What employment sector do you work in?

Academia Sector

How long have you had a green job for nature?

7 years

Salary Range

£30,001 – £40,000

Please describe the work that you do.

I lecture at Moreton Morrell Agricultural College on the Level 3 Wildlife and Countryside Management course. Subjects that I teach include Ecology concepts, Wildlife conservation, Freshwater Management, Environmental Science, Plant and Soil Science, and Woodland Management. In addition to teaching, I am also the course manager for the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Wildlife and Countryside Management.

What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?

I love watching students develop their skills and confidence. When they first start at college they are often nervous and not sure of what their future holds. However, as the course progresses it is lovely to see them start to relax, make friends with similar interests, and to see their skills and knowledge grow. The role of the college lecturer isn’t just about teaching the subject, but also teaching important life skills including teamwork, resilience, adaptability, and entrepreneurial skills to name just a few.

I also really enjoy creating new schemes of work and designing the curriculum for a new cohort of students.

What inspired you into this career? 

I have always been very passionate about wildlife and the countryside. I also really enjoy teaching others about the subjects that I love. Naturally, this led me to explore teaching as a possible option, however I wasn’t keen to teach the standard school subjects. After attending an agricultural college to study for my BTEC National Diploma, and then completing my university studies, I decided to look into how I could teach those subjects. My college lecturers were a big inspiration to me, so I decided that this is what I wanted to do – teach the subject that I love!

Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far? 

I have worked as a lecturer for seven years now and I am at the top of my pay scale. The difficulty that I am currently facing is that there is no clear way forward to progress further.

Another challenge often faced is when I come across students who are disengaged with their learning. Young people have to remain in education until they are 18 years of age, however not everyone wants to continue studying after finishing at school.

It is often difficult to help these students to overcome this. In a lot of circumstances it is because they have had negative experiences in past educational settings.

What education/training did you have?

I have a Diploma in Education and Training (DET) and Qualified Teaching, Learning and Skills status (QTLS) from Warwick University.

I also achieved a MSc in Invertebrate Ecology and Conservation at Staffordshire University. Prior to this I achieved a first-class BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation from the University of Wolverhampton and a BTEC National Diploma in Countryside Management from Rodbaston College. [1]

What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession? 

I would recommend that you get as much experience as possible in the wildlife conservation sector. Take up on any opportunities that arise to attend training sessions. If you can get any experience teaching or working with groups of children or young people that would be greatly beneficial. Another subject that I feel is really important is plant and animal identification skills. Plant identification skills in particular are often a subject with very little knowledge, yet they are so important.

Footnote [1]: The BTEC National Diploma in Countryside Management, equivalent to three A-Levels, is now known as the BTEC Extended Diploma.

Tags: teaching, research, university lecturer, academia sector, environmental biology, England

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