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is teaching in secondary some what easier then primary.

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by the queen bee, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. hi everyone, i have been teaching in primary school for 6 to 7 years now and i still find the long days hard, tiring, those never ending paper work, rude parents to deal with on daily bases cause they drop their children at the door and come into the class, childrens behaviour, putting up displays, 30 APPs for core subjects, differntiating core subjects incuding meeting your SEN kids needs, managing all the adults in class, doing your cross curricular plans, marking, making resouces, meeting targets, setting targets, parents evenings, 3 times a year report writing, playtime duties, chasing lost uniforms, sending notes home about lost library books, etc etc very hard work and i feel teaching is a hard job. when people ask the question how is teaching job, i bet its an easy job? noooooooooo is my answer and then i start exaplaining why and how hard it is. what annoys me is that i know some secondary teachers who say teaching isnt that bad. so i am woundering, has teaching in primary school become harder now, is teaching in secondry easier, has anyone made the switch from primary to secondary.
     
  2. hi everyone, i have been teaching in primary school for 6 to 7 years now and i still find the long days hard, tiring, those never ending paper work, rude parents to deal with on daily bases cause they drop their children at the door and come into the class, childrens behaviour, putting up displays, 30 APPs for core subjects, differntiating core subjects incuding meeting your SEN kids needs, managing all the adults in class, doing your cross curricular plans, marking, making resouces, meeting targets, setting targets, parents evenings, 3 times a year report writing, playtime duties, chasing lost uniforms, sending notes home about lost library books, etc etc very hard work and i feel teaching is a hard job. when people ask the question how is teaching job, i bet its an easy job? noooooooooo is my answer and then i start exaplaining why and how hard it is. what annoys me is that i know some secondary teachers who say teaching isnt that bad. so i am woundering, has teaching in primary school become harder now, is teaching in secondry easier, has anyone made the switch from primary to secondary.
     
  3. Personally I don't find secondary teaching too hard but that's probably because I'm used to it! A bit of perspective for you
    3 times a yr report writing = 7 times a yr report writing (yrs 7-13)
    Rude parents = Try rude teenagers! Don't bring a pen but can manage to bring a mobile phone...
    Chasing lost uniforms = chasing detentions, checking students uniform, telling girls to pull their skirts down to somewhere near decency and wipe off their orange make up, equipment and planner checks.
    Differentiating core subjects = differentiating your own subject from A*-G so gifted to barely literate......
    But then, it's a great time to work with kids and see them become young adults. Neither is a bed of roses, it depends on the challenge you prefer!
     
  4. How easy teachers find their jobs can vary hugely. I teach in a secondary and there are some teachers in some subjects who don't have much planning on a day-to-day basis as they can use the same things they used last year, or they plan in teams and this is the most effective way due to subject specialisms (e.g. humanities, tech/art) and some have less work as they're not a core subject teacher, which results in less marking and less report-writing. Some have less work because there's no coursework in their subject. Some have less work because they have no responsibility in their department. Some don't teach A-level so have less prep work for that. Some exclusively teach A-level so they just teach from the textbook and know the curriculum inside out so don't plan in detail or prepare resources.
    On the other hand, some teachers work extremely hard - core subject, lots of marking, lots of detailed individual planning needed, lots of report-writing, lots of after-school activities, lots of prep for improving subject knowledge for teaching A-level.
    My point is that it really does depend - and a lot depends on how much effort the school requires and how much effort you're willing to put in.
     
  5. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    never ending paper work - same in both sectors
    rude parents to deal with on daily basis - as opposed to the ones who store up their many woes for a rant at parents' evenings
    childrens
    behaviour
    - you think it's bad in primary?!?
    putting up displays - you shouldn't be doing that; and I bet it's much easier to find aTA in primary to do it
    30 APPs for core subjects - imagine that multiplied several fold for English/Maths teachers at secondary
    differntiating core subjects incuding meeting your SEN kids needs - why are you only differentiating core subjects? Do you think secondary teachers only differentiate 40% of their lessons?
    managing all the adults in class - would you rather be without all the extra help?
    doing your cross curricular plans - as opposed to meeting requirements of new syllabuses regularly
    marking, making resouces, meeting targets, setting targets - same in both sectors
    parents
    evenings
    - of which there are several at secondary school
    3 times a year report writing - as has been said: it's quite common for that to be multiplied in secondary
    playtime duties - same in both sectors
    chasing lost
    uniforms, sending notes home about lost library books
    - or chasing homework, coursework, moderation meetings, detention slips, equipment notes, etc., etc.
    Of course each sector has its challenges, but it is naive to think that any of the tasks we have set us notably apart in workload terms merely by the dint of which sector we work in.
     
  6. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    I agree with Kritur:
    The above comments apply in any secondary school, as well as the issues you already mentioned yourself at primary about dealing with parents, planning, differentiating... not to mention the latest 'buzz' on 'creativity'!
    Have been teaching for 7 years and worked in more than one school, and more than one phase (ranging from Years 5-8 to Years 7-13). Each school has it's own set of challenges. Personally, I still find it all exhausting...
     
