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Stuck with a Level 4 in Education and Training and not knowing what to do next

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by kheironsister, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. kheironsister

    kheironsister New commenter

    Hi lovely community,

    I am feeling stuck and would please need some insight on this.

    After getting a Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training -in the company I had been working for as a teaching assistant-, I was eventually offered a job as an A level lecturer. I prepared the whole scheme of work and lesson plans over the summer... just to find out , on my first day back to work, that the whole course had been cancelled - so I was left jobless and without the chance to progress to study the level 5 Diploma and get QTS (as I had planned). I tried to find other FE teaching roles in my area of specialism, but all of them required QTS, so I felt stuck in a limbo where I was over-qualified for some roles, but clearly under-qualified for the roles I was interested in.

    As a plan B, I decided to get back to private teaching/tutoring, on a self-employed basis. 'I have done it in the past, so I can do it again', I thought.
    However, something suddenly felt terribly wrong: a chaotic and totally random schedule; lack of consistency and commitment on behalf of students; a low, fluctuating salary and a lack of financial stability; a sense of total isolation during day hours -which for an extrovert like me felt like torture- having to rush out late in the evenings for just a couple of hours of work; lots of effort planning and marking that didn't pay off...in a nutshell, I just didn't enjoy tutoring anymore. It felt like going 'backwards' in my career and it just didn't feel right. Actually, in a matter of months, my perception about teaching has changed completely, and I have decided I am no longer wanting to walk that path.

    I am now looking for a 9-5 position that gives me peace of mind and allows me to study for my Psychology & Counselling degree in the evenings. I don't want to feel my 5 years of experience and qualifications have gone to waste, so I am targeting roles that involve emotional support or training and advice, but it just seems impossible. Everything I can find are SEND teaching assistant roles, which I have done in the past and never really enjoyed. I have also considered non-teaching roles in a school environment (eg. librarian or library assistant) but they always look for someone with specific qualifications.
    I have contacted agencies and asked for office jobs but I am only offered data entry, receptionist o call-centre roles. Yesterday I was even offered a production operative role in a factory...nothing wrong with that, but not the kind of job I had in mind.
    I would really love to work for HR ( an entry or assistant role would be totally fine), or providing support and training for adults at their workplace, so I have considered a job in Learning and Development..., but apparently that's a different area that requires a different qualification, and I haven't been able to find out if the Level 4 in Education and Training credits would be transferable.

    I am not sure if I am being too optimistic but I don't want to believe a Level 4 will only lead me to having to choose between learning support roles, receptionist and sales jobs, or factory roles. I am sure there is something else I could do with that...but what other options are out there? I am totally fine with entry/junior positions, but I just don't know what areas I can target.

    Any advice, information and personal experiences you can share, will be really helpful!

    Thanks a lot
    annascience2012 likes this.
  2. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Sorry, but do you actually have a degree? I ask as your post seems to be covering a lot of ground.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  3. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You seem confused about what you want, as throughout the entirety of your post you mention Teaching Assistant, A Level lecturer, tutoring, counselling, librarian, HR,support and training.

    Sifting through, the confusion has only arisen as you were thwarted in taking up the level 5 cert. But do you really have to give up on that? Can you not find another institution locally which would allow you to complete the stage? Lots of benefits to doing so, not least because it would make the most of what you already worked to achieve and it would also contribute to a better salary in the longer term.
    You could then use this as a stepping stone to fully qualifying.

    I just don't get why you want to abandon the level 4 simply because that particular arrangement did not pan out.
  4. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    Do you not need a degree to gain QTS and in deed to teach A-Level course?Even with a degree you will struggle to singlehandedly deliver all papers of an A-Level course. For example, asking one person (no matter what undergrad or postgrad qualifications they have in hand) to deliver A-Level history or geography or philosophy or maths is a very demanding undertaking let alone someone who hasn’t got a degree in the subject. And I’m speaking from personal experience.

    I would gain at least a first degree and hone my skills teaching KS3-4 prior to Sixth Form teaching. Outcome for students is equally important. Sorry if I sound harsh.
    FormosaRed likes this.
  5. kheironsister

    kheironsister New commenter

    Thank you for your responses.

    I was offered the A level job because of my experience as an associate lecturer and tutor of my native language. I worked in learning support just to gain some experience in a FE environment, and also because I needed a day job while I was studying the Level 4. I then decided to go for the level 5 and get QTS since I thought it would give me further opportunities in the future...but the whole thing (working in a college, losing the job and getting back to tutoring for a few months) helped me realise I would have made a mistake: I do not wish to continue teaching in a school or college. So to me, there is no point in trying to pursue QTS if I just don’t want to be a teacher anymore.

    My priority now is to focus on my degree and find a day job that pays the bills and gives me peace of mind.

    However, even though I would treat that job as something that gives me the stability I need, it would be a shame to feel all these years and effort have eventually led me to a totally random position that I don’t enjoy... that is why I was considering working in HR, as a librarian, L&D, running courses for adults or at the workplace...things that (I reckon) I would enjoy and are somehow related to my tutoring experience, even though they’re not what I want to do long-term. Those are just options I have been trying to ponder because I have no idea what to do with a Level 4 rather than teaching in mainstream education.
    I will work in a factory if necessary, though!
  6. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    You may possibly have a chance to secure a HLTA role somewhere. HLTA is a Level 4 qualification and I am aware that some schools will consider people without actual HLTA status if they have an equivalent level 4 qualification.
  7. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    I think from your reply you were going to teach a modern foreign language. Is this correct? If so you have excellent written English and must speak another language. If so what is this language? I believe there are jobs could use these skills e.g. translator. However I don't think there are many jobs where you would use your level 4 (that I can think of)
    agathamorse likes this.

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