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Try another route into the teaching profession ; SPONSOR'S MESSAGE

July 9, 2014

FROM working in mobile phone sales to teaching maths would sound, to most of us, like quite the career change.

But for Stockton dad-of-two, Colin Longstaff, the divide between the two jobs is not as wide as you might think.

"A lot of the skills I have brought from mobile phone sales help me with my job today," said the Stockton Riverside College lecturer. "Skills such as explaining technical jargon and being confident talking to a lot of different people."

He added that had he chosen to go back in to sales, lessons he has learned training as a teacher in the lifelong learning sector would also have proven beneficial.

"No matter what role you are in, if you can explain things in a better way and understand an individual's needs it can only help," he said.

As it is, Colin secured full-time work teaching maths at the college that had trained him.

His route into teaching was far from traditional. He said a friend told him about the one-year Professional Graduate Certificate in Education Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector course at Stockton Riverside College.

"It sounded ideal," he said. Not only was it close to home but the pre-service option meant that he didn't have to already be working in the classroom.

To keep the pennies rolling in Colin continued to work in the phone shop part time and also took on some hourly paid work wherever he could.

He completed his studies in May last year and secured some hourly paid work teaching maths at the college before securing a full time position in February.

"I feel very lucky for a job to come along," he said. "But I know that I am not a fluke as all of the people who were pursuing a career in teaching from my course have in some shape or form been successful."

Colin chose to study the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education pre-service option at Stockton Riverside College. This meant that he was able to gain a full teaching status within one academic year. With the help of a mentor, he had the opportunity to focus on the many different aspects to teaching and learning.

Gary Grounds, lecturer in education at Stockton Riverside College, said "Colin was very customer-satisfaction focused. He knew that students were at the heart of all planning and knew the value of making teaching, student centred."

He said: "The advantage of studying within this programme is that the students come from a very diverse background, therefore they share their past experiences which helps enhance their learning opportunities. Colin soon proved himself to be a very supportive and dedicated student, committed to becoming an excellent teacher and helping his fellow students achieve."

The Professional Graduate Certifi-cate in education is also offered as a two year in-service course.

Stockton Riverside College offers a range of progression routes into careers in education, including an earn as you learn apprenticeship in Supporting Teaching & Learning, a sector endorsed foundation degree in Early Years which can be followed up by a top- up year and two Professional Graduate Certificate in education teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector courses for those who wish to teach in the post-compulsory education and training sector.

Applications are still being taken for September. Contact the college for details by calling 01642 865566, or email

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Evening Gazette (UK)

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