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    Purely out of interest, when someone tells you they are a secondary teacher vs someone who tells you they are a primary teacher who do you automatically respect the most? And why?
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    Neither, but if I had to pick one, it'd be the secondary school teacher, because sometimes, the things they have to put up with would just kill any other person mentally.
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    Secondary-harder, more classes = more students, more parents evenings, more marking, more planning,more data entry, bigger schools = more meetings, gcse+alevel=course work,= more meetings=moderation.
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    I admire the patience of primary school teachers in the sense that they are able to keep trying to make a child understand very simple concepts.

    I respect secondary school teachers more though, mainly because they often have to toil through classes of really badly behaved children, while keeping on top of marking, planning, meetings, etc
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    Definitely secondary school teachers.

    Due to the difficulty of the content, specialisation and what I've heard from friends about teaching in primary schools makes it sound like babysitting.
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    Secondary school teachers for the fact they have to deal with teenagers lol.

    That aside, both positions are still respectful and I wouldn't look down on anyone who was a primary teacher either.
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    Secondary- behaviour in most schools is terrible
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    The perception amongst most people will almost certainly be that teaching at secondary is harder because of the behaviour of the children, which is true - generally speaking, it is more difficult to manage the behaviour of older children. The workload survey published two years ago suggested that primary school teachers actually work longer hours and spend more time working at home than their secondary counterparts, though, and there was a difference of just 0.6 between how many hours they taught, so perceptions that secondary teachers have more work to do isn't necessarily correct. It, of course, ultimately depends on the school, though.
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    I'm a secondary teacher and I really respect how primary teachers manage to differentiate for mixed ability groups, day in day out. It's challenging enough to differentiate within ability groupings (there's a huge range even within setted groups) but at least we don't have really high ability pupils in the same group as kids who can't read.

    I also appreciate that they have an immense workload (even larger than in secondary, in many cases) and have a lot of demands placed on them. Things like marking all books every single day whereas we have more books overall (I teach 260 pupils) but can spread them out and manage our time as we wish a bit more.

    Also I get the impression there's some really pathetic nitpicking from primary SLTs which puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on primary teachers - stuff like scrutinising how your tables are laid out or what your displays are like, which is really trivial and should be up to the teacher to decide. From what I've heard, it seems like many primary schools expect qualified teachers to produce written lesson plans, which is absolutely appalling, so hats off to the teachers who manage to get all of this done.

    I'm not sure I "respect" primary teachers for some of this though. From the people I know who have gone into primary teaching, a lot are very nice, kind, non-confrontational people. They've also tended to go into teaching at a younger age so have little life experience against which to judge the way schools are run. And I imagine this has contributed to the kind of nonsense in the paragraph above, because this type of person is less likely to challenge instructions they are given.

    Obviously this is a generalisation and doesn't apply to all primary teachers. I'm sure there are plenty of strong characters out there who do challenge their SLTs when necessary, but I just feel there may be fewer of them than in secondary (and god knows secondary teaching needs more of us to be prepared to stand up and fight too!).
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    Speaking as a very old hand at secondary teaching, I wouldn't go into the job if respect is what you are after.
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    (Original post by myrtille)
    Also I get the impression there's some really pathetic nitpicking from primary SLTs which puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on primary teachers - stuff like scrutinising how your tables are laid out or what your displays are like, which is really trivial and should be up to the teacher to decide.
    I think the reason why this happens isn't necessarily because primary has more 'yes' people, but rather that there is a greater focus on whole school approaches than there is at secondary. Primary schools are constantly getting new whole school approaches thrown at them by the government and educational 'experts' and because they're quicker and easier to implement than in secondary schools, there's always a fear that Ofsted will be looking to see whether or not these approaches have been taken on board more immediately than with secondary schools.

