When we think of members of the public who are unsung, who springs to mind first? Likely it will be key workers, be it a nurse, a surgeon, a police officer or a firefighter. In the next breath, however, teachers are seldom far from the conversation when it comes to those who perhaps receive little celebration for undertaking essential jobs.
As difference-makers, there are few jobs out there that rival teaching for impact. What really distinguishes outstanding teachers is what happens in the classroom. By engaging and enlightening students, teachers can help forge the leaders of tomorrow. There are few if any, job roles to rival the long-lasting impact made by teachers. As Robin Williams posits in Dead Poets Society: “Words and ideas can change the world.” No pressure, then.
There are some fresh seeds of hope for the FE sector in the form of the government’s February 2020 announcement of around £14m-worth of investment to improve leadership and governance across the area.
Chief Executive of The Association of Colleges David Hughes praised the development said: “Well-run and effective colleges rely on staff at all levels, which is why it is great to see targeted funds for continuous professional development opportunities as well.” It is teachers that can help undertake the urgent task of leveling up skills and unlocking talent and opportunity.
Teachers are unsung precisely because their work in helping students make the next step in their lives, preparing the ground for them to go to university or into the workplace, is routinely taken for granted. The Tes FE Awards are to be welcomed then; an annual celebration of the outstanding work offered across the country at our FE institutions. As Joni Cunningham, Principal at Redbridge Institute and winner of Overall FE Provider of the year 2019 and Adult and community learning provider of the year 2019, stressed: “Receiving these awards is public recognition of the vital work we do in adult and community learning supporting some of the most disadvantaged learners in our community, inspiring them to achieve their potential.”
FE providers are absolutely paramount for filling skills gaps in the economy. The engines of a productive workforce are the skilled workers that drive it forward and behind every skilled worker is a teacher. So, from a dialectic perspective, there is no economy without teachers.
If a career in teaching is something that you are interested in, why not browse through the live teaching vacancies on the AoC Jobs board. Apply now for your chance at kickstarting your career in education!