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Teaching in an FE College(8 Posts)
I've taught in two secondary schools in the UK, from year 7 to 13. I've also taught in an upper secondary school abroad (14-18 year olds). I'm increasingly finding that I prefer teaching A level to teaching younger years, but only teaching older years isn't.
An FE college in my town is advertising a vacancy in my subject. It's the only college locally which offers my subject at A level, so I'm keen to go for this job as another opportunity probably won't come up for a while.
Has anyone made the move from secondary to FE?
When FE colleges come to recruit our Year 11s, they always tell them that college is completely different to school. Is it really that different to teach in?
I switched from secondary to FE and much preferred it. There is a very different atmosphere to a school and you’re not on duty all the time. You can walk down a calm corridor without having to tell kids to tuck their shirts in, there are no duties and you treat the students like adults. I find it much less physically demanding. In your classroom though it’s no different to teaching an A Level lesson in a school. Apathy is the main behaviour issue (you’d think they’d all be keen as they’ve chosen to go to college to study your subject but no)
However, pay and terms & conditions aren’t always as good as in schools, every exam is an exam class and there is a lot of pressure to get results. There’s a desperate need to recruit students to get funding so there’s lots of pressure to do marketing etc
I’ve taught in both. Currently FE. I’ve been in FE 9 years now, although this is my second college. Just be aware your rights aren’t the same as that of a teacher and often pay is worse than in schools. Eg governments pay offer doesn’t apply to FE colleges. But I enjoy it far far more as kids don’t ask me if they have to write the date etc. High pressure but much better age group to work with in my opinion.
My DH made the move 2 years ago and he loves it. He said he'd never go back to secondary now.
I only teach 6th form now, though I set up my own specialist course, rather than being in a college. I much prefer it. It’s far less formal, which suits me. I wear jeans and a jumper and the students call me by my first name. They all want to be there - it’s an intense course and they don’t bother to apply if they don’t really want it, so I have 0 behaviour issues. I would never go back.
Ask them if they will continue to offer A level courses in the future. Many colleges are reducing the number of A levels they offer or ditching them altogether.
@EvilTwins, sorry to bump a thread that's a few months old, but can I ask how you went about setting up your own course? I've got an interview this week for a role in an FE college teaching my specialism, which isn't often offered in secondary schools any more. Did you set up your own because your subject was similar?
LadyPolly I set mine up because I wanted to teach the subject in a different way to the way it's done in schools. I do Performing Arts and whilst it's fine doing that in a school/college, I now run it in collaboration with a professional theatre. It means that the students are in and out of the theatre constantly, they see loads of stuff, meet professional actors and technicians and perform in a professional venue rather than a school hall. It just makes it all a bit more real for them which, if they want to get into the performing arts industry, is crucial.
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