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Discuss Teaching opportunity *gulp* in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at

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  1. sparky05084

    sparky05084 Regular EF Member

    Hey all

    Been a while and then some since being on here so hoping everyone is well. Not sure if this is the correct location to post but here goes.

    Ok, a massive opportunity has come my way to provide some temp cover teaching to various groups of learners in a FE environment. I am wondering if there are any teachers that can give me some pointers or tips as although I'm thrilled at the prospect, am very, very nervous.

    I would say, I'm a pretty decent spark and have a well rounded knowledge (a little rusty in areas won't lie) of the trade. I'm no electrical guru but we all have to start somewhere eh.

    I feel a bit worried if I mess this up or get too nervous (think crash n burn in the classroom) I may blow my chances of this becoming potentially, something greater. This is simply put, a massive change in my life and possible route to career development.

    I am fully aware things like this don't happen everyday and I'm treating this with the commitment and seriousness it deserves.

    So yeah just basically some reassurance I suppose or any pointers from teachers how to deal with 'stage fright' or maybe a student who takes the ****.

    I've been doing research and trying hard to stimulate the grey matter (yes, yes I know your gunna say us sparks should be doing that anyway lol) as I've gone off the ball a bit but I only have myself to blame but life gets busy, as life does.

    I still worry a bit that's it's not enough. The College have hugely accomodated me and made provisions for my lack of teaching experience and the gentleman whom I am covering for, is a fantastic bloke and has gave me guidance in preperation for my upcoming role.

    It's up to me now but to say I'm scared is an understatememt.

    Any advice or thoughts, be it good or bad are welcome. Sorry for the babble.
  2. Pete999

    Pete999 Forum Mentor

    Business Name:
    Good luck I'm sure you will be OK
    • Like Like x 1
  3. KennyKen

    KennyKen Electrician's Arms

    Stern but fair... always seems to work when working alongside a youngster. Phones need shutting down straight away... relate to the ones who want to work and relate to the fellas who need that encouragement. You'll be a universally liked lecturer.
  4. Wilko

    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    So many things ... prep for ea lesson. It never ceases to amaze me how something I thought I understood suddenly turns opaque when in front of others having to explain it in real time, without a mistake. Perhaps write up a cheat sheet and run through it a few times ?
  5. westward10

    westward10 In echoed steps I walk across an empty dream. Staff Member Moderator

    Top Poster Of Month

    A colleague I had worked with for over ten years did this about three years ago. He was fed up with early mornings, working away and with new grandkids wanted a nine to five near home, he too was terrified but he bit the bullet and he loves what he is doing now. Go for it or you will never know.
  6. Diddy

    Diddy Regular EF Member

    Think of the tutors that inspired you - copy them. I would want to be mentored for a few days or even weeks. I very briefly considered doing this too - just didn't fancy the regularity of it all - Im afraid I suffer from "same building" syndrome. If im in the same building for more than say a year or more then I get itchy feet. Im just so used to contracting and or self employment I didn't feel I would have the qualities required to mix with the staff as opposed to the students - I have had a fair few apprentices in my time and it gives me great pride to mentor them from start to finish (when possible) I think I have the quality of relating to the youngsters.....But I also never put up with **** either, So no standing still when done ect, work effic and attention to detail is what I hope I have instilled in my little crew of sparks that are currently out there in the big wide world plying their trade lol. We can all have a laugh and a joke when the jobs done and the pounds are earned.
    But I just don't think I would be any good at office politics which apparently exist in some establishments....don't think I could hack that to be honest.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. polo1

    polo1 Electrician's Arms

    Business Name:
    GW Electrical & Security
    Well first off, good luck! Are you going to be teaching the science part, or practical or both?
    As Diddy has said, think about the teachers from the past who best inspired you. Oh, and remember it's not school - you need to make clear to your "students" that they have to want to be there, that you'll help them all you can, but at the end of the day, the onus is on them to put the effort in. You'll treat them as adults, but they have to behave/respond accordingly.
    And yes, have a bit of a laugh/joke too. There's bound to be at least one ***hole.....take him aside at the end of a class and quietly put him right - it's your way or he's out!
    Lastly, have fun and enjoy it. If you do, it will be (mostly) a rewarding career.
  8. dksanders

