Changing to secondary teaching?

(13 Posts)
Oakmaiden Wed 25-Jun-14 20:01:50

Hi. I wanted to get a few opinions from people who "know".

I am a primary school teacher, but have so far been unable to find a job in the primary sector. I have been working supply in the year since I qualified (2 terms of which was spent at the same school, but that role is coming to an end this term). To be honest there are very few primary jobs advertised where I live, and most of them seem to have gone to people chosen before the advert went out - I know for a fact that 2 of the last 3 posts I applied for were offered to people who the schools had previously contacted and "invited" to apply.

Anyway - in my supply role I have been teaching maths and maths problem solving through KS2, and I have been wondering if it might be worth my while to apply for jobs as a secondary maths teacher. The down sides to this are that although I am actually very good at maths, and teaching maths, I actually dropped out of school before taking my A levels (I was doing double maths) and my degree is in Education, not a curriculum subject. Do you think I would stand a hope in hell of finding a post as a maths teacher, or would I be wasting my time? Would doing some supply work in the secondary sector, and finally taking that maths A level, help at all, or would it still be unlikely enough to be a waste of energy?

noblegiraffe Wed 25-Jun-14 20:29:12

Are you good at teaching maths, or just primary maths? If you haven't got A-level maths, nor a maths-based degree, how would you be able to teach maths GCSE?

Not that that would stop some schools from hiring you, though. There's a desperate shortage of maths teachers.

Oakmaiden Wed 25-Jun-14 20:36:25

Well, I have only really taught primary maths, so I cannot say for certain that I am good at teaching secondary maths. Although my personal maths skills are very good, and if I understand the maths I can probably teach it! I think I would be relatively confident teaching GCSE level maths (having just coached my son through his) but would not currently be at all confident teaching A level.

That said - most of the secondary school around here only go up to Y11, so wouldn't be looking for an A level teacher.

I am concerned though that if I did go for this there would be some children who would be capable of going beyond the normal Y11 curriculum, so I increasingly think dusting off my A level maths learning and finishing it up would be a good idea...

Hm. I think doing some supply in secondary and Maths A level (or even an OU maths course) might be the way forward, do you?

Springcleanish Wed 25-Jun-14 20:42:53

I'd try some supply first, but most schools will only let you teach a subject at KS4 with a good A level in the subject at least. This differs if you are already in the school as a proven teacher IME. I would try to get an A level in Maths or see if you can do a conversion course primary to secondary with a maths specialism.
The other route in might be as a maths intervention mentor/ coach working with PP students. More and more secondaries are using this as a way of spending their PP budget.
Good luck.

WaffleWiffle Wed 25-Jun-14 20:50:44

I know a primary teacher who did a few years as a SEN teacher in secondary. She was specifically employed to give targeted literacy help to underachieving KS3 pupils. I wonder if similar numeracy schemes exist?

Oakmaiden Wed 25-Jun-14 20:54:43

OK. So A level maths as a minimum. That is fair enough - I expected that to be the case.

threepiecesuite Wed 25-Jun-14 20:56:02

To be honest, the schools in my county would snap you up. We are desperately short of maths teachers - qualified or otherwise.

OhMyActualDays Wed 25-Jun-14 20:58:04

Desperate for decent Maths teachers here... We would snap you up!

BeatriceBean Wed 25-Jun-14 21:04:38

I've got a level maths but wouldn't expect to teach gcse. At the school I worked in it was all maths/science graduates.

there's a heck of a lot of pressure at the moment on results and progress. Discipline could be a different issue.

could you contact a local secondary and ask to shadow for a day to get a feel? Ask a lot of questions, look keen and willing,make contacts and add to future applications?

Justtoobad Sun 29-Jun-14 21:51:31

Defo go for it, You can always do ks3 maths and then bulk up your teaching in other subjects.

You can do it.

nostress Mon 30-Jun-14 20:08:56

Yes i was going to suggest ks3!

Isabeller Mon 30-Jun-14 20:11:51

How about some OU maths modules instead of the A level?

TheLateMrsLizCromwell Wed 02-Jul-14 15:34:02

You are likely to be snapped up! When I applied to teach another subject and the Teaching Agency found out that I had A level maths (grade D, GCSE grade C grin) they cold-called me like a bunch of double-glazing salesmen to try to convince me to do maths instead, or even physics, and I failed that GCSE.
No offence to real maths teachers, but as the old saying goes, if you stuck a broom handle up in a corner and called it a maths teacher it would be hired... On my PGCE course, the maths and physics people got away with murder in terms of their academic output, because there was no way they were going to be failed - they themselves were amazed by it.

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