What makes a great Further Education teacher?
This is often one of the most unanswered questions put to me.
FE is a fast paced and busy sector.
As a teacher in FE I am often the first point of contact for students to discuss their college work or personal issues.
I am organised, passionate and a very good listener. Listening to students is vital as they may have barriers to learning, which can be complex and may involve their personal life. As we discuss ways forward – together – I am also a mentor and I always try to guide in the best way I can in order to facilitate students to reach their potential. I also direct them to any additional support that feel may be helpful on their learning and indeed personal journey.
As such, within FE being a good teacher includes building a very good rapport with students. Effective communication is vital to this and includes addressing any complex needs students may have in order for them to successfully learn.
I would definately say that Further Education is one of the most crucial sectors in education. Within FE there are students from different backrounds and age groups. Meeting their diverse needs in innovative, creative and individualised ways is crucial.
Also, job seeking skills and being industry prepared – which in the area I teach is early years and health and social care – is vital. The students arrive on the programme wanting a great experience, a qualification and a career.
Indeed, over the years of teaching experience I have gained – it has come to my attention how very important learning is for individuals for a number of reasons. It has been a way for students to gain confidence and further their knowledge and skills so they can enter their planned employment. Career routes enable students to gain fulfillment but they often also speak of wanting to earn a descent wage to support their families.
Further Education can provide a platform for learners who may not have achieved their potential at school; they often arrive in the classroom with low self-esteem and very anxious.
Having few or no qualifications can be a rrason for this. FE offers them another – more fulfilling opportunity to experience success. FE also supports those learners who may have their GCSE’s but do not have the confidence to study A levels.
FE is a mighty platform for all ages and backgrounds. FE is a doorway that offers real opportunities to so many – opportunities that turn their life around and offer them a future where they can thrive.
For all these reasons – I love being an FE teacher.