From education to employment

Why FE teaching is one of the best ways to give back

By Jenny Garrett OBE is an Author, Leadership Trainer, and Founder of Reflexion Associates

Jenny Garrett OBE is an Author, Leadership Trainer, and Founder of Reflexion Associates. Jenny works with individuals and organisations, supporting them to achieve career and life changing results. During the pandemic Jenny enjoyed sharing her skills with others and passing on her knowledge to the next generation. Here she discusses the benefits of skills sharing and how teaching in Further Education offers industry professionals the opportunity to do this within their field.  

From baking sourdough bread to learning how to navigate online calls – the global pandemic has been a time to learn new skills. Staying inside for extended periods of time gave many of us the opportunity to contemplate whether we were getting the most from our career. It presented a chance to evaluate what we really enjoy, and what we did and didn’t miss from our pre-pandemic life. Our working lives changed in a way we never imagined they might – out went the commute and in came forgetting that you were on mute.

Did you Share their Skills During the Pandemic?

As many of us shifted our working patterns and practices, we also gained a lot of joy from supporting others and giving back. New research from the Department for Education (DfE) found that 70% of people shared their skills during the pandemic, with 65% saying they enjoyed helping others by passing on their knowledge and experience. I know I definitely enjoyed giving back during the pandemic. I shared skills I already had such as teaching mindfulness and running goal setting sessions online – both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I realised I had many skills and pockets of knowledge that I could share with others to help them reach their goals and improve their working lives.  

That’s why teaching part time in FE is such a wonderful opportunity for industry professionals across sectors to consider. Many of us want to give back and share our skills. In fact one in five industry professionals said their appetite to do so increased during the pandemic. Teaching in FE is a rewarding way to use your real world experience, pass on your knowledge and bring theory to life. If you have ever had to induct a new member of staff, present a complicated concept, demonstrate how to construct or create a design or help build someone’s confidence and understanding – you have been using the skills of a good FE teacher.

Considering a new Pathway in your Career?

If you are considering a new pathway in your career, teaching in FE offers the opportunity to jump right into teaching in the classroom while you receive funded training on the job. Teaching qualifications or degrees aren’t always needed to start teaching in FE. It is your skills and real-world industry experience that is highly valued for FE teaching roles. You could teach part time, alongside your current role in industry and change lives without having to change your career.  

The research findings from the DfE reflect what I’ve found and what I hear from my clients. Passing on my wisdom and experience means you get to see things through the eyes of others, interact with people whose thinking gives you new perspectives, and get that warm glow from helping others. For your industry, teaching in FE would mean you had a hand in producing the next generation of skilled professionals that take that industry forward in the future.

By Jenny Garrett OBE is an Author, Leadership Trainer, and Founder of Reflexion Associates

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