Why FE tutors are so important


From a young age, FE was something that I had wanted to pursue. As a child, the job that had always appealed to me was teaching. Throughout all of primary school and high school, teachers were people that I deeply admired and respected. And while that may not have changed, FE opened my eyes to careers that I had never considered, and ones that may be better suited to me.
Now I know that it may seem like I gave up on a teaching career because of horror stories that I heard from my tutors, or some general sense of pessimism among the staff, but in fact it was actually due to my tutors recognising aspects of my talent and personality that I did not see myself. And there are three men that I have to thank for that – Glenn Meads, Thomas Roberts and Christopher Hempstock.
Glenn was my Creative Writing tutor, whose teaching style had a huge impact on me. Rather than teaching for the exam, Glenn taught for the future, showing us how we could get our writing out into the world. This was much more influential, and it was Glenn that put me forward to write theatre reviews for a website in Manchester. Before his class, I had never written a review before, and now I attend shows regularly and enjoy seeing my reviews online, something that I intend to continue.
Glenn continues to be incredibly supportive of my work, and I am greatly indebted to him for every review of mine that is published. As a teacher he is inspiring and dedicated, but it is his commitment beyond the classroom that is most admirable.
Although Tom was only my teacher for my first year of A Levels – as was Glenn – he continued to make an impact on my FE experience. He always took time to help or listen to me whenever I needed it, even when I was no longer one of his students. He also encouraged me to see that I needed to not put as much pressure on myself, something that I struggled to see at the time.
Finally, Chris – albiet without knowing it – prompted me to make the final decision on my university course. I had always been interested in Psychology, but had been a lover of English my whole school life. I decided to try it at college, not knowing that it would grow to be my key interest area. It was thanks to Chris’ dedicated teaching and the time that he takes to get to know students that furthered my interest in the topic, allowing me to decide that I wanted to continue it at university, possibly going pursuing a career in counselling.
Now I can’t pretend that FE is for everyone, it is definitely more geared towards some than others. It involves a lot of hard work, responsibility and commitment, but it is made easier through the encouragement and support that tutors such as Glenn, Tom and Chris provide. Tutors such as these, that make an effort to know their students and support them in and out of the classroom are what make FE such a fulfilling experience.