Need Some Fantastic Tips for Teaching in Further Education?


Carolyn is a Child, Health, Social Care and English teacher at Blackpool and Fylde College who has been teaching in Further Education for almost a decade. She shares her top ten tips that have helped her over the years. 

At TeachInFE, we know that every job has its positives and its challenges, including teaching in Further Education. To find out how to manage the moments that are a bit more trying, we spoke to Carolyn, a Child, Health, Social Care and English teacher at Blackpool and Fylde College. Having taught in the sector for almost ten years and training whilst raising a family, Carolyn is well-qualified to share the things that have helped her overcome the more challenging aspects of teaching in Further Education.

My Top Tips for Teaching in Further Education
In 2008, I decided to train as a FE teacher. I had worked both in the Health, Social Care and the Early Years industry since 1991 and wanted to share my skills and experiences with young people wishing to work in these sectors. I had a fairy tale idea of what it would be like teaching in Further Education; visions of students hanging on to my every word and visualising Dead Poet Society moments in my classroom. Obviously, this is not the case, but there are definitely many moments when you are literally bursting with pride at your students’ achievements.

In my teacher training year, I juggled caring for a young family, writing endless assignments and lesson plans, whilst teaching on the days I was not in the classroom as a student.  Here are some of the things that I feel are helpful to know about teaching in Further Education and some of the things that have kept me sane (ish).

  1. Don't invent the wheel. In other words, when you are creating a new scheme of work or resources for your lessons, ask others in your department first. They may save you several hours of unnecessary work. Don't worry you will be able to return the favour in the future.

  2. Be prepared for challenging behaviour. Just because your students are older does not mean they will have perfect behaviour in the classroom. See the UKFEchat guide book for a greater insight.

  3. 16-18 year olds are dealing with the awkward transition from child to adult. Try to remember when you were that age. Believe me, it will help.

  4. Take a break. All teachers are great at eating lunch and working at their desks. However, you must take some time away from work, even if it’s just for ten minutes.

  5. Look forward to the joy you will feel when you are teaching and see those 'light bulb' moments in your students.

  6. Join Twitter. There is an abundance of help and support from fellow teachers on there. I can't recommend it enough - it's been a lifeline for me.

  7. Try not to look at emails at the weekend and try really hard not to take work home.

  8. You will have students who have very little confidence in themselves due to past difficulties in education. During the course of the academic year, enjoy watching their confidence grow.

  9. It is hard when the marking starts to pile up, but it is worth it when you see the work your students produce.

  10. You might not be drowning in gifts at the end of the year like primary teachers are, but that one card thanking you is worth more than a hundred boxes of chocolate.


Good luck!

Have you enjoyed hearing Carolyn’s tips and want to put them into practice? Apply for the latest Teaching jobs in FE here

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