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Thinking of leaving Secondary to teach Primary

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jamesrawlinson86, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. I'm thinking of leaving Secondary teaching to go into Primary. The only thing that has kept me in Secondary is the love of my subject - Art. Has anyone ever done this to give some advice please.
  2. chloejewel

    chloejewel New commenter

    Primary teaching is rewarding. You can weave a web of magic and intrigue in even the most hardened of young folk. They will surprise you every day with how much they know about some things... and how little they know about other things! You get to teach the same group all year and will know them inside out, from picking out an individual's voice on the playground with your back turned to knowing that the pouting lips of Ashleigh means she's fallen out with Beth. Your curriculum will be varied and there is a much greater freedom and drive for creativity.
    However... you may find yourself easily frustrated if you are used to the relative independence of secondary school pupils. Teaching the same group all year means you have to put up with Damian and Jordan all year. Primary schools are not exempt from tough target setting, particularly in Year 2 and Year 6. You will be part of a much smaller staff and will probably get on each others nerves. Your subject knowledge in areas other than Art may need polishing up.
    Above all else, you will be competing for jobs with highly skilled teachers trained specifically in Primary, in a saturated market where even very talented teachers are finding it difficult to get a job. I doubt this has helped much... but only you can make the decision.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    People have successfully moved from Sec. to Primary in the pas, but at this point in time it IS very difficult. Trained Primary teachers are in abundant supply & there are hundreds of unemployed Primary teachers all competing for the same jobs.
    The previous poster has summed up Primary teaching well. I always consider the difference to be: Primary teachers care more about individual children per se than any particular subject wheras Sec teachers want to pass on their love of a particular subject.
    Why do you want to change? Do you think discipline is 'easier' in Primary? It isn't the case- different but not neccessarily 'easier' - year 5s & 6s can be challenging and you have to teach those same children all day every day
  4. There are lots and lots of threads on this, if you do a search - I replied to one just a couple of days ago.
    Agree with the above.
    If you truely love your subject to bits, it might not be worth the heartache of not being able to deliver it - technically we are meant to do an hour a week. I know in my year group I am the only teacher who has done any more than 2 hours of art all year. I desperately miss my subject from Secondary, however there is scope for getting involved (subject leadership - however this is what the head gives you, not what you request), and obviously each primary differs in its approach (my last school, we would never have gotten away with the lack of teaching most of the subjects we actually seem to fail to deliver here - but then I appear to be in a carp school now, so don't hold too much stock in that).
    But even in a school that plays it by the book, you will only have an hour a week (if lucky) and very few resources (in general), so bear that in mind.
    Primary is about 3 million times harder than Secondary imho (for lots and lots of reasons). But you do tend to get less violence and swearing at you (TEND to - depends again on the primary).
    Good luck if you want to go for it.
  5. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    How sad. [​IMG]
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Depends on why you want to move, but prep schools or middle schools might suit you better. Good resources, specialist teaching, but no really grotty teenagers.
  7. I'm currently a secondary school music teacher, but moving into primary teaching in September. There aren't any clear routes for converting from secondary to primary (if you have QTS you can't do a primary PGCE or the GTP and there definitely aren't any national conversion courses, and not any local ones that I could find). Any advice I got from people was that I needed to gain experience in primary schools. Prior to my PGCE (3 years ago) I had spent time in classroom assistant roles in primary schools on a voluntary basis during my time at uni. During my feb half term and Easter hols this year I spent time in primary schools, observing teaching and working with groups. Originally, my plan was to do supply in September, however, I decided I had nothing to lose by applying for jobs. I sent about 20 applications and got interviews for 5 of those jobs. I got the job at the first interview I had! This was the first time I'd taught in a primary school!
    I was restricted by location but wasn't picky about the schools I was applying for (anything to get experience)! Luckily, the one I've got is a good school. It's 12 month maternity cover - you're perhaps more likely to get a maternity cover or part-time post initially as fewer people are likely to apply.
    I think the main thing is that you get experience wherever you can to show that you are serious and willing to put the time and work in. Perhaps see if you could go into feeder primary schools in your PPA time, find schools with different term dates to you, help at a prep school on Saturdays or try to get involved in summer schools with primary age children. If you know any primary school teachers talk to them as much as you can and do as much self-study as you can.
    If it's something you really want to do and you're doing it for the right reasons, then you should go for it.
    I hope this is helpful.

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