I can remember when I studied for a PGCE and I was taught about the values of reflection so I have decided write this post about my experience of FE lecturing. When I studied for a degree I had a simple aim of earning enough money to get by. Perhaps have a mortgage on a small terraced house and be able to pay the bills. When I heard about being able to study for a PGCE in further education, have course fees paid and receive a small bursary I thought this was the answer to my dreams. I could one day be a lecturer and hopefully earn a reasonable wage. I tried really hard on my degree and did exceptionally well. I tried equally hard on the PGCE and passed with flying colours. Whilst on placement for the PGCE I met many lecturers that were paid on an hourly basis and they all told me their horror stories of earning less than the minimum wage, working 50+ hours per week for many years before being employed full time. I felt for them but thought this not happen to me – it did. When I graduated from the PGCE there were no jobs where I lived so I spent a year supply teaching in schools. I always thought that if I did this at least there will be something to fall back onto if times are hard again. As you can imagine it was incredibly tough and something I hope I will never experience again. I then worked in a college for a couple of years and was paid by the hour. I worked in the college for four days per week but spent the other two to three days preparing for lessons and marking. No matter how efficient you become it still takes time to perform the necessary duties. I suffered incredible pressure from observations, students’ performance, trying my best to do well as a lecturer and earned very little pay. This was enough for me to choose not to want a career in lecturing. I returned to education to study for a year and am now lecturing again for the short term. How things have changed since I left. I wanted to get back into supply teaching but found, after signing up for a number of teaching agencies, that supply teachers in schools are more or less none existent and now everyone is a Cover Supervisor (no qualifications required and I mean none). If you don’t accept £60 per day you not get work (even if you work everyday of the school year you only get £11.5k). So I signed up to a college lecturing agency only to find that whilst the terms are much better you get £19 per hour (which includes holiday pay). I taught for 18 hrs/5days per week (prepped at nights and the weekend) and still only got the equivalent of 12k per year. In short I struggle to earn £10k per year as there is never work all year round. Then I think that one day perhaps I will be given a golden ticket to become a full time lecturer. But then I talk to many lecturers and they have not got it good working over 50 hours per week (not paid a single penny for the 13 hours overtime), a short amount of holidays compared to secondary, pressure of having tutor groups, internal/external observations, covering staff illness and other responsibilities. Now there are voluntary redundancies (which will change to compulsory) in many colleges and I have found out only today that colleges are employing people as Trainers instead of Lecturers. Where they have even less holidays, more teaching hours, still have to prep and assess and from what I can gather can earn a maximum of £22k per year. Is this the future of FE? It saddens me deeply that I am not the only person in this situation and there will be many, many more to come. On top of that I spent a year learning how to teach and my PGCE is not recognised in schools. If a school ever did take me on I would earn much less than the other teachers and classed as unqualified (which happened to a friend of mine that was on my course and chose this route). I have got false hope that one day things may improve but realistically I don’t think they will. Just thought I would share my FE experience. Has anyone else out there experienced something similar?