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Switching from secondary to primary due to behaviour/workload

(19 Posts)
Rain1 Sun 16-Feb-20 05:17:18

I retrained as a high school teacher and have done a year in the classroom. I loved designing lessons and actually teaching but was driven into the ground by behaviour and workload. I'm considering giving up entirely at this stage, but I'm wondering if there's a chance that behaviour/workload would be easier to manage with younger children.

Can anyone who has worked in both settings advise?

OP’s posts: |
icklekid Sun 16-Feb-20 05:17:59

Behaviour maybe, workload absolutely not!!!

happyhappyme Sun 16-Feb-20 05:29:13

The workload will be much , much more in primary

LolaSmiles Sun 16-Feb-20 05:40:15

The workload in primary seems slightly higher to significantly higher depending on the subject.
Marking would probably be a step down if you're an essay based subject teacher used to marking multiple essays a week, but higher than maths. From friends, it seems much more common in primary to have to have planning completed in set proformas for the week a week in advance. Equally coordinating a subject doesn't have a TLR most of the time.

There's many great reasons for considering moving to primary, being a year into secondaries and hoping primary woultbe easier isn't one.

Have you considered a different secondary school?

phlebasconsidered Sun 16-Feb-20 07:15:15

I swapped 6 or 7 years ago now. The workload is categorically not lower. You will be expected to mark maths, english and topic in depth with next steps every night. I have 35 kids in my class. It's a lot of marking.

Pressure is not decreased. My year 6 class is a lone class and I am entirely responsible for the ks2 sats results. Every child is worth a shit ton and the expectations are ridiculous. Data is coming out of my ears.

Behaviour management is different - not easier. Although you may not get as many threats to do you after school, or pregnancies etc youwill still deal with violence and threatening behaviour. Plus, it is likely coming from SEND or EBD kids who are either struggling to gain an EHCP or due to go to special school for year 7. I have children in my class whoare still working at reception or year 1 level in year 6. I am still expected to teach them and show progress. I regularly evacuate the room from one child who is violent. There are no resources to help me - my school has no money- and I have no TA.

You will deal with parents much more. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes not. You will be entirely responsible gor a class all year and all the safeguarding, reporting of neglect, dealing with dv, social services, taf meetings falls to you in a way it just does not in secondary.

It's not, in any way, shape or form, easier.

Rain1 Sun 16-Feb-20 07:23:41

Unfortunately the system where I am is that I have to work in my current school for 4 years before I could apply for a transfer. Even then I might not have enough points to transfer to my home city.

I could apply to private schools but I doubt I would have a chance given that I only have a year's experience.

I'm an English teacher so, yes, lots of essay marking, writing model answers and so on. I was working every evening once DC was in bed until I couldn't keep my eyes open. At the weekend DH took DC out to see friends and I just worked. At reporting time up til 3 am. I did nothing except childcare and work. I couldn't even watch a half hour tv programme a week. My hair fell out and I had 2 miscarriages. If primary is worse then that's it. I just don't know how anyone with kids can do this job.

OP’s posts: |
LolaSmiles Sun 16-Feb-20 07:28:25

Are you in the UK? I've never come across state schools having a clause to keep staff for 4 years.

From your update work is having a substantial negative effect on your health and wellbeing. Personally, I would suggest taking medical advice for stress given the impact and see what they say, also look at other secondary schools as not all of them are bad.

Lazydaisydaydream Sun 16-Feb-20 07:28:42

@Rain1 I think unfortunately for lots of us the answer is that teaching is not compatible with family life sad

Of the teachers I know, the ones who cope better with young children while teaching are those who have already been teaching for years and can sort of tread water for a few years while their DC are young. flowers

Rain1 Sun 16-Feb-20 07:40:42

I'm not in the UK. Primary sounds like it's just as awful then, in different ways. I feel so sad to have invested so much time and money and energy into this. I loved my course and my prac placements and I set out with such hope and enthusiasm... back to square one.

OP’s posts: |
Rain1 Sun 16-Feb-20 07:44:04

After the second miscarriage they let me take a year off unpaid, during which time I managed to carry to term the longed-for DC2 smile. I'm now on a further year of mat leave, so I have some thinking time. I just cannot go back to that school though, no way.

OP’s posts: |
Canadianpancake Sun 16-Feb-20 07:46:17

The replies you've been given here are based on UK primary schools. It may be different where you are op. Where are you?

Rain1 Sun 16-Feb-20 07:50:07


OP’s posts: |
Flatwhite32 Sun 16-Feb-20 07:58:53

OP I'm a primary teacher with an 18 month old DD, and the only way I manage is by working part time. There's absolutely no way I could be a full time primary teacher and mum. Even being part time, I have six folders of marking to do over half term, which I'll be doing when she naps!

caulkheaded Sun 16-Feb-20 08:01:30

Is part time an option? I agree with others, primary is an increased workload in the UK

CalamityJune Sun 16-Feb-20 08:45:46

The expectations for marking in some schools is awful. I hope that the movement towards feedback, not marking filters through. We do this at my school, and I have seen it done at primary level too.

I also teach secondary English and find code marking much faster.

Lazydaisydaydream Sun 16-Feb-20 10:19:25

Oh I've taught primary in Australia and it was a million times easier than in the UK.... Nowhere near the same expectations or workload. But the kids were much further behind because of that! Maybe see if you can spend some time in a primary school nearby to you and see how it feels?

ValancyRedfern Sun 16-Feb-20 19:05:19

Primary definitely has a higher workload than secondary.

ValancyRedfern Sun 16-Feb-20 19:06:41

Sorry just seen you're not I. The UK

LeekMunchingSheepShagger Sun 16-Feb-20 19:08:10

Primary is a higher workload in the U.K. Maybe start another thread with a shout out to teachers in Australia in the title?

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