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Ex armed forces considering teaching at 32

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by paul-mcknight, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Hi, I left the armed forces 4 years ago and since leaving I have toyed with the idea of teaching at secondary school level. My questions are:
    1, I would be starting from scratch as I don’t have the quals I.e GCSE but I have equivalents, NVQ, BTEC and functional skills. So what route would be available or best suited to me

    2, As a mature student I have commitments like mortgage and young family, would it be possible at this late stage to change career.

    3, another idea I have had toyed with is college teaching in the public services subject, what are the requirements for this level to become a college tutor. Are the requirements more or less than training to be a secondary school teacher.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Contact your local college. Just ring them and ask. You may get pushed from dept to dept but eventually you will get an answer. They should have a teacher training department.
    You will need to get GCSE English and Maths. Then you can do CETs and DETS on the job. I think level 3 BTec is all that is needed for teaching vocational subjects. There are usually vacancies to teach in areas such as construction and motor vehicle as well as Public Services. You probably have a wealth of experience in different areas which gives you more strings to your bow. I am sure that you have got a lot to offer to the FE sector.
    It is possible to change career at this stage. It is up to you and your family whether you can budget or not. If you do a DETs you will receive some pay whilst training.
    DETs = Diploma in Education and Training. It will not cover you to teach in a secondary school. Most secondary schools require a degree and a post graduate certificate in education PGCE.
    One word of caution - FE students are not as well behaved and biddable as a group of soldiers. You will need all of your people skills in order to get them to work.
  3. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    I am ex-Forces, did a degree followed by PGCE, and taught in FE. Personally, I would never have entertained the idea of teaching in schools.

    Your prior experience might be an important factor in whether or not you got an offer, although just to clarify, 'Public Services' doesn't just mean dealing with students who are looking at careers in the Armed Forces.

    If you say you have 'toyed with the idea' for 4 years, then perhaps you should think about your motivation. I know from personal experience that it can be difficult to find a suitable role after leaving the Forces. I spent many a good while doing low paid, boring jobs, before eventually biting the bullet and taking the decision to do what I felt I had to do, in order to provide a little better for my family. Some people see teaching/lecturing in schools/colleges as a lifebelt. It can be, but make no mistake it comes at a price.

    The money aspect is important, but beyond that you need to consider the amount of time you will need to devote to the training, and then the amount of time the job will demand, and how supportive your family will be around that. I was fortunate in that my wife was absolutely behind me every step of the way. It's not just about your own commitment, but also that of your family.

    Important you understand this from Day One.
    Two very different worlds.
    watermelongirl65 likes this.

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