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Secondary Experience but Want to Teach in Primary

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by elizastreek, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. elizastreek

    elizastreek New commenter

    So, at first I began volunteering at a local Primary school for 2 days a week. After only 3 weeks of doing this, I was offered a part-time position as a TA in my local Secondary school. Because that position was salaried, I took it and have been there since late September 2018. This means that I have quite a bit of experience in Secondary, but only approximately 6-8 days in a Primary setting.

    Whilst I was at Primary, I loved interacting with the kids. It helps that my favourite subjects are Maths and English, so I really was enthusiastic about the lessons and helping them learn! I loved their energetic nature and how loving they were.I did encounter a few cheeky children, which made me realise how much I enjoy teaching manners, politeness, and consideration in younger children. However, I didn't particularly connect with the two teachers I was helping. One was very demanding of me, whilst the other gave off the impression that she really didn't want me there! Plus, I did encounter a child who said something extremely rude to me, which I took to heart at the time. Looking back on it, it was without malice and I realise he just didn't realise it was rude. Essentially, I felt out of place due to the teachers and really kind of baffled as to what to do. Although I am naturally mothering, I didn't really know what I could do and how much I could actually help.

    In Secondary school, I have gained so many skills. I am more confident, so much better at behaviour management, and developed an ability to explain things simply to lower-ability children. I work with KS3 SEN pupils, with some having the mental age of much younger children. I help in Read, Write, Ink occasionally, because their abilities to read and write need that support. At first, I wasn't a huge fan of KS3 and thought I had a clear preference for KS4 due to their higher ability. But, I have come to absolutely adore them! I have gained more skills, confidence, and passion at aiding the Y7 and Y8s. Because of the SEN needs, I take a Primary approach in every aspect! I'm confident that I would prefer to work with younger children and help them in a similar way!

    Also, during my time here, I have realised how much I like a lot of the subjects. My specialism would have been English, but I actually find Maths more interesting and fun. Although I like English, I must admit that I prefer it at a reading, writing and language level, rather than an analysis level. Because of all this, I feel like I would be more suited to Primary and ultimately enjoy it more. After working with some really challenging teenagers, I feel like I have definitely improved my confidence and resilience. For instance, the comment a child made to me in Primary would no longer be damaging to my self esteem.

    But, with my experience being heavily dominated by Secondary, what are my chances of getting onto a Primary PGCE? I can't quit my job as it is my income and it's unlikely I would be able to get a Primary TA position this year, at least! I think my experience is very valuable, but will it put me at a disadvantage because of the fact it's not in Primary?
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Your chances are as good as anyone else's to a point.
    TA experience in primary would be more useful, but isn't essential.

    With a bit less of the adoring and loving, what you've written here would be enough to get you on some PGCE primary courses.

    When are you wanting to start the PGCE?

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