Should I become a primary or secondary teacher?

(11 Posts)
saladcheese Thu 07-Mar-13 11:45:20

Have been mulling this one over for a while.

Secondary School- get to (ideally!) share my subject- English- at a higher level. Would like having a range of groups to teach.

Primary- seems more fun, creative and colourful. Can do more of a holistic education. Less challenging behaviour.

Anyone done both?

EvilTwins Thu 07-Mar-13 18:04:24

I would advise going and spending a bit of time in each and seeing what you think. Most schools would be happy to have you in for a couple of days' observation.

wild Thu 07-Mar-13 18:07:18

hollow laugh at holistic and less challenging behaviour

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 07-Mar-13 18:09:09

Oh, you can have my job in primary.
I think I want to be a GP. You get to sit down in a nice office and deal with one person at a time and be calm and clean.

Roisin Thu 07-Mar-13 18:11:57

joins the hollow laughter...

I agree with EvilTwins - arrange to spend as much time as you can possibly spare in some local schools. (You have to do this to support a PGCE application anyway.)

Euphemia France Thu 07-Mar-13 20:15:49

Less challenging behaviour.

I can't quite decide which emoticon to use!

HumphreyCobbler Thu 07-Mar-13 20:18:06

I am a primary school teacher and I do know what the OP means with behavior.

At least my children are not taller and wittier than me.

This is the entire basis on which I decided not to be a secondary English teacher grin

Umlauf Thu 07-Mar-13 20:23:34

I'm having the same dilemma. Im planning to move into teaching in 2 or 3 years when I move back to the UK.

At the moment teaching full time in a tefl academy abroad, my youngest class are 9, my oldest 16. I also teach adults. My favourite age group is the 11 year olds, although I do get on well with the 13 year olds. I find the older teenagers and the younger children really challenging! Would love to be able to only teach KS3 but that's not a possibility...

I've observed in both primary and secondary schools and was accepted onto a PGCE secondary 4 years ago but then DH got a job overseas and we went. I don't know how ill ever be able to decide!

AViewfromtheFridge Thu 07-Mar-13 20:26:07

I had exactly your dilemma. Went for secondary in the end - decided I would love doing the more in-depth stuff and you still get the more primary-style stuff with the younger ones. Spent some time in a primary as part of my training and definitely made the right choice.

As others have said - spend as much time as you can in different schools before you decide. I often look back to my idealistic pre-teacher self with a hollow laugh.

Amphitrite Fri 08-Mar-13 00:57:09

Umlauf - what about looking for a job in a middle school? Some counties still have them.
OP - definitely a week's obs in each stage will tell you a lot. I am CoG in a primary school and love the kids to death, but went for secondary teaching because I really enjoy the subject specialist aspect.

deleted203 Tue 12-Mar-13 21:51:15

I've done both over the years (although only the odd day's supply in primary) and much prefer secondary. As others have said, you really need to do a bit of observation. I like horrid teenagers - and have discovered (to my shame) that I am pretty bored by small children and having to bring my teaching down to that level. I also hated having to teach every darn subject under the sun. Give me my own subject and a bunch of 14 - 16 year olds and I'm perfectly happy. Give me a class of 8 year olds and I want to tear my hair out.

(And I've always taught in really tough schools - but I have far less behaviour issues with tough teens than I do with chirpy 7 year olds I can tell you!).

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