Lauren Austin is a graduate in dance from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) and a participant on the Pathways to Further Education Teaching programme.
I was in the final stage of my third year at UCLAN and I knew teaching was the route that I wanted to go down. However, I have never experienced teaching at FE level and that was where I wanted to be. I thought this would be a great opportunity to experience college teaching and what it entails.
I love experiencing the different level groups that are a part of further education. I like that I have to approach each group differently as it really pushes my teaching forward. I am always reflecting on how I need to adapt my approach in order to achieve greater learning. I also love how I can be constantly surprised at the different groups and how often I leave sessions smiling.
Being able to experience a week’s work experience really helped me understand more of the teacher’s job role beside being just a ’teacher’. It also helped me gain my PGCE placement at Wigan and Leigh College. That is where the placement programme took place, so I gained valuable contacts.
I was able to understand more of the care side that teachers offer. By being in the staffroom, I saw first-hand the different needs of students and how the staff go about addressing those needs. I was also able to observe different teaching and teaching styles which has benefitted me massively, as I have been able to go forward in my own teaching and draw upon these influences to help me find my feet whilst I start my own teaching style.
I am currently doing my PGCE and I hope to become a dance teacher. I also like the idea of having my own classes, and maybe even a dance school in the future.
Further details about the Pathways to Further Education Teaching programme can be accessed on its web page.