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To stick to primary / change to secondary history

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by lizzyjohnson1, May 12, 2020.

  1. lizzyjohnson1

    lizzyjohnson1 New commenter

    I’m currently studying to be a primary teacher. I am in my first year but I have had some experience throughout multiple year groups (observing and guided reading) but most of my experience has been in Nursery.

    I do love being in the primary setting, but I worry that I will struggle when I’m qualified to teach each subject and be comfortable knowing all that info for every key stage, plus I keep wondering what teaching in secondary would be like.

    I’m having second thoughts as to whether I want to continue to train for primary or to change my degree to a history degree & add a pgce on top to teach secondary history as that is my ‘passion’.

    I think I’ll always have that ‘what if’ in my head if I just stick to primary.

    I just want to know peoples thoughts on teaching primary/secondary - and some advice really! - do I just not feel passionate about primary because I was predominantly in nursery this year?

    TIA !
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If you are able to switch to a history degree, then you could follow that with either a primary or a secondary PGCE. That would enable you to delay the decision, and hopefully get into both primaries and secondaries by then so you can be more sure.
    It's quite difficult to switch sector once qualified, as you cannot do a second PGCE, but you'll be competing for jobs with people who have trained for that sector. Neither history nor primary are shortage areas, so there will be competition.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    I taught history and enjoyed it but there is a lot of marking.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. Davidsusername

    Davidsusername New commenter

    Hi Lizzie,

    I was a TA in a primary school for two years (and did a considerable amount of unqualified teaching as well) and had a similar dilemma as to whether to do primary training or secondary as a history teacher. I adored Primary but chose Secondary as at the time I thought it might give me more options in the future.

    I’ve never looked back since. I did love primary and felt like I was really making a difference, but I found teaching older students much more fun as they really develop their personalities and start to become more confident. I’m now Head of Year 9 at my school and just adore it. It’s nice being able to have ‘grown up’ conversations with them - and of course you can teach history in far more depth and with greater understanding. I was initially very nervous about dealing with ‘bigger kids’, but they’re more scared of you than you are of them ;)

    That said there are lots of great bits about Primary that you don’t have in Secondary, I really enjoyed the range of subjects I ended up teaching and the idea of having a class to myself.

    I hope there was at least something helpful here for you to think about. Do whatever you heart tells you, throw yourself into it and whichever path you choose you will, I’m sure, become a brilliant teacher :)
    VeronicAmb likes this.
  5. historyexcel

    historyexcel New commenter

    Personally I would (and did) do a History degree and a PGCE. My logic is that a history degree opens more doors in an uncertain job market than a primary specific qualification. I also agree with what Davidsusername says above, older kids, especially in the middle years, have a more mature and enquiring mind than primary.
  6. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    When I started my PGCE (secondary), we had to organise for ourselves and do 2 weeks in a primary school first. I think this was to see if you loved it, in which case maybe a discussion about whether you were on the right course.
    I hated it. Little ones are not for me. It was a good idea though.

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