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why do so many FE teachers have experience teaching subjects that are not their specialist subject?

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by cys2017, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. cys2017

    cys2017 Occasional commenter

    like for example I know teachers that teaching english now but they have taught employability, supported learning, childcare,maths etc in the past. is it could to do this? what's your views? is it something you would encourage and why...?
  2. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Colleges do this because of staff shortages. If, say, there are not enough hours for a teacher of hairdressing, they will simply shove the hairdresser into teaching English/Maths / Childcare/employability in order to fill up the hairdresser's timetable. This saves paying for the hairdresser to do nothing (i.e. lesson planning or marking) and saves the cost of paying for qualified English and Maths teachers who are in short supply and cost more than Hairdressers because they usually have a degree in their subject. (No insult meant to the Hairdressing department - this could also apply to Construction/Animal Care/Motor Mechanics/Creative Arts and other departments ad infinitum)
    cys2017 likes this.
  3. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    As Saluki said. It is also a money saving exercise. In my case, I have never taught outside my specialism (the social sciences) because I have such a specialist degree. Also, I have not been so desperate for work or short of hours that I have had to swallow the management hogwash that they can force me into teaching subjects that are beyond my remit because of the ‘reasonable duties’ clause in my various contracts.
    cys2017 likes this.
  4. philip_pownall

    philip_pownall New commenter

    Well honestly, teachers should have their Maths and English qualifications. You should know grammatical laws and mathematical equations necessary for a GCSE in maths and english. So, really...You're not teaching anything that you don't know.
    Employability, I would find myself qualified to teach this as I have worked in the industry...I have experience of applying for a job, plus it was a module I done whilst I was at college, again not like I don't know the information.I currently teach work experience, which is essentially employability skills, and I don't find it hard. I teach the students howto recognise where they are now and where they want to be and how to close that gap.
    I do think there are shortages in teaching staff, however, a good teacher will be able to teach anything as a good teacher will know how to learn (stay one lesson ahead).
  5. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    "It was a module which I did whilst I was at college".
    A good teacher will be able to teach anything... really?? I have a B.A. and a B.Sc. I couldn't possibly teach Physics. I doubt if I could teach GCSE Maths, I couldn't teacher computer science - I can't code; I couldn't teach A level Geography; I couldn't teach A level Law; I doubt if I could teach them at GCSE. I doubt if I could teach Btec Childcare or Hairdressing or Car mechanics or Construction or Art and Design or Engineering or Music. I definitely couldn't teach dance or sports.
    I could probably teach employability but would have no interest in doing so, likewise FS Maths. However, I am a subject specialist for a subject which is very much in demand so it is all irrelevant really. Whenever a teacher from another department ventures into teaching GCSE English they usually really struggle and their students do badly
  6. philip_pownall

    philip_pownall New commenter

    You completely missed my point.
    Im pretty sure with all your impressive qualifications you could teach yourself how to calculate speed of an object and then deliver this to students...(Physics) That is essentially it.
  7. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    I think the point @saluki was making, is that what you're describing is essentially "teaching to the test". In that situation, you "learn" a particular subject, only in sufficient depth to be able to deliver the typical content of the current curriculum. But there are always times when, in order to help your students, you may need a greater depth of knowledge than that.
    ATfan likes this.
  8. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    When I trained as a teacher, teachers were expected to be educated to at least a level above which they were teaching. i.e. a teacher teaching GCSE should have at least an A level in that subject, a teacher teaching level 3 was expected to have a degree in that subject.
    I believe that you are newish to teaching phillip_pownall (I hope that is not your real name). If so, I must congratulate you for being on top of your own subject knowledge in such a short amount of time and being able to learn and teach other subjects as well. I have been teaching my subject for years and am still updating my knowledge and resources
    sabrinakat and elder_cat like this.
  9. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    you can never know what you do not know :)
    cys2017 likes this.
  10. BioEm

    BioEm Occasional commenter

    I’m surprised there is a shortage in physics teachers given it’s so easy to learn and teach it :rolleyes: :)
    cys2017 and armandine2 like this.

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