    dksanders Electrician's Arms

    Good Luck. As an instructor with over 7 years experience I can offer the following advice/info;
    I always got stage fright at the start of each course so don't worry if you do.
    Never make a student feel embarrassed of belittled especially if they've given a wrong answer (no matter how much of a plonker they may have been) always say something like "that's an interesting idea but what if we did...."
    Remember that it's your task to make them understand what your teaching, if they don't understand, they're not thick, you just haven't done your job right.
    Treat the students as equals, and approach it as a group activity where you're taking the lead and doing most of the talking/doing but be open to contradiction and suggestions. Many a time I've found that a student has actually had a good idea or a better suggestion so be prepared to listen and acommodate.
    Take questions and encourage an atmosphere where the students aren't afraid to ask questions without feeling silly, however don't let debates happen, if that starts, firmly offer to take the point off line with the student at e.g. the break, end of the day, and feed back to the rest of the group at the next session.
    Never be afraid to say you don't know or aren't sure but "will find out and get back to them", MAKE SURE YOU DO, that is most important to maintain credibility.
    If using a white board avoid using a red marker pen, red is associated with anger and danger.
    Never talk to the board with your back to the students.
    Maintain eye contact with everybody in the class, let your eyes roam around the room to all the students, each one will feel you are talking directly to them an involving them personally'
    Avoid using words like 'obviously', if it was obvious they wouldn't need you to be telling them about it.
    Learn to read body language as that will be your best friend in managing the group, before I was able to lecture, I had to do a 4 week 'Train the Trainer' course, 75% of which was psychology and body language.
    Hope that helps, enjoy the new change in direction, I spent 2 years in Asia teaching 1,800 students and loved every minute but sh!t bricks at the start of each course! More than happy to discuss further if you want to PM me.
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  9. sparky05084

    sparky05084 Regular EF Member

    Hey all thank you massively for your responses and your words of encouragement. It's great to see some people responding with actual classroom experience. A real plus in my mind.

    It's quite clear I have a lot to think about!

    For those that wish to know, I will receive a hand over and am going to be guiding the students through some assignment work(s) that forms part of the curriculum. Added to this, some regulations revision, exam prep and some practical that essentially, is up to me to plan and direct.

    To be completely honest and in all fairness, this is my first bite of the cherry so I will either like the taste or not. I have an opportunity (hopefully he says) to meet with the other lecturers during induction and will use that as a golden opportunity to ask any questions I may have.

    However, I can't blag their heads or bombard them with the whole "What if.......blar blar blar......." scenarios. I feel that a certain amount of this is my responsibility and I need to take ownership of this. I agree completely with being stern but fair. I won't be a **** with them but I do recall very well being told to "Put your phone away it can wait till break".

    I suppose I could crack a joke or two as nobody is going to exactly be inspired by a complete bore of a teacher but again at the same time, one has to strike a balance of professionalism whilst being approachable and likeable.

    This is without a doubt, the toughest challenge of my life but I will promise to try my very best and not make a mountain of a mole hill with this.

    One of my weaknesses, which I must aim to change is over analysing and worrying about situations or visualising in my mind 10 different outcomes that may derive from said situation (i.e. altercation with a difficult student).

    I think I will have to do what my very good teacher/friend said and deal with some instances like this as 'off the cuff'. Perhaps that is how I will find out if I'm truly cut out for this and I have what it takes.

    Who knows, I may even be posting back here saying I've taken to it like a duck does to water. Let's hope for that eh and positive thinking all around :)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. rolyberkin

    rolyberkin Electrician's Arms

    Have done quite a bit of training in my time (not in electrics!) Top tip, if someone comes up with a question you don't know or if you think they are a 'what if' merchant, ask them what they think and their reasoning, if they don't know set them a task of going away and researching the subject to do a small presentation to the group. Or split them down into small groups to research the area. This serves two purposes, they will definitely learn more by going away and researching and it gives you time to get your head in the books too if you are unsure! I have always found that getting people actively involved practically rather than front loading will pay dividends.

    Drawing up a class contract will also help with things like mobile phones etc, get them to come up with their own class contract, what they expect from you and what they think you expect, what they hope to achieve etc, you can use it as a good ice breaker, when they break it or take the **** you can point to it and ask them what has changed since they wrote it.

    Good luck, I used to love training others.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Jay Sparks

    Jay Sparks Forum Mentor

    Where possible, try and relate the theory to actual on site scenarios. Try and get the students interacting as much as possible during the lesson. When creating a Power Point, try using "Smart note book" software. You will need to a touch screen in the classroom for this though. If they are late, don't have a go/ask them why in front of the class. Tell them you will speak to them at break. They may have a genuine reason. You need to stay one step a head of them so a bit of refreshing of a topic/subject just before the lesson always helps.

    The most important thing is, don't just stand at the front of the class and talk/teach. Try and get them to do as much work as possible, via research, group activities, Q & A etc.

  12. Aurai

    Aurai Active EF Member

    Lots of excellent pointers already:

    This one from me, that is captured between the lines of previous comments is that if you are not careful, the default position will be how you all were at school. You and the students.

    Adults, including young adults learn in different ways to school pupils, so think about treating them as adults and look for collaboration and getting the students themselves to lead where possible.

    As a rule of thumb, change the teaching approach at least every twenty minutes! As in talk for 20 power point 20 exercise 20 quiz 20 and so on.

    Have fun
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Pathway to teaching? Electrical Forum Oct 13, 2018
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