Mozz Baker is an Advanced Practitioner in the Department of Construction at Walsall College.
He shares the story of his journey within FE and Training, reflecting on the opportunities that FE offered him and what drives him to help his students to transform their lives and careers.
My journey in FE training and teaching is all about opportunities and being inspired by those who taught me when I started my own journey. It’s about how FE gave me opportunities to progress and how I now share those opportunities with others – to inspire them and help them transform their lives and careers.
When I was at college training as a decorator, I thought that one day I would really like to teach. I worked for about ten years in the construction trade and was then given the chance to teach part time. I saw something about the opportunities that were available to students and the real impact that I could have on somebody else’s life – a positive change. That was it – I fell in love with it.
Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to progress into management within FE. I could have stayed in construction and achieved similar things, but I don’t think it would have given me the same satisfaction that I have felt through teaching.
Teaching and construction are my two passions. In my current role as an advanced practitioner in the faculty of construction, I still think I’m doing one of the best jobs I could ever have – teaching personal development to students.
The opportunity to affect positive, transformational change in young people and knowing that I am going to make a difference to somebody’s life is what motivates me. My students are the greatest inspiration to me. It is quite hard to explain that unless you have experienced it. When you see a student, who gets in on time, but you know a bit about their life story and you understand what obstacles they have overcome, just to be able to sit in front of you in class.
When I see a learner push through their difficulties to achieve, and they say to me, “I didn’t know I could do that, I didn’t know that I had that in me” or “I’ve achieved that, and I didn’t know how to before”, I know that I’ve made a positive difference.
Engaging with my own professional development has made me into the educator that I am today. Reflective practice enables me to examine how I teach and helps me to explore how I can continually improve what I deliver to my students. Using ETF’s CPD and in particular using the Professional Standards for teachers and trainers has helped me to ensure that what I deliver to my students is of the best possible standard.
My membership of SET has helped to transform my understanding of my role as a teacher while enabling me to focus on developing my professionalism. I went through the QTLS accreditation a few years ago and more recently the SET Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) process has given me the opportunity to explore evidence-based teaching methodologies to use in my teaching practice and to be sure that I am using them effectively.
Find out more about our Together we transform initiative, and view other case studies, highlighting the transformative impact that the Further Education and Training sector has on lives across the UK.