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How do you get into teaching in FE colleges unqualified, when you're..um, unqualified?

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by Matineeidol, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Hi there,
    I don't know if this is in the right place or not, but I hoped that the people here would have a better understanding and personal experience of how these things work. I am an English Language graduate and I would like to teach Literacy in the FE/ skills for life sector.
    I have worked in support roles in schools since I was 17 with a variety of special needs students and am now 26. I don't really want to teach English A level and the like, so a PGCE isn't really for me I don't think. My passion is really in helping people with literacy.
    However, as you know, in order to do the DTLLS, you need to be teaching. I have seen many jobs advertised and I have read the job descriptions, and although I can do 80% of it, obviously I have had no formal teacher training so have no knowledge of the curriculum, or of the planning and preparing. These adverts I read, say that you do not need to have a qualification; merely be willing to work towards one, which I am.
    What I don't understand though, is how you can apply to do a job that you are untrained for, and then when you get a job, that clearly you are unqualified for, they send you to get qualified. It seems peverse. Or, in some cases, I have seen ludicrous adverts asking for qualified people to teach things like construction, or some more vocational or hobby courses, but the advert will say "experience in construction/basket weaving/etc. not essential." What's going on? I understand that FE colleges have to meet timetable requirements, but I have never seen any appropriate openings for me.
    In my second year of university I was offered some work tutoring A level enhancement groups. I made it clear to the owner of the centre that I had no clue and though I was excited at first, when it sank in that these people were paying to be tutored by ME, I was horrified that somebody would be prepared to put an unqualified and inexperienced person in front of a group in that way, so I turned it down.

    I am starting the PTLLS next week, which should give me more insight, but as a would-be teacher of literacy, I can't work as an associate teacher- I read several times that you need to be fully qualified to perform this role. I feel like I'm in a catch 22 situation. I feel that I've lots to offer, not least because I am utterly **** at maths and I've had to actually go to those Skills for Life/Move On courses myself for numeracy and I know how it feels sitting in that class and I do love my subject, but I just don't know where to start.
    How did other people here get into the sector and did you face the same trials? What do you think my next step should be? Thanks! x
     
  2. Hi there,
    I don't know if this is in the right place or not, but I hoped that the people here would have a better understanding and personal experience of how these things work. I am an English Language graduate and I would like to teach Literacy in the FE/ skills for life sector.
    I have worked in support roles in schools since I was 17 with a variety of special needs students and am now 26. I don't really want to teach English A level and the like, so a PGCE isn't really for me I don't think. My passion is really in helping people with literacy.
    However, as you know, in order to do the DTLLS, you need to be teaching. I have seen many jobs advertised and I have read the job descriptions, and although I can do 80% of it, obviously I have had no formal teacher training so have no knowledge of the curriculum, or of the planning and preparing. These adverts I read, say that you do not need to have a qualification; merely be willing to work towards one, which I am.
    What I don't understand though, is how you can apply to do a job that you are untrained for, and then when you get a job, that clearly you are unqualified for, they send you to get qualified. It seems peverse. Or, in some cases, I have seen ludicrous adverts asking for qualified people to teach things like construction, or some more vocational or hobby courses, but the advert will say "experience in construction/basket weaving/etc. not essential." What's going on? I understand that FE colleges have to meet timetable requirements, but I have never seen any appropriate openings for me.
    In my second year of university I was offered some work tutoring A level enhancement groups. I made it clear to the owner of the centre that I had no clue and though I was excited at first, when it sank in that these people were paying to be tutored by ME, I was horrified that somebody would be prepared to put an unqualified and inexperienced person in front of a group in that way, so I turned it down.

    I am starting the PTLLS next week, which should give me more insight, but as a would-be teacher of literacy, I can't work as an associate teacher- I read several times that you need to be fully qualified to perform this role. I feel like I'm in a catch 22 situation. I feel that I've lots to offer, not least because I am utterly **** at maths and I've had to actually go to those Skills for Life/Move On courses myself for numeracy and I know how it feels sitting in that class and I do love my subject, but I just don't know where to start.
    How did other people here get into the sector and did you face the same trials? What do you think my next step should be? Thanks! x
     
  3. Lots of FE job ads say something 'with or willing to work towards a teaching qualification'.
    Just apply and see what happens.
    You should also apply for hourly work, evening classes, maternity cover etc etc, to start to build your CV and confidence.
    Many of us started with huighly irregular hours and gradually wiggled our way in.
    The Associate Teacher etc etc are a minefield and can be horrendously difficult to unravel, so just concentrate on your PTTL and move on from there.

    Good luck.
     