  7. I teach History in a secondary. It is tough. A year 4 may kick you in the shin if you ask them to do something they don't like, a Year 9 may pick up a chair and throw it at you. I realise this is an extreme reaction but I have had to wrestle with a child who once tried to hang another student with a projector cord. I am constantly making new resources that keep my students interested in the lessons and I spend hours planning and marking. I have a few friends who are primary teachers and when we compare the amount of work it is roughly the same but they agree the depth and intensity of my work is greater.
     
  8. i understand, i too belive secondary is hard just as primary but in different ways. it just gets to me when those secondary teachers say (they are family friends/ friend of a friend) that "its not bad its easy, i dont spend my evenings doing paper work, i dont spend my weekends or holidays doing school work". i just wounder what the truth is, either they are right or they are not doing their work properly. anyway intreasting read, i posted the same post in primary forum as well. it was good to read what everyone had to say.
     
  9. I'm an English teacher in a secondary school in Scotland.

    I think the workload is heavy in different ways for primary and secondary. Neither is an easy job, and both have their trials. It's just that the trials vary in their type and intensity. Where you have the weight on your shoulders of starting kids off on the right path and giving them the tools to make sure they can read and write and add and subtract, I have the weight of continuing that good work and making sure kids get through exams and university applications.

    I have to do 5 parent-teacher evenings a year, write an interim AND full report for every pupil in every class I have, so that's around 200 reports in the year, and organise all my own Individualised Education Plans for pupils with additional support needs. I have 12 kids with specific enough needs that differentiation isn't enough, and they all have to have 3 updated plans in a year. On top of that, I have a timetable with TWO S5/6 Higher classes who need to be taught to a very sophisticated level, and each essay coming from them takes around 15 minutes to mark.

    Also, I have to do all my own classroom displays because it's part of my job description to do so, and as I'm a young teacher I'm constantly in demand to be helping with school socials and dressing up in costume for charity and running after school clubs.

    Plus, in the run up to exams it's my duty to provide supported study classes after hours, so as of Monday I'll be seeing and teaching pupils until 5pm in the evening most nights...

    It seems like it never ends, and I feel constantly overrun with work, so I feel your pain on being permanantly busy! However, I love my job, and I wouldn't change it for the world!
     
  10. You are talking about a certain type of teacher, not a certain type of sector.
     
  11. sueemc

    sueemc New commenter

    have done both in state schools, and personally, I think primary is easier.. because
    subject knowledge altho 'across the board' is hardly demanding!! (up to level 5 in y6 if we're lucky)
    pressure of public exams - SATs are no comparison
    the pure volume of students you teach is so much greater in secondary.. I can remember not knowing some ks3 pupils names until the spring term and then with a seating plan! seondary can feel impersonal
    coursework marking, moderating... takes so much longer than primary y6
    behaviour/motivation in primary is a lot easier - I never met stickers 'til primary, before that it was 'pink slips' for detention! (but you didnt have to do the detention yourself!!)
    saying that tho, I do miss secondary teaching, esp. the subject focus, the chat in the staffroom (it is very different) and the pace of life (it's faster)... having primary children tho, primary teaching fits in well with that!


     
  12. smartiemonster

    smartiemonster New commenter

    Which Secondary teacher says that?!!! I have never met one. I have worked in both sectors and Secondary is definitely more exhausting, just from the whole atmosphere of the school.

    Hmmm. I am not sure about your ability in SPAG I must say.
     
  13. thanks for your reflection, those of you who have done both.
    as someone who prefers teaching from 15 upward, where some of the more able kids start to stimulate you intellectually, i think spending huge chunks of time trying to get kids to hear basic instructions within the first five times of being told and wean them away from the idea that the teacher is to assume the role of their basic sense of logic, would absolutely do my head in, if i had to do it all day every day. especially as i get older!
     
  14. LiamD

    LiamD New commenter

    What's SPAG? The only time i've come across this acronym it was in relation to the Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games. Somehow I don't think that's what you're referring to.
     
  15. I think it's Spelling, Punctuation And Grammar- some exams have a few extra marks available for SPAG, and some posters pointed out that the OP wasn't very good at it.
     
  16. LiamD

    LiamD New commenter

    Thanks for filling that gap in my knowledge! We don't get SPAG marks in Maths (not that I'm saying they don't need a few extra marks)[​IMG]
     
  17. DM

    DM New commenter

    LiamD is wrong anyway. All GCSE 2010 specifications contain marks for Quality of Written Communication.
     
  18. DM

    DM New commenter

    I meant all GCSE 2010 mathematics specs.
     
  19. LiamD

    LiamD New commenter

    .
    oops, so I am! Seems I've been a little too casual about the new specification. I read the Content section for both tiers then skipped on to the functional bit. I should've read from cover-to-cover.
    I wonder how much impact the 'quality of written communication' part will have!
     

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