Preparing To Teach In the Lifelong Learning Sector.

I cannot believe that I have this week handed in my completed Portfolio for the Preparing To Teach In the Lifelong Learning Sector (also known as PTLLS).

It seemed such a good idea at the time to sign up with Thanet College and every Thursday attend 3 hours in the classroom.  Like most things in life you don’t know what you don’t know, and as with all adult learning these days its all self directed, which I found out means you have do put in the research and reading to learn what they once upon a time would have spoon fed you on the blackboard.  These days learning is all about facilitating the learner… so alongside 15 other adults we stared across at each other on the first day and wondered what we would make of this.

For me it was the shock of having to write essays that really took my breath away.  Now I know that many of my friends are right in the middle of degrees and 4,000 word essays seem normal to them, but to me 700 words seemed really hard.

Level 4 – Review your role, responsibilities and boundaries as a teacher/trainer/tutor in terms of the teaching/training cycle. Recommended word count 500-700 words.  To say I struggled with this was an understatement, my problem was that I had never written an essay for Level 4 and therefore had no idea where to start.  With a lot of reading, and help from a couple of friends I did manage to produce a reasonable essay – albeit that in my desperate attempt to get to 700 words I did miss out the Boundaries answer but I was allowed to add one final paragraph – phew.


The 2nd essay had to be completed before getting the first one back due to the October half term.  It used the words review and evaluate which having now got to the end of the course I don’t think I really understood on week 2.  The title was Review a range of different assessment methods available and explain the ones you would use for your subject area.  Evaluate the use of assessment methods in different contexts, including reference to initial assessment.

At the very start I had to learn how to use Harvard Referencing and that alone was something to get my head around.  I did have lots of friends offering to help, offering their old portfolios etc but I really wanted to do this all by myself… once essay 1 and 2 were under my belt it was a case of reading reading and more reading.  I found the whole thing fascinating and having been a School Governor for a number of years it was great to be on the other side of things…. Always in the background was the looming thought that we had to give a 30 minute micro teach with written schemes of work and lessons plans.  I tried to put the thought out of my head but I will admit to thinking about it a lot. I had no idea how to even start this and had little faith in an unknown teacher who kept telling us that by the time it came in week 9 we would be rocking and rolling in teaching skills.

Anyway essay number 3 was Summaries the key aspects of current legislative requirements and codes of practice relevant to your subject and the type of organization within which you work/would like to work.

By now I was falling behind on some domestic duties and with juggling children, husband and my massage/sugaring business I was beginning to feel a little under pressure.  I starting thinking that a     might be needed. No matter how much I told myself that my friends were struggling a lot more (one was doing a full time job along side her paramedics university course) I still felt that my work/life balance was not right.  Anyway I knew it was only until Christmas and so I pressed on.

I celebrated my birthday with a low key party of 30 people and that very weekend laughed instead of worked!  I knew I would be but I also think that’s how I best work… right up to the edge on a deadline.

It was hard when the boys had homework that required some parental input as I often thought I would get my work down whilst the house was in “homework” mode, but it did not really work out.  I was the one up late at night!

Essay 4 was Discuss issues of equality and diversity and ways to promote inclusion with your learners.  Review other points of referral available to meet the potential needs of learners.

Christmas shopping took over but card writing was cut to the bare minimum after one of my lovely clients on my couch in a terrible state told me all her troubles including writing 100s of cards.  Instantly we both knew the solution and so we both agreed to tell our friends that this year cards would only to people who we had not seen since September.  This really helped me and I saved a lot of time and stamp money.  I was really careful to tell everyone how much I loved them and wished everyone a very merry time.. cards are so LAST YEAR!

I found the next essay very interesting Evaluate a range of ways to embed elements of Functional skills, in your specialist area.  I have friends with children who did not do well at school and have themselves gone back to college to increase their functional skills so I felt it was really worthwhile.

Eventually I managed to keep up and before I knew it I was ready for the micro teach.  I made all my handouts, my powerpoint presentation (which is shown on a separate blog) and was ready.

I stood in front of the class and took a deep breath.  I had written SPEAK SLOWLY on the very top as I am known to talk very fast and very loudly when excited or nervous.

It went very well.  I did a small icebreaker, everyone relaxed and they engaged in the activity – it was hand massage demonstration.  The teacher said she had not seen someone enjoy their microteach quite as much as I did!  I remembered to state the aims and objectives, to do an initial assessment, I engaged with the learners, I made sure they were confident with the task and eventually asked for any questions!

So having handed in my schemes of work, my lesson plans, written my rationale and completed all the requirements I sit back and answer the question I asked myself a while ago… Can I teach….?  Until I have the pass certificate I don’t know. However, I think I am ready to give it my best shot.

This is the website I used to help me…

Good Luck



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