Primary Heads- when would you employ me?(4 Posts)
I am a secondary trained MFL teacher who has spent the past year teaching MFL in KS2 at a primary school. I have also covered the odd PPA time in KS1 and 2 and have done some days of supply teaching at different primary schools in KS2 (on my days off).
I really enjoy primary teaching and am now considering to leave secondary teaching behind me but feel unsure as to what to do to be accepted as a primary teacher. Do I try to do as much supply in KS2 as possible come September or do I try to get a HLTA post in a primary setting? As primary heads what would you suggest I do to show I can teach in KS1 and 2?
It all depends on where you are in the country! If you're in an area with a shortage of teachers you may well get employed straight away. But to be honest, a school which would employ you without more KS2/1 background is (in my experience) likely to be so desperate for staff that they can't support you properly.
I think your idea of getting as much KS2 supply as possible is a good idea. When you are working in a school with a friendly Head then have a chat to them about the experience they are looking for. I would imagine that a larger school with plenty of PPA to cover would be very glad to have someone on the staff who could teach MFL competently and correctly.
In the meantime, what's your Maths subject knowledge and Maths pedagogical knowledge like? If you've never done it before, register yourself with NCETM (free) as there are lots of self audits and helpful reading on the site. I'm a primary Maths specialist who's moved from KS2 to KS1 and even 2 or 3 years after the move, I still find myself racking my brains to work out how to explain an apparently simple concept to children sometimes. Mathematics Explained for Primary Teachers by Haylock was my bible on my PGCE and in the first years of my teaching career - he's also published one about Mathematics for young children which is extremely useful now.
For English, I use the Pie Corbett Talk for Writing approach a lot. Many schools will now have their own SPAG progression - I suggest googling to see if you can find some examples and then working out if you could explain each of the concepts on there. Phonics is a whole new ball game - if you're trying to get to grips with the rest of the primary curriculum I suggest leaving that one until a bit later to get your head round.
In your situation I'd aim for KS2 work to start with and get established there. Once you've got the hang of that you can look at moving down again to KS1 if you want to.
Oh - and download a year 6 SATS paper. Can you answer all the questions? Could you explain how to answer them? Now do the same with a set of level 6 papers... Someone with secondary experience is likely to get a job in year 6 so you need to be comfortable with teaching all subjects to that level.
Thank you for the really helpful post! I agree that I'd definitely need to improve my maths subject knowledge and get my head around phonics and other literacy strategies. You have given me some excellent starting points, thanks again.
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