even unto leadership. As a primary HT I get paid less than a freind who is head of Faculty in a local secondary.
  6. I teach primary and I have a degree in English lit from a good university. So obviously I could have done a secondary PGCE, as could most of my friends from the PGCE course, except for those whose first degree subjects were not appropriate. So, knowing that lots of primary teachers are trained through the PGCE system, I'm confused as to why Red Heron states that primary teachers would not be able to teach in secondary, whilst secondary colleagues could teach in primary.
  7. midnight_angel

    midnight_angel Senior commenter

    Erm, not all A Level English Literature students read books. A lot of mine never read their set text last term, despite having nearly 3 months to do it. I had to spend a lot of time reading it in class, and when I dared to ask them to read a chapter or two for homework, only about 20% of them actually would. The look of dismay on a particular AS English Literature student's face one day last term, when I asked them to get their books out (which you'd thought they would have done when they got into the classroom anyway, being 16/17 and responsible for their own learning), and she said, "oh, do we have to do any reading?"
  8. Sorry, I know that's similar to other posts, but what I mean is, there are LOTS of us who trained through PGCE, not just a couple, and yet the OP seems to me to regard it as highly unusual that primary teachers would be educated to the necessary academic level. Because the OP is not?
  9. And to add one more thing, had I known at 18 that I wanted to be a primary teacher, I think I would have done a B.ed, maybe some wouldn't agree, but I think it seems a more thorough way of training, and you're immersed in education for 3 or more years.

  10. I don't know if you are being deliberately obtuse Kirsi, but my whole point was that it is not just babysitting! The babysitting point was an analogy. Reread my post if you will and see that your comment was unfounded.
  11. I teach all age groups. Reception to Year 13. And I have done this is over 8 schools over 7 years (I was an SSCo) . I am currently not teaching exam level KS 5, however, I have done in the past.

    Reception (especially in the first term) are always my hardest class. Closely followed by annoying Year 7's and lazy Year 9's. Then you have whinging Year 2-4s....... it goes on.

    I have great respect for all primary teachers as they have a MASSIVE range of subject knowledge.

    Yes, I know my subject well and can teach it at any level. But, as previous comments have said, there is no way I could plan, teach and assess all core subjects and teach them as well as I can teach my specialism, what ever age they are at!
  12. This makes my blood boil, surely he fact that Yr and other primary teachers need to have knowledge in more than one subject says they deserve their pay and the amount of prep involved is far more intensive than a session for a handful of a level students
  13. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Do bear in mind that not all secondary classes are A level!

    Year 11 students working at level 2 or below give a completely different set of challenges!

    I'm not disagreeing, just adding to it!
  14. EmiW

    EmiW New commenter

    I was going to add that too lilachardy. We have our share of challenging, mixed ability classes too, and we're not just imparting subject knowledge - secondary teachers also have to deal with the development and pastoral side of it too. Its not just dealing with 10 A level students who want to learn.

    I still stand by my original point though, obviously none of this would be possible without a good education from Early Years!
  15. tangerinecat

    tangerinecat New commenter

    Every Key Stage is different, and requires different, but not necessarily better, skills.

    As a BEd (also cantab, for whatever that's worth), who was clear about the career path I wanted to take, I resent a PGCE claiming to be 'better' educated than me (and I was told that BEd is equivalent to doing a degree in your main subject). Does that make me a better teacher then, because I trained for four years instead of cramming it all into one? I don't think so.

    But I do admire Red Heron (a bit) for backing down. Not many people are brave enough to do so!
  16. Ultimately each stage and age takes different skills.As a secondary trained English teacher ,now in Adult Ed who has done lots of supply,( whilst being mum) in primary, all stages have their challenges for sure.I would not have the patience to do reception long term . There is a lot of constant assessment.However my marking workload in secondary was huge beyond words.What with planning too, the job can dominate your life - totally! Nonetheless there was no nose wiping and children clinging to my leg.Adult Ed has gone paperwork mad and is increasingly full of learners on criminal probation or sent by the job centre who do not want to be there.Also it is learner led and individually planned so that you have learners at E1(L1 Nat Curr) in the same group as those at GCSE level.All are individually planned for.Planning is a time eating nightmare.It works for me though with family needs and not wanting to wipe noses, role play (reception) or deal with horrible discipline issues(secondary).

    What I am saying is :

    We are all broadly in the same job.we need each other .Let's support eachother and recognise each stage has special challenges!

    Excuse weird typing errors.Large glass of Pinot -tough day!
  17. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    That's what I think.

  18. Jeanie-Ju

    Jeanie-Ju New commenter

    Forgive me for butting in but i was reading and thinking:
    although they had a nice, easy day in reception, does that mean they did a good job? I have had supplies cover my class (not often) who have had a great day and I have ended up horrified by what as been left in many aspects of the expanded curriculum (including the emotional state of my lot!).
    Not trying to cause any offense, just maybe thinking of things the other way around.
    (I'm junior and have much respect for KS1 AND secondary as they both seem too difficult to me!!!!!)
    I'm going to stick to my 10yr olds!!
  19. I assumed you went into teaching for the love of the job not the money?

    If you think Foundation Stage is SO easy then get a job as a reception teacher. Believe me, one day in Foundation stage gives you no insight into the what the job is really all about.

    I love working with the youngest children in the school and if that means I get paid the same as you, and have such an EASY job, then you are the idiot for applying for secondary and I have the all the brains!!

    Have a nice day with all of those 'independent young adults'
  20. I know. The point was supposed to be (though I didn't spell it out clearly) this wasn't a typical lesson and I wouldn't judge an A level English teacher's job from this one pleasant lesson.

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