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Good start to a major change in career;FE Focus

The old 'tick-box' approach to training is being ousted in favour of a focus on professionalism and ethics. Ian Nash and Elaine Carlton report.

A drastic career change persuaded market research consultant Anita Peleg to embark on a teacher training course.

She wanted some formal preparation for post-16 teaching even though it was not required by potential employers.

When I do something I like to do it properly. I felt very new to the field and wanted to meet other teachers and get a formal grounding. I had been offered jobs without any teaching qualification, but I felt it would help me to have one."

Ms Peleg, 38, had enjoyed a successful career in export marketing and market consulting for five years in Israel. Then she moved to New York where she switched between promotion and public relations before returning to Britain where she set herself up as an independent marketing consultant.

"Although my business was successful I wasn't enjoying it to the full. My work was exciting, but it wasn't stimulating. I had thought about teaching for a long time but had never done anything about it.

"I thought about doing an Open University PGCE, but I wanted to meet other teachers and interact with them. Then I got a job one evening a week teaching market research at South Bank University. I really enjoyed it and wanted to do more teaching so I thought I would get some training."

From reading the newspapers Ms Peleg realised the Government felt post-16 education was important and would be putting more money into it so she decided to prepare herself.

She chose the University of Greenwich post compulsory education and training course because it was part-time, took place at a site in central London and trained participants to teach post-16.

Ms Peleg heard about the course from the Graduate Teacher Training Register which lists teacher training courses. Many of them only accepted students of particular disciplines while the Greenwich course welcomed a wide range. She has now been following the course since October and believes she has benefited enormously.

"The course is practical and reflective at the same time. We use the classes to reflect on our teaching and this is extremely helpful, because it's like self-development.

"I have learned how to plan my lessons better so I don't just give a class and say that's fine, I reflect on specific points and how I can improve them whereas before I was a very instinctive teacher. I have also learned how to be firm with students rather than just being kind and supportive."

EC

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