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primary/foundation vs Special school

(11 Posts)
mumnosbest Fri 19-Oct-12 09:23:40

I'm completely torn between 2 jobs. Help me work out the pros and cons of both. I know both schools (have worked in both). i'm currently in mainstream, in a failing school so lots of added pressure and have been moved out of early years sad other than that i do love the school but the workload is rediculous and increasing. i also love the SEN school, the pace was much slower and i dudn't have half as much work to take home (was i doing something wrong there?). Sometimes i did feel more like a carer than a teacher though and worry i might miss 'teaching'.

what do you enjoy or not like about your job? please jelp me decide sad

mumnosbest Fri 19-Oct-12 14:25:51

*help not jelp smile

ninah Fri 19-Oct-12 18:31:59

I had a similar dilemma in the summer - offered ey in mainstream with interview for SEN school the day after. I went for the bird in the hand .. but I do wonder what the other would have been like. You have to make a list of your personal priorities I guess - how important is work/life balance? is there any chance of rejoining ey in your current school? caring/teaching - it's not an either/or surely? one of the best lessons I ever saw was in a SEN school - Maths lesson where all pupils were non vocal and with quite complex needs.
I'd go for the school with the more supportive SLT, personally. Children are always fab and inspiring. But a duff SLT can make your life a misery.

mumnosbest Sat 20-Oct-12 15:02:51

Mmm thanks for that. You have a point about SLT. 1 is very demanding, the other are lovely but a bit wishy washy. I do feel i can approach the latter more.

Lougle Sat 20-Oct-12 15:06:35

The Special School my daughter attends is all about the teaching. In fact, there is no down time. Even break times and lunch times are designated as 'teaching time'.

Please don't see your work at a Special School as being a 'carer'. Our children don't need 'carers', they need teachers.

mumnosbest Mon 22-Oct-12 01:43:11

Thanks lougle i probably worded that wrong. I guess what i meant was more 'traditional teaching'. This is a pmld school and when i taught there before i felt the pace was so much slower (a good thing for me now) and missed some of the mainstream teaching. I also found so much time was taken up with necessities like hoisting, fitting splints/ braces, tube feeding, changing (the caring side). I know kids with sens need teaching too and find it really rewarding but very different. Hope i didn't offend. For what it's worth i am leaning towards the special school.

Lougle Mon 22-Oct-12 06:42:41

I do understand smile but just remember that even tiny steps are huge victories for these children. Even if you see increased eye tracking while you are hosting, splinting, etc., that could lead, in a few years, to that child having the opportunity to communicate using eye gaze technology.

Children with PMLD need you to capture every moment as a teaching opportunity. At DD1's school they take photos many times a day, so they can see progress even in minute ways. Perhaps you could investigate what the school you are considering does to ensure it is a 'school' rather than a care facility?

Timetoask Mon 22-Oct-12 07:47:15

I am not a teacher, but as a mother of a child at a special school, I think you should go for mainstream.
I can imagine that if you felt the work at special school "easier" then you don't have your heart in it, the teachers at my sons school have a real vocation, always trying to find ways to teach these children something, lots of opportunity for learning so much and to apply teaching in a different way.

mumnosbest Mon 22-Oct-12 17:07:14

Thanks lougle . Your dds school does sound quite similar to this school. You are right i just need to change my mindset again. I'm actually getting quite excited about it now. I think i felt tied to my present school as my dc go there.
time you are right about it being a vocation but have me wrong. I used to work there and loved it. When i say easier i'm thinking more of the pace, theres less marking, papers etc to take home. I used to find my day at school physically tiring and sometimes emotionally but i had less to do of an evening (more of the positives) whereas mainstream is more paperwork/admin, work prep and assessment. As cougle says assessment in special is more practical, photos and obs.

Isla77 Thu 15-Nov-12 23:01:20

But surely photos have to be annotated and observations written up in order to be effective as assessment tools. I work in a special school and I spend ages writing notes to go along with photos and writing up what I have observed about children. All the teachers do. The notes are part of my assessment profile for each child and inform my planning for each child also. I certainly feel I have as much to do as my mainstream colleagues especialy as my planning is much more individual - for each child - than when I worked in mainstream.

ninah Thu 15-Nov-12 23:13:54

it sounds quite a lot like EYFS, actually - is that right? I am always sitting in meetings where teachers talk about their NC planning and haven't much to add - then I get home and there are a million notes to write up.
I still fancy a SEN role one day. What did you go for in the end, op?

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