Teaching is my passion, says apprentice Karl

Posted: September 13, 2021

Level 5 teaching apprentice Karl Jones worked in the Public Services department at Leeds City College before taking on an apprenticeship.

I was a coaching tutor delivering tutorial sessions, working 1-1 with students, and delivering some physical fitness sessions.

The apprenticeship, he says, was a ‘no brainer’ and liked the idea of working alongside completing his qualification.

“I really enjoyed being a coaching tutor and receiving the support I needed from staff within the department helped to make it a more enjoyable experience.

“Tom, my mentor has been really helpful, supporting me to achieve the goals I have set for myself these past two years.”

Almost a year on in his new role, Karl’s day-to-day includes planning and delivering taught units such as health and hygiene, physical fitness, and leadership.

“I deliver a mix of theoretical and practical sessions to Level 2, and 3 students, alongside extracurricular sessions such as days at the allotment, cooking classes, and boxercise.

“What I enjoy most about my role is the opportunity it gives me to do something completely different most days. On one day I could be at the allotment planting fruit and vegetables, and on another day, I could be up at Yeadon Tarn with students doing water activities. The range of activities we offer are a real highlight for our students and I think it really helps them to grow as young people.”

Challenges and highlights
The 2020-21 academic year was unlike any other.

Many teachers had to adapt to unexpected conditions and teaching in ways they had never experienced before.

“I think one of the challenges this past year for me was adapting to online teaching at the height of the pandemic and supporting students with online learning.

A lot of students had difficulty keeping themselves motivated during this period, which led to a lot of personal issues for them. It wasn’t easy, as I enjoy being around students and bouncing off their energy during lessons.”

Nonetheless, the support I have received from staff within my department has been brilliant. My managers have always supported my personal development in areas I have shown interest in.

Speaking about his highlights over the last two years, Karl said that taking students on a week-long trip to Lympstone to visit the Royal Marine Commandos was a great experience.

“The students got the opportunity to have a look at the recruitment process in relation to the fitness tests and it was almost like a week on SAS. It was brilliant to see the young people grow in confidence as the week went on and they realised they were stronger, both physically and mentally than they previously thought.”

On apprenticeships
Karl said his apprenticeship has been an eye-opener and encouraged more people to consider doing one.

“The support and pace of the course has been brilliant. The staff understand that you are learning as you are going along and are very supportive and flexible about this. One benefit is getting to meet people on a similar journey to yours and being able to support each other throughout.”

On the future and beyond
Looking to the future, Karl said being a fully qualified teacher is something that he is looking forward to the most.

“I really enjoy the teaching side of things and I am certain I would like any role I progress into to have an element of teaching. More importantly, I’m keen to continue solving problems and finding solutions that help my students progress to the next level.”

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