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Primary or secondary teaching?

(13 Posts)
Thingsgettingstranger Fri 09-Jun-17 17:52:05

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.

BackforGood Fri 09-Jun-17 18:06:08

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.

toomuchicecream Fri 09-Jun-17 18:17:38

Agree. Get into both primary and secondary schools to observe and then decide. My primary school regularly has people in who are gaining experience for a teaching application.

Imfinehowareyou Fri 09-Jun-17 18:35:09

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!!

Heirhelp Fri 09-Jun-17 18:42:10

Definetly get into a couple of primary and secondary schools to compare. Ask teachers about the positives and negatives. A large amount of teachers work is done when the students are not there.

Secondary free lessons are PPA which you also get in primary schools.

YogiYoni Fri 09-Jun-17 18:59:36

Agree. Get into both primary and secondary schools to observe and then decide. My primary school regularly has people in who are gaining experience for a teaching application.

This. We have exactly the same in secondary - lots of people who come for a few days or a week to see if this is the job for them. I'm pretty sure universities expect it.

Darkblueskies Fri 09-Jun-17 19:00:32

Imfine- yes we have free lessons, do you not get PPA?

CarrieBlue Fri 09-Jun-17 19:48:34

You won't get into any sort of training with no up to date experience of schools - ask to observe in your local primary and secondary.

CountryCaterpillar Fri 09-Jun-17 19:57:09

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.

Imfinehowareyou Sat 10-Jun-17 08:49:41

I stand corrected on the free lessons blush Although back when I house shared there wasn't ppa time in primaries - I remember when it came in (God I'm old!)

MaybeDoctor Sat 10-Jun-17 09:00:31

Secondary teachers have always had 'free' lessons. PPA is calculated as a percentage of your teaching timetable, so now they have frees (which can be taken for cover) plus PPA.

Primary has PPA, plus occasionally you might get other release time depending on responsibilities or how much your head likes you!

Darkblueskies Sat 10-Jun-17 09:27:39

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.

CountryCaterpillar Sat 10-Jun-17 09:54:42

Ok used to get more frees at a college I worked at simply because the day lessons could be on was between 8.30 and 4. We didn't teach any less hours.

So much of the work is done outside of work time for both primary and secondary anyway as there isn't the ability to do it on the day when the kids are there!

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