Job Description (What the job involves)
After running an undergraduate career day, I asked them what their dreams and aspirations were. Most said teaching. Again after facilitating a business forum with postgraduate and experienced therapists I asked the same question. The answer was the same. My conclusion everyone wants to teach!
So the question is why?
- A burning desire to pass on all your experience, knowledge and education?
- Inspired to move the bench mark in our industry and develop the "thinking therapist" who exudes knowledge and professionalism?
- A big fat pay cheque and flexible hours?
Well I'm here to tell you the truth
Skills and Personal Qualities
Necessary "Qualities" for teaching
This is where I get personal and passionate on what I think are "qualifications" for teaching.
If you think it's an easy life then you are very wrong my friend. We have all been there. Thursday 9 pm, last appointment, you have been working a 12 hour shift and it's a pedicure, , What if?? .. no more scrubbing feet or that 10th massage of the day, , ..What if? That would be easy, , ..it's not. BUT, extremly satisfying if doing it for the right reasons.
Teaching, along with opening your own business ( research shows that 80% of small businesses fail because they open for the "wrong reasons") will end in disaster if you do it for the wrong reasons.
A. it's not the easy option
B. you will not be in the position of rivalry for Posh Spice's wardrobe.
You need to have passion. You need to have patience and you need a sense of humour!
Think about what you are actually doing, , .. influencing the future of our industry. Think back, be it 1yr 5 yrs or for me 20yrs!! Eekk.
Remember your tutor, ? Was he /she inspirational?
Did they fill you with passion? Did they guide, mentor and educate you to go out into industry confident, dynamic and eager to be successful? If not, this is not what you want from an Instructor. Should it be your base education or any post graduate course, a student needs to leave not only able to implement the skills and information they have acquired but empowered and passionate on their delivery.
I cannot tell you how satisfying teaching is, both at pre and post graduate level. I cannot deny it's hard work and lots of "homework"! But it just takes one student where you can actually see you have "switched the light on", that they are excited, innovative, knowledgeable and professional for you to get an indescribable sense of achievement. You have made a difference!
Ideally, and I say ideally because there is ALWAYS the exception you need to have at least 5 years industry experience. After all how can you pass on knowledge and information if you have no industry experience?
You teach to the level you are educated to i.e. if you've got an NVQ you can teach NVQ. If you have done your HND you can teach to this level.
Assessors Award (N1)
To assess and certify NVQ students you need to sit the assessors awards or N1. Comprises course work and practical assessment . The problem I found was, as I was not working in any college, I had trouble finding NVQ students to assess (something to keep in mind). All in all though a very worthwhile qualification to gain.
7307 Generic Teaching Qualification
7307 a generic teaching qualification. Takes a year. Gives you skills to write and design lesson plans, courses and training tools. I would recommend running it in conjunction with an I.T. course. If you have no experience, (or unlike every 11 year old on the planet!!) skill in this area it's an essential. Gone are the pens and paper. Enter Eblasts, Excel spread sheets and Powerpoint!!!
Again you need to be in the position to have practical and documented experience proving you have written and delivered your training successfully.
Cert ED ( certificate of education ) P.G.C.E. Two of the highest levels of teaching qualification you can achieve.
Cert ED takes 1 year and guides you in all manner of teaching skills in higher level education.
There are assessment tasks to complete. All of these are designed to integrate with your normal practice of teaching and course development. Basically meaning you need students within your job role to actually teach too.
A PGCE course mainly focuses on developing your teaching skills, and not on the subject you intend to teach. For this reason, you are expected to have a good understanding of your chosen subject … usually to degree level or HND before you start training.
PGCE Courses generally last for one year full-time or up to two years part-time
Some product companies will employ you as an educator with no formal qualification. You do need to be passionate confident and experienced. Again I can't stress enough how beneficial an I.T. course would be as you are expected to design and deliver powerpoint presentaions.
If you think you tick the boxes and the route you choose is teaching, I recommend you contact the colleges you are most interested in. Apply to the part time registration which is usually released Jan and Aug for the relative terms ahead.
Should you choose a product house, I suggest it's a brand you are passionate about and believe in. Its very hard to stand in front of 40 people and get them passionate about a brand you think is awful. Unless you have an equity card and have the acting skills of Helen Mirren! Send them your C.V. make contact and show your interest even if there are no vacancies. They want to see you are enthusiastic and fiery about their product.
So teaching is not for the faint hearted, but should you choose the education route I will leave you with my last thought, ,
'It is certainly not an easy life but possibly the most rewarding, funny, and worthwhile career you could choose'
© Joanne Wilson
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