What's it like teaching adults?

(34 Posts)

Hi, just need some help mulling something over if that's OK! There's a vacancy in my area for a teacher of my subject to teach the Foundation GCSE course to adults during the day. I taught secondary for 11 years (have been out a year) and I'm thinking of applying.

I've always liked the idea of teaching adults but have no idea about the realities of it compared to secondary teaching. Can anyone tell me what it's like in practice? I think it would only be one or two classes but I have no idea what that would be like in reality, and I'd like to know how the dynamics of an adult class might work and what challenges I might face. And the positives too, of course!

Any advice much appreciated smile.

And what on earth do I wear?!

Help! They want to know if I want to use a SmartBoard for the micro-teach - I am good on Smartboards but my instinct says keep it simple for 10 mins. But then they might think I can't use them?

Stress...

sashh Wed 09-Oct-13 10:59:58

I'm currently shuttling between short term assignments through an agency.

Your PGCE is fine to teach adults (not that I'm bitter that my DTTLS only lets me teach children in FE colleges not schools).

Personally I would take a powerpoint on a memory stick and email and just use that on the IWB.

I think the key to micro teaching is to actually teach something. I like to have a handout for the interviewers to fill in, preferably something they have worked out.

One thing a lot of adults have never been shown is that the divide symbol is actually a fraction with dots replacing the numbers.

I could make a 10 min micro teach out of just that, I might also bring in sweets to be 'shared', although if I do that I do tell the students/interviewers that if Ofstead are around they will be pieces of fruit. Smarties are good as they are like counters, lidl has large tubes on offer at the moment.

So one tube of smarties divided by 3 people means they all get 1/3 but then count them up (you obviously need to do this first) and see what 1/3 of 16 is (or how ever many you have put in the tube)

You can then explain that this caters for visual, kinesthetic and auditory learners, and the handout underpins this for reader learners as in Fleming's VAK/VARK model of learning styles.

For extra brownie points take in he handouts in on coloured paper - either 4/5 different colours or all yellow with the text in bold in a sans serif font. The colours are for dyslexic students and the yellow for VI students. This is particularly relevant for adult learners who may not have had a diagnosis at school and this is why they have not got qualifications.

Good luck. It is THE most rewarding thing to see a light go on in an adults eyes when a penny drops and they 'get' what they have tried to understand at school when they were children, with their own children helping with homework and you are the one who has explained it to them.

That's great advice, thanks! (I never knew that about the divide symbol either!) Got to try and think of some snappy literacy ideas now!

Love the ideas about learning styles/ coloured paper etc. Thanks!

When do you start Jasper? I'm ploughing my way through the curriculum and finding it all very different!

jaspercat2002 Fri 11-Oct-13 16:11:47

I'm starting after half term so still a few weeks to go (probably not for the best as I am getting more and more nervous) I have been and observed a couple of classes running elsewhere though so this has helped.
Good luck for Tuesday!

Thanks! I'm in a panic right now as I had half-planned my lesson and on re-reading the curriculum, the topic I had chosen is on the curriculum one level lower than they want me to teach. I'm going to have to start again, aren't I?

<facepalm>

jaspercat2002 Tue 15-Oct-13 18:18:26

How did it go?

Argh I garbled my way through the lesson. But it can't have been that bad - I got it! Thanks everyone for your help!

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