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Secondary teacher wanting to convert to primary - any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by cachecache, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. I've been teaching MFL in a secondary school for the past 8 years, but after working with some primary colleagues, would now really like to investigate the possibility of working in a primary school. I'm aware that it's a whole different ball game, so would appreciate any advice / tips, especially as I'm full time and permanant, so it's tricky to get primary experience.

    I know it won't be easy, but I'm prepared to work at it!

  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Look at the primary vacancies in your area ...it's likely they are few
  3. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    As there is currently a lot of competition for jobs, you would find it difficult to prove to a primary school that you could teach the primary curriculum as well as any primary-trained teacher. Not impossible, but hard. Experience would be crucial. Have you considered looking for a job in a middle school first?
  4. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    The question you need to ask yourself is: why would an employer choose you ahead of someone specially trained for that age range?
    Potentially you could try get a foot in the door at a larger primary by covering PPA (French). Or were you hoping to be a class teacher?
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You won't like this response, but I feel it is best to be honest.

    There is a massive surplus of primary trained teachers at the moment, both NQTs and experienced. Many excellent primary teachers finding it impossible to get jobs with 100-200 applicants per post.

    Are you really going to be able to convince a primary headteacher that you are a better candidate than a primary teacher who is several grand cheaper with more experience and knowledge?

    The best way in, and the one I used, was to do supply teaching and get your face and name known as an excellent teacher. But even then I had the advantage of having been a middle school maths teacher and had taught many subjects. However I still took a few years to get a full time permanent post.
  6. It's not impossible. I got a permanent Primary job that started in September. This time last year I was doing Supply (part-time for 1 term) and in the months before that (Jan to April) I was volunteering at my children's school a couple of morinings a week. I'd worked for one year as a Secondary teacher and left, spending the next 15 years not teaching but working in Management Development.
    I know I was extremely lucky to get my job, and yes it has been hard work getting to grips with teaching all subjects, understanding the delights of APP etc, however nothing is impossible. Others have given good advice about ways to get experience (Supply etc) and a reality check on the job situation (though that is very dependent on where you live), My job didn't come about through Supply, but at least having some classroom experience gave me examples to use in my interview.
    You will have a wealth of transferable skills from the job you do now - don't underestimate that. Yes, the age range is different, but good teaching is good teaching - don't lose sight of that. Good luck! I hope it works out for you.
  7. Another person here who got into Primary from Secondary via doing supply, then got a longer time supply, then a Mat. contract, then a perm. job.
    You will learn so much from supply as well - no way would I have accepted a job before having that experience, I would have been so out of my depth! :D
    Good luck - but be prepared for so so so so so so much more work in terms of pointless bits of paper and being treated like a child yourself (Having said that, it is lovely and much better than secondary as well lol)
  8. Thanks for all the suggestions - I know it won't be easy, but it's something that I want to do, so will stick at it.
    Fingers crossed!

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