Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 161

SPOTLIGHT ON TEACHING

teaching qualification, so they're
signed up to my course. With those
disgruntled students - who think
'What can you teach me? I know it
all' - I try to make them realise that
I, and the rest of the class, can learn
from their experience. My teaching
experience brings a breadth of
knowledge into the class I wouldn't
have if I'd just taught in schools.

TIME TO GROW

"I love my job. The best thing is
watching somebody really grow as a
teacher. I have to make sure people
are either good or outstanding
teachers by the end of the course.
Motivation is key. I have to push
them out of their comfort zone, to
consider trying new technology or
do something more creative.
"The only disadvantage with my
job is that I have to work quite a lot
in the evenings. My students teach

LIZ WHITE, 46,

Words: Jo Willacy. Photography: Shutterstock

IS A TEACHING FELLOW AT THE
CENTRE FOR LIFELONG LEARNING
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK,
LEADING TEACHER TRAINING
PROGRAMMES FOR THE FE SECTOR
"In many ways, I fell
into teaching. At
university I wanted
to travel, so during
holidays I got
voluntary charity
work in Italy and
Romania. I found
myself doing art with
children and teaching basic English.
"I enjoyed it and decided teaching
with travelling sounded exciting. After
graduating, I taught English in Tokyo
for six months. I didn't have a TEFL
qualification - they just wanted
graduates. When I got back to England,
I knew teaching was for me.

FIRST STEPS

"My first paid teaching job was at a
college supporting students with dyslexia
who were struggling to access their
GCSE programmes. At the same time, I
did a part-time teacher training course. I
moved into teaching in prisons, followed

by a college for people with learning
disabilities. I was drawn to working
with people who have experienced a
range of learning difficulties,
disabilities and other challenges, and
those who have struggled with English.
"I've been in my current job for nine
years. I teach unqualified teachers and
experts in a subject who want to teach.
My students teach people aged 16 and
over in sixth forms, further education
colleges, training companies, prisons...
anywhere! A typical class could include
a hairdresser, a social worker, a police
officer, a maths teacher, a florist. It's a
privilege to teach such a range of
people. I never stop learning.

NEW IDEAS

"Most of my students are in their 30s
and 40s, with kids, mortgages and jobs,
so I really relate to them. Even though
I've been teaching for 20-odd years, I
get brilliant teaching ideas from them. I
try things out, such as using a new
technology, that I've picked up from
watching my students teach.
"The majority want to be in class, so
I don't have many behavioural issues.
A small percentage, however, have
been teaching for years before their
employer notices they don't have a

EVEN
THOUGH
I HAVE BEEN
TEACHING FOR
20-ODD YEARS,
I STILL GET
BRILLIANT IDEAS
FROM STUDENTS
full-time and some of them do so
at night, so when I go to assess or
observe them it means I have to
work late too. I have to be flexible
with the time I'm prepared to be
available. I don't mind it in
summer, but in winter it's perhaps
my least favourable part of the job.
"It's hard for my students - they
have a lot of barriers to learning.
They are working full time,
attending lessons and working on
assignments at night, as well as
perhaps having a family. I spend a
lot of time saying, 'You can do it!'
When they achieve, it's great to be
part of their journey."
J O B S & C A R E E R S /// 1 6 1

156 J&C JC17 I love my job jw3.indd 161

20/11/2017 15:35



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