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Primary or secondary?!!

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by MissB2012, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. MissB2012

    MissB2012 New commenter

    I am currently in the last couple of months of my degree and have a place on a PGCE at one of the best universities to do PGCE Secondary. However I am really starting to have second thoughts about if I want to do primary or secondary. I did work experience at my own secondary school when I was in sixth form and really enjoyed it (only working with y7's and y8's).
    I am now doing work experience in a different school with just y11's and I am not enjoying it now. I dont know if its because of the school or the different age group or if infact I prefer primary! I did do a weeks work experience at my old primary school and really enjoyed it but prefer the older children (Y2+). I also help out at cubs and again really enjoy this.
    I would like to teach my subject at secondary, but I think I would also enjoy teaching a range of subjects. I also worry that I will be 'too soft' for secondary. I am quite tough on the outside and I dont think I would have too much trouble controlling them, but on the inside I think I may get upset (but then would I just get use to this)?! I also quite enjoy the pastoral side of things, again I wonder if this goes towards primary?
    Any input on what to do please?!! Opinions/advice/help/your own experiences? Anything would be useful!
  2. Hi,
    It sounds like quite a dilemma you're in! I'm doing Primary and I applied for a course that is Primary but has a KS2 specialism, which would be quite handy for you if you like working with Y2 +. I don't know if they do the same in secondary where you get to do Year 7-9 or 10 and 11? (Check this out with your institution as sometimes it doesn't tell you!) I prefer the little young ones and when I applied for a KS2 specialism and only found out at interview I was horrified! (I didnt get in that course in the end so dont worry haha)
    The thing is with secondary is when they get to 'that' age (year 9-age 14), they are a pain in the neck due to hormones and everything else! Me personally I cant deal with teenagers, but some people can and some people cant. If you're not enjoying year 11 but enjoyed year 7 this seems the case for you.
    The thing is you now have a place on your course and as you know, PGCE courses are VERY hard to come by. I know its all about your own happiness but you will have to drop out of your secondary course and apply for primary next year, and go through the whole process again. I doubt your institution will swap your course... I might be wrong! The bad thing is you WILL be put in placements with year 11's, good thing is when you eventually finish the course you will be able to apply for jobs in particular subjects AND for particular key stages, so in this sense maybe stick with the course you're on?
    I have known of some instances where people have done secondary PGCE and then gone on to teach Primary later on, but you have to have a few years of teaching under your belt I would imagine.
    I think you're going for the right profession - you clearly enjoy working with children, its just making the decision what route to take! You're not the only one feeling it. It was easy for me in that I KNEW I wanted to do primary, but part of me wishes I did early years now. I enjoy teaching younger children so so much and I've got on a course that is age 5-11.But I know when I get into work I can apply to be a reception class teacher, and I havent worked with KS2 yet and you never know, I may enjoy it more!
    Obviously I havent been able to give you an answer on 'what to do' (sorry!) but it's given you a few things to consider/think about!
    1. Find out if your course has a specialism/the uni you have offers these courses.
    2. Spend more time in the classroom
    3. Think carefully before making a decision (getting onto PGCE course is precious, but obv also make the right choice for you - your happiness is of high importance!)
    Good luck!
  3. cleggy1611

    cleggy1611 New commenter

    Find something else to do with your life! For god's sake don't become a teacher. And by the way, primary is no easier than secondary.
  4. I don't think it's necessary that you bring your own experiences into this.
    Granted, you are in the profession and I'm not. But people like yourself are making me feel less excited and ready to start my course.
    Your comment is not helping the person who started this topic.
  5. cleggy1611

    cleggy1611 New commenter

    Just spend a couple of minutes browsing the forums and you'll find people with a similar opinion _ really it was unnecessary for me to post. I'm not meaning to put you off but I would think very carefully about becoming a teacher, particularly in the current climate.
  6. MissB2012

    MissB2012 New commenter

    Thanks everyone, all really useful especially djaye14. :)
    I certainly do not think primary is easier than secondary, I spent a day with a reception class and was shattered by the end!
    Its given me lots to think about, so thank you everyone for your help. :) But I am sure teaching is the job for me, whether it would be primary or secondary.

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