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Primary teacher jobs can be found throughout the UK and continue to be a popular career choice for many people. Working as a primary teacher requires determination, hard work, passion and a commitment to child education. Primary teacher jobs cover children aged from 3 to 11-years old. Foundation stage, is nursery and reception-aged children (3-5 years old), followed by Key Stage 1 (ages five to seven) and Key Stage 2 (ages 7 to 11). As a teacher, you will be responsible for developing and conducting lessons in line with curriculum requirements.
Teaching can be a very rewarding profession. You will be playing an important role in the educational development of children, including helping them gain important social skills. Read on to learn more about what primary teacher jobs involve, including expected duties, salaries and career developments.
Your specific duties will depend on what age children you teach. For example, nursery teacher duties are different to that of a Key Stage 2 teacher. Regardless of the level you teach, no two days are likely to be the same. Your duties will also differ depending on the subject you teach, for example, physical education teachers will likely spend most of their time outdoors.
The size of a school and the number of pupils in a class will also influence your daily duties. You may also be required to work ‘out of school hours’, such as evenings and at weekends for special events. Regarding general tasks, primary teacher employers will expect you to do the following:
Closely follow the curriculum
- Ensuring pupils understand lessons and progress accordingly
- Organising lesson plans and all required learning resources
- Motivating pupils through interesting lessons and enthusiastic, imaginative lessons
- Creating a safe environment for pupils and maintaining discipline
- Monitoring pupil progress and providing feedback
Working as a primary teacher will require you to have certain qualifications, as well as passed a required security background check. Many teachers study for a three-year university degree, followed by a one-year PGCE course. Primary school teaching is open to all graduates. However, degrees in English, maths or science are preferred by some primary teacher employers.
You will need a QTS before allowed to teach in most schools in England and Wales. However, there are some differences for people wishing to teach in Scotland and so these must be considered if you are thinking of working there. In addition to formal qualifications, primary teacher employers will look for certain skill sets, including:
- Excellent written and spoken communications skills
- Energy, enthusiasm and natural willingness to help children
- Highly organised with ability to multi-task
- Creativity, and a good imagination
- Patience and flexibility
Primary teacher jobs can offer great career prospects. Firstly, teaching jobs are often more of a passion than job for many people. Therefore, once trained as a teacher, you may want to remain in the profession for many years. This will give you lots of time to develop your skills and progress professionally. In terms of promotion, assistant/head of department roles are often the next step. From this, head of year, school deputy and school headmaster positions may become available. How long it will take to reach such positions, will depend on factors including your own ability, the size of the school and the subject you are teaching.
Other career options for teachers include moving into higher education, teacher training, education officer and working for the local education authority. People working in entry-level primary teacher jobs can expect to be paid around £24,000 to being with. This will rise regularly to around £35,000 for more experienced teachers. From this, salaries will increase as you move into more senior-level positions, such as head of year and headteacher.
Working as a primary teacher can be a very rewarding job. You will have the chance to make a real difference to the lives of many children. You will be given lots of responsibilities and be working in a dynamic, lively and often exciting environment. Job stability is often very strong for teachers, and many people go on to remain as teachers for the whole of their working lives. Long summer holidays and steadily increasing wages are other benefits of primary teacher jobs.
However, there are of course some negative issues related to primary teacher jobs. The role can be very demanding if you are not committed. You will likely be expected to work out of hours, as well as attend/help with school functions in evenings and possibly weekends. The role can be emotionally tiring, whilst having to deal with badly-behaved children and disgruntled parents.