Thinking of changing career to teaching, but not sure which is better. Does anyone have any opinions? I've heard that primary teaching is competitive to get into, but then I would prefer to work with small children. TIA.
Well, they are completely different jobs. You'll find Primary teachers who wouldn't touch secondary jobs with a bargepole and you'll find secondary who wouldn't know where to start with Primary. If it is a 'thought' that you 'might like to' at the moment, then you need to get involved with some volunteering or shadowing so you can get a much clearer picture, and you will be able to talk to staff about the good things and bad things about their jobs. In order to apply even you need to get some experience behind you anyway. In doing that, it will help clarify your thoughts.
I teach primary and used to house share (many moons ago) with secondary teachers. They only had their subject to teach whereas I taught the lot. They had tons of children to teach, I had my class...but they really didn't know their classes well. They did a lot of chalk and talk which is very frowned upon in primary. They had 'free lessons'. No way in primary. I wouldn't want to teach in secondary as I feel you have more of a bond with your primary class. In primary you get to know the parents (not always a good thing). In primary you are taller than your kids!!
Secondary is more about your subject. At A level can require quite academic and up to date subject knowledge, lots and lots of different classes and names go learn. Vast numbers of essays to mark and get your head around .
Small people can involve sick, nappies, a lot more physical but looks a lot more fun. Ridiculous amount of very prescriptive recording and planning according to whichever education Secretary which is usually pointless and irritating.
Pointless and irritating work will take lots more of your time than you want it to whichever stage you do
Talk to some teachers . I loved it pre kids but isn't overly family friendly and many teachers leave after kids (or in general after 5 years). Long long hours in term time. Every day just to be ready for the next day, but good holidays.
No, I'm sure that primary and secondary teachers get 10% PPA time but secondary is not in a block like primary. I certainly don't get more than that and yes it does sometimes get taken for cover as well, but this is why the unions advise rarely cover because it's being taken from your PPA, not anything extra.