  4. This sounds like an excellent place to start!
    Many "adult" learners failed in compulsory education because they didn't receive the empathy and support from people who understood how they felt.
    I "fell" into teaching because I started in classroom support with students in FE and could see how I could continue to help and support them but in a teaching role - far be it for me to say what is right for you, but I would suggest that PTTLS is a good place to start and then find an adult literacy class or a key skills communications class to teah and then you could move on to DTTLS.
    I felt like that frequently
     
  5. This sounds like an excellent place to start!
    Many "adult" learners failed in compulsory education because they didn't receive the empathy and support from people who understood how they felt.
    I "fell" into teaching because I started in classroom support with students in FE and could see how I could continue to help and support them but in a teaching role - far be it for me to say what is right for you, but I would suggest that PTTLS is a good place to start and then find an adult literacy class or a key skills communications class to teah and then you could move on to DTTLS.
    I felt like that frequently in
     
  6. This sounds like an excellent place to start!
    Many "adult" learners failed in compulsory education because they didn't receive the empathy and support from people who understood how they felt.
    I "fell" into teaching because I started in classroom support with students in FE and could see how I could continue to help and support them but in a teaching role - far be it for me to say what is right for you, but I would suggest that PTTLS is a good place to start and then find an adult literacy class or a key skills communications class to teah and then you could move on to DTTLS.
    I felt like that frequently in my
     
  7. Sorry - impatient fingers clicking on the enter key ended up posting that several times!
    What I was going to finish with was that I often felt unsure and worried in my fist year - but we all have to start somewhere - and often adult learners respond to that honest admission.
     
  8. last year i started as unqualified teacher teaching pe / sport whilst doing the pttls / dttles thing... I can honestly say that it was the hardest year of my life. I blagged my way in really and did a bit of supply and cover before the summer and I applied for full time position and got the job.
    I started week before the students came back and was given the subjcets i would be teaching. I was also told I was the course team leader for the btec national which alongside many other responsibilities involved being pastoral tutor for 47 first year students.
    I didnt not know how to plan a lesson really, ddint really know what lesson plan looked like and had no idea what a scheme of work was. The daprtment had little resources and no schemes of work and resources for the topics i was delivering.
    It was hell at first, standing in front of a group of 20 16 year olds when you dont really know what your on about and have had no experience teaching is frightening. Every single night I would go home stressing and worrying about what I was teaching the next day. I feel so sorry for the classes I taught because my lessons, although were the best I could do with the knowldege and experience I had, were awful!
    I struggled on and on throughout the year and did my best, the college failed ofstead and I have done my best under the circumstances with very little support. To top it off i lost my dribing license (too many penalty points) so it takes me 2 hours too get to work and two hours to get home.. I honestlt thought I was going to crack up at one point.
    One evening a week I went to the Dttls thing and that involved loads more work, planning, observations and essays.. It was a battle!!! Luckily the tutors on teh course were brilliant and supportive..
    A year on here I am sat at my desk planning my modules to teach this year. Still with little support and but I actually know what a SOW is now and how to deliver a decent lesson to some extent. I have more insight than I have ever had before and I am determined to push on this year and maybe try and enjoy it!
    If you ask me if I would reccomend this way of teacher training to anyone I would say no, not unless you have very supportive mentor and dept who can support and help you even then it would still be hard. you are completely thrown in the deep end. Havind said that I really believe that I could handle any situation now and I can do a lot of last min planning and think on the spot. At one point I wanted to go back and do proper PGCE but I cant now as I have had funding for this course. So its teeth gritted, battle commence!! year two here I come!!! wish me luck!!!!!!


     
  9. Hi the only way I could satisfy the teaching hours requirement was to secure the hours on a voluntary basis - I was lucky because I already had an 'in' at my local college. I have now completed year 1 of the course and have secured a full tiem teaching role (albeit 60 miles away) starting in September. I am very, very lucky but it shows it can be done this way. Contact your local colleges to see if they can offer you part time voluntary teaching - at least you get your hours in and can ge the ball rolling.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Oh I do wish you luck!![​IMG] - I have just completed my Cert Ed/PGCE after 2years part time while teaching full time and being the cross college coordinator for key skills and I agree that it is extraordinarily hard work but it does mean you are much more flexible in your thinking because you are aware of juggling so many things yourself.
    But in the precarious state FE finds itself in at the moment - just having a job may be the first priority...
     
  11. I know yes!! we had new job post in our dept nearly 100 applications...
    I would really like to teach in a school tho now Ive sone this daft qual I cant get any funding for more etacher training and in all honesty.. I dont know if I would ever have the energy to do more training!!

    How is year 2 Cert Ed?? How does it compare to fisrt year??
     
  12. Thank you, everybody, for your responses. Now I've heard about the positions that people have been put in, it kind of scares me but gives me hope at the same time!
    It's helped me to realise that, you know, I wasn't missing something, that this really IS what happens in FE! It's madness.
    In what other job would you be expected to walk in with no experience at all and then perform? Would we let doctors and nurses do this? accountants? Crikey! Well, your stories have made me feel more confident and I've found a volunteering opportunity at my local college to help out with the literacy classes, and I'm on the PTLLS, so it's a good start. I really do pity your experience teaching PE though, I can understand your anxiety. It would be a nightmare position to be in. Can you get funding for the DTLLS? How does this affect your chance of pgce funding?
     
