Often teachers within secondary schools have not ended up there by mistake. It is usually a conscience decision to go in to secondary school teaching from early on in there training. They may have opted for this due to the love of a particular subject or the have the opportunity to teach the challenging and inquisitive minds of teenagers.
Sometimes though secondary school teachers decide that it is no longer for them and that they would like to try teaching in a primary school. Although you do not need any additional or different qualifications, the two jobs are often quite different and you will need to learn to adapt quickly when switching from one to another.
As a primary school teacher you will need to have a wider breadth of knowledge as you will be teaching all subjects not just one. You will also need to know who to deal with different types of issues to ones you have probably been used to in secondary schools and may have to learn to ease up a little as primary students are of course younger. As a primary school teaching who has moved from a secondary school post, you will also have to contend with moving to being a generalist rather than a specialist, and with having the same class all the time.
After carrying out recent studies, supply teachers say that the thing they worry about most (after finding work) is being able to control a class. Often being thrown in to a classroom of children who you have never met before and possibly within a school that you have never taught in before can be very daunting. If you have previously worked in a permanent position in a school, you will have had the opportunity to bond with the class and work out what works best in terms of keeping them interested and keeping a correct level of control. You need to establish ground rules from the first moment the children enter the classroom.
Classroom control is vital to gain the respect of the children and to ensure that works get completed on time and to the correct standard. Without control you may find that disruptive pupils start to affect the while classroom and this can be hard to get back under control. If you have a teaching assistant working with you, then be sure to speak to them about how the class is normally ran and if there are any pupils that you need to be aware of.
With teaching, it is not only important that you find a job that fits in with what you are looking for but also that you find a school that does. Many schools have quite a lot of say over how they are run and therefore you might find that the policies and procedures at one school differ quite drastically from another.
When looking to apply for a teaching job be sure to read all the recent Ofsted reports that are available and have a good look through their website and recent news letters. You will often be able to find a leaflet of the schools policies and procedures online which will give you the opportunity to read through before deciding whether to apply for the job.
If you are get to the stage where you are invited in for an interview, make a note of any questions that you would like to ask them that are important to you. It may be their policy on behaviour or bulling or if he school sends out homework and how often? This can then allow you some thinking time before you have to accept a position to ensure that it is right for you.
As a teacher, you will already know how precious time in the class room is. The days start to fly by and you need to ensure that you have taught the students all they need to know to progress further in their education. If you are a teacher of a reception or year one class then you may need to help the children to settle more so than you would older children. You can easily waste an hour throughout the day asking children to hang up their coats, sit on the carpet or tidy away.
To allow you to free up as much of this time as possible for teaching, it is important that you give them plenty of structure and that you establish early on what is expected of them. Make sure there is designated places for their water bottles, book bags etc and if you find that it is simply not working sending them all out together, then send them in small groups. Always make sure that you have them all sat down and quiet before you start explaining what the task is that they must complete and how long they have to work on it.
As a teacher, there are always ways in which you can improve and offer a better education to your pupils. Regardless of the age of pupils you teach, there are new ways in teaching and offering help and support than can literally change a pupils prospects.
During the summer holidays is the perfect time to rethink the way in which you teach and start to consider changes you may want to make when you go back in September. Firstly you need to know that you have your classroom in order. You may need to give up a few days of your holiday in order to go in to the class, but this will give you the chance to rearrange furniture if needed and set up displays, all of which is very hard with a class full of children.
Try and get ahead with your planning and make sure that you have all the resources you need. You may want to have a rough plan of what you are going to do taking you up to half term and then on a weekly basis create a more detailed lesson plan and print off materials etc that will be needed.
If you found that you struggled with classroom control, then do some research and try and find out different ways in which you can deal with disruptive pupils to get the best outcome.