Pathways to Further Education: Lauren Austin

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.

Why did you decide to get involved in the Pathways 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.

What do you like most about teaching in Further Education?

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.

What have been the benefits so far of engaging with the Pathways to Further Education Teaching programme?

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.

How did your experience on the programme develop your knowledge and insight into a career in teaching?

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.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

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.

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