    At the moment, you'll struggle to find a primary school that doesn't have a working wall for English and Maths because everyone has been told how important these are to supporting progress. You also get a lot of 'the school down the road has laid out their classes Singapore-style with single desks and their SATs results went up, so this term we're going to give it a go in Year 5 and 6 and see how it works' whereas, at secondary, you're less likely to hear about how the Maths department at the more successful school down the road has laid out their classrooms.

    Essentially, the primary system is a lot more conducive to changes and fuss than the secondary system and that's why there are more nonsensical changes and fuss.
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    (Original post by Pierson)
    I think the reason why this happens isn't necessarily because primary has more 'yes' people, but rather that there is a greater focus on whole school approaches than there is at secondary. Primary schools are constantly getting new whole school approaches thrown at them by the government and educational 'experts' and because they're quicker and easier to implement than in secondary schools, there's always a fear that Ofsted will be looking to see whether or not these approaches have been taken on board more immediately than with secondary schools.

    At the moment, you'll struggle to find a primary school that doesn't have a working wall for English and Maths because everyone has been told how important these are to supporting progress. You also get a lot of 'the school down the road has laid out their classes Singapore-style with single desks and their SATs results went up, so this term we're going to give it a go in Year 5 and 6 and see how it works' whereas, at secondary, you're less likely to hear about how the Maths department at the more successful school down the road has laid out their classrooms.

    Essentially, the primary system is a lot more conducive to changes and fuss than the secondary system and that's why there are more nonsensical changes and fuss.
    Having to update the working wall really annoys me. The kids never look at it. Even when we encourage them to. It takes a lot of time to create something that is interesting and related to their work.
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    (Original post by JamieInPompey)
    Having to update the working wall really annoys me. The kids never look at it. Even when we encourage them to. It takes a lot of time to create something that is interesting and related to their work.
    Tell me about it! Although mine have a set, somewhat lazy format: for English, it's always a ton of key/technical words and the main features of the genre we're learning about, accompanied by definitions/examples written by the children and then as many pictures as I need to cover up the gaps! For Maths, I have mini-whiteboards of some children's work to demonstrate the methods/concepts we're learning about, relevant vocabulary and then lots of mastery questions to cover up the gaps. I've found that the English one can be useful to them, but I always have to prompt them to look at it. The Maths one is just pointless, though, and therefore not as frequently updated.
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    (Original post by Pierson)
    Tell me about it! Although mine have a set, somewhat lazy format: for English, it's always a ton of key/technical words and the main features of the genre we're learning about, accompanied by definitions/examples written by the children and then as many pictures as I need to cover up the gaps! For Maths, I have mini-whiteboards of some children's work to demonstrate the methods/concepts we're learning about, relevant vocabulary and then lots of mastery questions to cover up the gaps. I've found that the English one can be useful to them, but I always have to prompt them to look at it. The Maths one is just pointless, though, and therefore not as frequently updated.

    I find that because key words are on the English board, some of our kids have started to cheat in their spelling tests. It is then really difficult to see who is actually progressing and who is not. We have had a few retests!
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    (Original post by JamieInPompey)
    I find that because key words are on the English board, some of our kids have started to cheat in their spelling tests. It is then really difficult to see who is actually progressing and who is not. We have had a few retests!
    And if they notice them, they can't just shut up and cheat themselves, can they? No. They need to tell you out loud, in front of everyone, complete with pointing, therefore drawing everyone's attention to it! Does my head in, haha!
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    Respect when you say you're a teacher? - no, not for primary or secondary. I taught for 25 years - in the early days the attitude was 'so you couldn't get a job in industry then' and later on, it was 'you're a teacher?- what a mug, why do you put up with it?'

    If you pushed me to say which gained most respect, it would be secondary - which seemed strange as secondary was easier than primary - fewer contact hours, less marking, more curriculum stability, only had to plan one lesson for every teaching session instead of three differentiated lessons…

    Funnily enough, now that I've given up teaching to go back to uni, I get more respect as a PhD student - make of that what you will.
 
 
 
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