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Becoming a FE lecturer, with no prior teaching experience.

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by johnstirling1, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. johnstirling1

    johnstirling1 New commenter

    Hi, I'm in my early 50s, have an MBA and BSc, with 30-years working experience. I'd like a career change and am seriously considering a move into teaching in FE, as a business lecturer. I believe I have the necessary working experiences and enthusiasm to become an good teacher! Working in the Offender Learning environment appeals to me.

    However, I don't have any teaching experience. Am I being realistic to expect that I could secure a FE lecturer position, whilst working towards achieving a teaching qualification? Do most organisations typically support new starters to achieve such qualifications?

    Any advice would be most welcome!
  2. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    Contact a local FE college and ask to meet someone in the Business faculty. Spend the day there and ask questions.
    pepper5 and johnstirling1 like this.
  3. LaurensMum

    LaurensMum New commenter

    I started in FE with no prior teaching qualifications and gained my Diploma in Education and QTLS whilst working as a lecturer. However, after four years I became disillusioned with FE - it is long hours, I was teaching from 9am to 5pm with an hours break as well as working every weekend. The pay is minimal and you are not on a payscale like school teachers. Ex-colleagues never had a payrise in 8 years (other than the annual cost of living rise)! I would think seriously about going into FE teaching, consider secondary if you want to teach older children as you can always teach 6th form.

    I have taken a year out and have now been given a place on a primary QTS course in September 2019 and looking forward to the change. I don't think I would ever go back to FE teaching.
    pepper5 and johnstirling1 like this.
  4. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    It's tempting to think that college lecturers actually lecture. In my experience there's a lot more to it than that. You need to be sure you understand what the average colllege lecturer actually does on a day to day basis. Prior working experience and enthusiasm are both valuable assets, but don't in themselves guarantee you will become a 'good' teacher - and by 'good' I'm referring here to the expectations of the likes of SLT and OFSTED.

    I would urge you to visit one or two institutions to see what the job entails, the expectations and the workplace conditions. There are numerous agencies recruiting people to 'teach' in YOIs etc. I attended one, and didn't bother with any others. Teaching in one of these places is a whole different world to teaching in college. I'm not saying it isn't rewarding, but you need to go into it with your eyes wide open, and it's definitely not the right environment for everyone.

    It's just a question of supply and demand. They may agree to it if they need a particular subect lecturer and don't have any qualified applicants on their books.

    Like you, I took up the reins later in life, and being a College Lecturer has its' fair share of good points, and can be enjoyable and rewarding. Being in the classroom with the students is the fun part. But it is only one part of what you do. I'd strongly recommend you speak to someone who's already doing the job, not necessarily in your subject area, who can give you an honest rundown on what the job entails.
    johnstirling1 likes this.
  5. johnstirling1

    johnstirling1 New commenter

    Thanks for the responses everyone. Just really what I was thinking, but it's always good to hear it from others with experience. I've arranged a day at a local college in the business department and I'm hoping this will give me the opportunity to speak with the staff, view a class session and get insight into what it will really be like. The money/pay isn't the main reason for me looking for a second career and tbh, I wouldn't be looking for a full-time job either. However, realise that I may have to work full-time to become qualified. I've been looking at 1-year PGCEs and would rather avoid doing another year at Uni, but accept I may have no other option, if I wish to get into teaching. Thanks again.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. hs9981

    hs9981 Lead commenter

    Why not work abroad? Asia has lots of opportunities (with housing provided).
  7. johnstirling1

    johnstirling1 New commenter

    I've lived and worked abroad for nearly all my working life. Time for me to return to Europe and the UK.

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