Ask a teacher

2nd February 2007 at 00:00
I am thinking of making the move from secondary to primary because I don't feel I am making a difference and the pupils don't seem bothered. I like the idea of primary but am worried I won't be able to cope. What do you think?

Dave, Blackpool

A There is a good deal of anecdotal evidence that primary teaching is more professionally fulfilling, if only because you are "catching them young".

Given that your motives sound genuine (and you are not just after a "cushier number") I think that you should pursue your change of direction.

But be warned - you might just be swapping one type of exhaustion for another.

Sue, East Grinstead

A Primary is boring compared to secondary. I made the change a few years ago, and regret it. Why don't I go back?

Because the pay is the same and the workload is diddlysquat, compared to what I used to have.

That sounds awful, but I think it is hard to generalise as everyone has a different opinion and experience.

A lot depends on the school you came from and the one you go to.

Name and address supplied

A I traded in the adolescent, "am I bovvered?", secondary pupils for the more inquiring minds inside a primary school about four years ago.

It was hard at first - the methodologies are different - but I would not go back. There are still things I miss, such as my subject specialism and the Dunkirk spirit of the staffroom.

But, am I glad I bovvered? Not half.

Sheila, West Sussex

A I am surprised that there is not more traffic in this direction.

Primary has its challenges but it still resembles education and not just crowd control. You have more of a chance of exercising your professional pedagogic (as opposed to policing) skills.

Plan for a future in primary schools and relight that fire.

Graham, Crowborough

Next week's question

I've got to come up with a list of tips on how to inject pace into lessons.

Any suggestions?

My Year 9s interfere with my laptop, push books off tables and stab each other with pens. How should I deal with this irritating kind of disruption?

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