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Does anyone work as a basic skills teacher for adults? What's it like & would you recommend it to others?

(8 Posts)
dimots Tue 19-Jan-16 10:58:16

A lecturer on a short course I attended through the job centre mentioned that he thought I should look into teaching adults. I have a Psychology BSc from 20 years ago and a more recent MSc in a niche subject. I wouldn't feel confident teaching science, as I feel my qualifications are not general enough, but I am very numerate, with good passes in statistics on my degree courses and O levels in Maths and English.
I spoke to a local college and I am arranging to volunteer as a helper in some local classes, but would like to hear all opinions. I would need a PGCE to teach locally, so I would need further training.
I was made redundant from my former career and there are few opportunities locally without a massive commute. I am looking for a local career but don't want to teach in schools as I don't want to work with children.
There is demand locally for the subject, including at a prison nearby.
I hear people bemoaning teaching as terrible workload, low morale etc. Is FE teaching as bad? Despite having a science background my wages have never been high, as local wages are universally low, so a teaching salary would be an improvement.

MaybeDoctor Sun 24-Jan-16 09:44:50

Don't invest your time in the PGCE yet - there are cheaper, lower level courses that you can do. PTTLS is one.

The problem with teaching is that you can only tell if you like doing it once you are at the front of the class. I was a TA for a bit before doing my PGCE and, although helpful, it was a completely different experience to actually teaching.

FE is worse pay than schools, but probably ok if you are just doing it PT as a sideline.

dimots Mon 25-Jan-16 21:32:04

Thanks I looked at PTTLS or the NVQ equivalent, but for functional skills the local colleges told me they don't employ anyone without a PGCE or working towards a PGCE. I think they will accept PTTLS for some shortage science subjects.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Mon 25-Jan-16 22:02:42

I haven't seen such a job come up and I've been looking for years.

dimots Tue 26-Jan-16 11:39:30

Where do you live Jennifer? I am in Wales and there has been a big push by the Welsh Assembly to improve literacy and numeracy, so funding is available to run courses.
Nevertheless I am aware that being qualified to do something doesn't always mean you can get a suitable role & I will be asking questions about vacancy rates. If I decide to do this I will try to get a role first, so I am working alongside the PGCE.

jaspercat2002 Tue 26-Jan-16 19:47:21

You can also do an in between qualification at level 4 called Certificate in Education and Training (CET) which replaced the old CTLLS. There is more to it than PTLLS but not such a big commitment as a PGCE and I know some colleges will accept it. You can also then build it up to a DTLLS/PGCE equivalent.
I teach for the local authority - a mix of functional skills and Family Learning courses. I love the teaching bit but some of the 'other' stuff is starting to get me down a bit - paperwork, meetings, prep time (most of which is unpaid) and constant structural reorganisation in our department.
Friends who work in FE colleges find the behaviour and attitudes of some of the learners is a constant challenge.
It sounds like you are doing the right thing by volunteering in some classes to see how you find it.

PreAdvent13610 Tue 26-Jan-16 19:53:40

Basic skills is now called functional skills and there is a shortage of maths teachers. Do you have a maths A'level?
The pay is poor by teacher standards, starting at £23k while training. You get to train on the job though so no year or two without a wage.

CountryLovingGirl Wed 27-Jan-16 12:42:15

Take a look at this link:

I think similar things are available nationally. I looked into doing a part time post-16 PGCE as I quite fancied teaching biology/health courses. I am part time in the NHS so I wanted to do this as a side line and as a back up in case the NHS goes private (and we are treated even worse than we are now)!

I contacted a local college and they were willing to put me through their own 2 year PGCE that I could've done 5pm-9pm (or other times) one night a week (with a few teaching hours on top). They even offered paid teaching.

My days of work are changing all the time (NHS) so I am unable to commit to the PGCE. A shame really.

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