I have been a teacher educator in the lifelong learning sector since 1998, supporting the next generation of FE teachers to improved the life chances of young people and adults. I went to college to study A levels, as my own school didn’t have a sixth form. I have had a career in retailing, and then teaching on a range of FE courses, from young people coming to college on 14-16 programmes from school, to postgraduate professional teacher training courses. Taking responsibility for ‘teaching teachers how to teach’ has provided me with a privileged position with which to participate in FE and I wouldn’t have developed in my career if it hadn’t been for the range of teaching experiences that FE gave me. While caring for my first child I enrolled on a beginner computer literacy information technology class (CLAIT) at my local FE college, to improve my word processing skills. During the course my tutor learned about my background in retailing, and that I had a teaching qualification. She referred me to her manager who gave me some part-time teaching in her department.
My entry into teacher education followed a similar serendipitous journey to my general teaching career. My IT skills led me to training adults working in schools, and then to teaching on the City and Guilds 7307. Most of my career from there has been based upon the trust placed upon me by my colleagues and managers, rather than a formal career route. The benefit of this long, haphazard apprenticeship is that I gained a wide repertoire of teaching and training strategies and activities, with stories that I share with my trainee teachers through the construction of my lessons and during tutorial conversations.