Teaching in further education (FE) colleges is incredibly rewarding, but demands a unique set of skills beyond those required in traditional classroom settings. If you're thinking about applying, or training as a teacher, here's what we're looking for...

FE colleges cater to a diverse group of students, ranging from teenagers in compulsory education and training to adults seeking new qualifications or career changes. To excel in these teaching jobs, educators must possess a blend of adaptability, subject expertise, and strong interpersonal skills. Here are some of the key skills we look for when we recruit teachers to work at our campuses in Maidstone and Medway:

Subject Matter Expertise

For any teaching job in an FE college, a deep understanding of the subject is fundamental. This expertise goes beyond theoretical knowledge, encompassing practical experience and up-to-date industry insights. FE students often seek education that directly correlates with career advancement, making it crucial for teachers to provide relevant, real-world knowledge gained through industrial experience. You might have gained that experience locally in Maidstone or Medway, across Kent, or from further afield. This expertise helps in designing lessons that are both challenging and applicable, ensuring students gain skills that meet current market demands.

Pedagogical Skills

Effective teaching methods are vital in any teaching job, especially in an FE setting. This includes understanding different learning styles and adapting teaching methods to meet these varied needs. Utilising a mix of instructional strategies such as lectures, interactive workshops, hands-on training, and digital learning tools can enhance engagement and comprehension. Additionally, formative and summative assessments should be employed to monitor progress and provide constructive feedback, helping students stay on track and achieve their learning objectives.

Communication Skills

Clear and effective communication is crucial for conveying complex information in an understandable manner. Teaching jobs in FE colleges require educators to break down intricate concepts into digestible segments, ensuring all students, regardless of their background or prior knowledge, can follow along. Moreover, strong listening skills are essential for understanding students' needs, concerns, and feedback, enabling a responsive and supportive learning environment.

Interpersonal Skills

Building strong relationships with students is key to fostering a positive and productive classroom atmosphere. This involves showing empathy, patience, and respect, as well as being approachable and available for one-on-one support. Educators in FE teaching jobs often act as mentors, guiding students through both academic and personal challenges. Cultivating a supportive classroom culture can boost student confidence and motivation, which are critical for their success.

Technological Proficiency

In today’s digital age, being proficient with technology is indispensable for teaching. FE teachers must be comfortable using a range of educational technologies, from learning management systems (LMS) to virtual classrooms and multimedia resources. This technological proficiency not only enhances the teaching and learning experience but also prepares students for a workforce increasingly reliant on digital skills. Keeping abreast of the latest technological trends and tools is essential for delivering contemporary and engaging education.

Adaptability and Flexibility

FE colleges serve a varied student body with different needs, schedules, and learning paces. Therefore, adaptability and flexibility are crucial for teaching jobs in this sector. Teachers may need to adjust their teaching strategies and materials to accommodate students' diverse circumstances. This could involve flexible scheduling, personalised learning plans, or alternative assessment methods. Being open to change and able to pivot when necessary ensures that all students have the opportunity to succeed.

Organisational Skills

Effective time management and organisational skills are vital for balancing the various responsibilities of teaching jobs in FE colleges. This includes lesson planning, grading, administrative duties, and professional development. Being well-organised helps in maintaining a structured learning environment and ensures that all educational goals and deadlines are met. It also enables teachers to manage their workload efficiently, reducing stress and increasing job satisfaction.

Continuous Professional Development

The field of education is constantly evolving, and those in teaching jobs must commit to lifelong learning to stay current with educational best practices and industry developments. Engaging in continuous professional development through courses, workshops, and conferences ensures that educators can provide the highest quality education and remain passionate about their teaching careers.

Think you have what it takes? Check out our latest job vacancies for teaching and support jobs, and get in touch if you'd like to discuss your suitability. Don't forget that we offer a train to teach programme for candidates joining from industry with no formal teaching background.