What our staff say...

Karen - Health & Social Care teacher

What brought you into teaching? 

I worked in a school and then a domestic violence hostel. As part of my role, I began running workshops for the parent and carers. I enjoyed it but I found that the children couldn't succeed unless the parent succeeded. Many of the parents I met had low level skills and many had never worked. That began to trigger my thoughts on the value of adult education. I originally began tone course as sessional teaching doing this alongside my work. I soon worked my way to becoming a salaried teacher.

I occasionally come across students who I have taught over the 20 years I've been teaching. It's good to remember where they started and see where they have ended up, not only in employment but in their personal lives. 

How have you made a difference with the students' lives?

It's easy to see how you made a difference with regard to gaining employment with learners going on to a range of careers. Including, several learners going into teaching, nursing, social work etc.

It's nice though to see the difference you make to learner's personal as well as professional life.

I had a learner who had just had a breakdown in a relationship and was lacking in self-confidence, she competed her level 2 childcare, she then went onto an access course before becoming a theatre nurse at the QE Hospital. She has gained autonomy and confidence.

Why have you stayed so committed to adult education?

The learners in adult education are self-motivated and have a goal that they are working towards - which makes it very rewarding. No two days are the same.

Learners bring their past experience and knowledge with them and as a tutor your role is to help them recognise where they are starting and the contribution they can already make to their learning. Learners appreciate that we make sessions fun and informative and challenging.

What qualifications do you have? 

I was a teaching assistant in a school then I came to BAES and they trained me up to DTTLS and QTLS, I become a qualified teacher. BAES still offers me a range of learning experiences so that can keep up to date with changes within the sector.

James - Learner Support Assistant

I started volunteering with BAES in 2022 as a volunteer teaching assistant. Initially, I volunteered one day a week, assisting both the teacher and learners with English. It is one decision I did not regret. I soon increased my hours to 3 days a week, again with English classes. There are always plenty of opportunities to volunteer in many subjects and locations across Birmingham. 

Learners come from all backgrounds, but all have one thing in common - an enthusiasm to learn.

Also, I was very well supported by the BAES staff with training and mentoring.

Today, I am a paid Learner Support Assistant, working closely with the class teacher and individual learners to make sure I can match their drive to make the most of lessons. I have learned quite a lot myself, particularly when learners come from such diverse backgrounds and circumstances. To listen, be quietly patient and supportive, works well with our learners. As the academic year progresses, learner self confidence seems to increase in line with a better understanding of English.

It's a real pleasure to know that I have been a part of that journey, all the way to the smiles when class pass marks are received.

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