  13. No experience at all?
    Our chef teachers are ..... chefs, our bricklaying tutors are ..... bricklayers, our engineering trainers are ..... engineers - they are all experts. FE has done the ITT bit 'on the job' for decades ..... and now we are getting those who are failed by schools (where all teachers are trained before they practice) and doing a better job with them. Don't knock success!
     
  14. Witchy, I want to repeat that post word for word.....
    I had no classroom hours and no piece of paper that siad I could teach and went into HE and FE in the same year.
    But I did have subject expertise and work experience in the industry - Fitness instructor, Life Coach, weight management, and GP Referral consultancy. I worked for the NHS, in Public Health, helped set policy, evaluate schemes, decide funding streams, etc etc.
    How does that equate to having no experience? Many, many FE lecturers come from industry and have more experience and knowledge than many of those who have teaching certs leaking out of every orifice!
    It is simple and appropriate to give such individuals on the job training (that is the basis of an apprenticeship by the way, no one questions those).



    If you blag your way in with little or no experience then expect to find it hard to get a grip or to keep a work/life balance.
    Personally I enjoyed every damned hard minute of it and wouldn't move out of FE for anything - not even the supposedly coveted QTS!

    If you aren't comfortable with the idea of learning on the fly, applying your personal expertise and working hard to get yourself up to speed - don't apply for a job in FE!
     
  15. Hi,
    Thanks for your honesty...you really made me laugh.
    I'm stongly considering teaching in FE as opposed to Secondary. I am a Partner/Solicitor for a London, West End law firm. Although the title sounds grand it is a profession that I feel all I am doing is just living to work...I have had enough and want to try my hand at sometime different and get a good work life balance, as I have a young family.
    I was considering teaching Citizenship and looking to enrol on the PGCE this year. But when I started my research I was disappointed to note that there were limited posts available. In fact, I searched again this morning on TES and no posts were found.
    Speaking with the TDA they suggested FE. However, like the message poster, "<u>How do you get into teaching in FE colleges unqualified, when you're..um, unqualified?"</u> I too am finding it quite a mind field to work out which course is appropriate and the vacanies asking for qualifications for "unqualifed" posts????.
    I may be a little late to enrol for the PTTLD/DTTLES for this year. However, like you I'll try and secure a teaching post in, ummm.....some post close to Law/English/Citizenship....lol to gain some experience and enrol for the PTTLD/DTTLES next year.
    Good luck with teaching this year.




     
  16. I must say I totally agree. Being a Partner and Solicitor of a London, West End law firm....I'm bursting at the seams with hands on, real life, pracitical experience.
    I can't wait to start teaching...

     
  17. Apologies, I wasn't trying to disparage FE colleges or those trying to give it a go unqualified, I was merely trying to empathise with the two previous posters who didn't have easy rides and had experienced a lot of anxiety. The second poster really did receive inadequate support and I think that had nothing to do with his/her inability to learn on the fly, more that they were worried about the quality of their teaching, which was a shame as with more support, they could have had a less stressful experience. I don't think the PGCE does provide all the answers, especially as many complete it and never teach again like two of my friends. But it would be nice to know that if you did get a job where you had no TEACHING experience, there would be people there who would provide you with support.

    To the last poster- The way you qualify to teach in literacy/numeracy and ESOL is different to how you qualify in other vocational subjects I think. The best thing to do is to call Lifelong learning uk, or the LSC, and get somebody to verbally explain to you what you need to do. All of the explanations online are very confusing! I'm glad i'm not the only one to find it mind boggling!
     
  18. That'll be the curse of the written word, again! You just can't cram tone of voice in there, can you? [​IMG]
     
  19. Nope, unless we write all of our posts in third person!

    Argh! new dilemma, and I wondered what people think. I'd like to apply for a PGCE FE, but theres only one in my area, which is full. The course admin says I may get a place for next year. Hmm...
    I'd like to do the PGCE rather than the DTLLS, and i was wondering now what are my options? I'm still out of work since graduating, so I need to secure funding, but all of my local PGCE providers ask that I have 75ish hours teaching a year. Which obviously I don't! Looking at FE jobs in my area I'm not likely to get it either. Like many posters on here, i'm not sure of my next move now. If i ask for posts volunteering, surely I'll only get half of the pgce funding right? I similarly don't want to take a dreaded year out, only to be turned down next september (even if my app is strong, i've been told that all places are conditional upon the uni finding a mentor for you in your subject.) I'm all in a pickle!


     
  20. VOY

    VOY

    Hi
    I went through something similar to you and I've finally decided to do a PGCE in the Lifelong Learning Sector specialising in literacy at Uni of Greenwich. Even though I've had to relocate i think it's worth it just to get qualified, plus you get a training bursary of 6000 pounds.
    I found it difficult to find a course because there are very few PGCE LLS that offer Literacy as a specialism.
    Taking a year out may be frustrating, but if you do as much voluntary work as you can, plus your relevent degree, i'm sure you;ll have a good chance of getting on a course.
    As other have said, talent and LLUK websites are good sources of information.

    Good luck!
     

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