Sarah Simons

To stay fresh as a teacher in FE, don’t sweat the big stuff

As one college-veteran friend retires, ground down by the system, another arrives wide-eyed and excited – a timely reminder of how invigorating the work can and should be

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I’m concerned that I’m approaching my teacher best before date. I stumbled into this FE thing because one of my friends, a 30-year FE veteran, guided me toward the profession she loved, when I had hit a low patch in my life. I was highly suggestible in that vulnerable state and did as I was told, obediently signing on to a level 5 diploma course at my local FE college. I often wonder where I’d be now if she’d been a nurse or a lawyer.

In the nine years since, my friend, one of the most and skilled teachers I have ever known, took voluntary redundancy. Area reviews led to her sprawling college ...

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