How to become a FE Lecturer
So what do you need to be an FE Lecturer?
- You should have experience, knowledge and skill in the occupational sector you will be teaching.
- You will need at least an NVQ level 3 in the chosen subject area.
- Excellent communication skills, to explain the occupational standards and give feedback
- The ability to motivate and encourage people
- An interest in helping people develop
- Patience and tact
- The ability to relate to people at all levels
- The ability to write reports and keep accurate written records.
- Be prepared to work towards a teaching qualification which is endorsed by Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK). Such as the CertEd which will take place during allocated work hours.
Rewards from Lecturing
- Working with pupils is very rewarding and each day is different. Lecturers use their skills, knowledge and creativity; they make learning exciting and relevant for young people and open their minds to the career opportunities within the outside world.
- Starting pay is impressive and there is a wide range of possibilities for career progression within the classroom or by becoming a section leader.
- Lecturers have excellent opportunities to develop their skills throughout their careers, through professional training and further development.
- The holiday entitlement is the envy of many professions and a generous occupational pension scheme gives guaranteed benefits.
As an FE lecturer, you would be expected to:
- Plan and prepare lessons across a range of qualification types and levels in day, evening classes and workshops
- Research and develop new subject matter and teaching materials, e.g. online resources
- Monitor, assess and mark students' work; including setting examinations
- Act as a personal tutor; providing additional support for students when necessary
- Take part in course team meetings to monitor, evaluate and develop relevant courses
- Liaise with awarding bodies to ensure quality
- Attend parents' evenings, open days and careers/education conventions
- Organise work experience and carrying out learner assessments in the workplace.
Further education (FE) lecturers teach students over the age of 16. They teach various types of course, including:
- Academic qualifications such as GCSEs/S grades, AS levels, A levels.
- Vocational courses such as NVQ’s which train students for careers such as catering, construction and childcare
- Skills for Life (Basic Skills) courses
- Leisure and hobby courses such as dressmaking, photography and car maintenance.
The work can include:
- Planning and preparing lessons
- Using a variety of teaching methods, such as seminars, tutorials and demonstrations
- Setting and marking assignments, tests and exams
- Monitoring and assessing students’ progress
- Developing new courses and teaching materials
- Record keeping and other administrative tasks
- Attending meetings, professional development courses and workshops
- Interviewing prospective students
- Acting as personal tutors, supporting students and helping with problems
- Making contact with exam boards or local employers.
Some lecturers supplement their income by, for example:
- Continuing to work on the tools
- National exam marking
- Private tuition
- Teaching evening courses.
Hours and Environment
Lecturers' hours can be:
- Permanent full-time (usually up to 37 hours a week, with around 25 hours spent teaching)
- Permanent fractional (permanent contracts to teach for a fraction of the week)
- Part-time (non-permanent work as a visiting lecturer, for example teaching non-qualification evening/daytime leisure courses).
Skills and Interests
To be a further education lecturer you should:
- Have extensive knowledge of your subject and the ability to explain it at a level suitable for your students
- Be able to relate well to students of all ages and abilities
- Be enthusiastic and able to motivate students
- Be able to express yourself clearly, both in speech and writing
- Be creative to design interesting activities and materials
- Have good organisational and planning skills
- Have patience and a sense of humour.
To complete a teaching qualification in-service you need:
- To be well-qualified or experienced in the subject you intend to teach
- Find an employer who is willing to take you on and support you in working towards qualifications
- Complete a teaching qualification within two years of appointment (or four years if working on a fractional contract).
- When you are qualified as a lecturer you will need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date, for example by attending in-service training (INSET) days.
Lecturers throughout the UK work in:
- Colleges of further education
- Technical colleges
- Tertiary colleges (not in Scotland)
- Sixth-form colleges (not in Scotland)
- Community colleges
- Private colleges
- Adult education centres
- The Armed Forces
- The Prison Service.
- With experience lecturers could be promoted to senior lecturer or head of department. As these places are limited promotion is likely to involve moving to another college.