What do you need to be a College lecturer?
Lecturers have a major impact on their students’ lives and the highest regard in the profession, but such a prestigious role isn’t out of reach. We asked lecturer Jasmin Glossop about what the job entails and the attributes needed.
Jasmin has been a lecturer at ABDO College for over 18 months. She started just as Covid-19 had its greatest impact and consequently has been heavily involved with online teaching and more recently with the return of face-to-face teaching.
What is it really like being a lecturer at Godmersham? “The job is fast paced, diverse and energetic,” Jasmin enthused. “I can teach multiple sections of the syllabus over the course of the day, going from lectures to practical workshops to maths-based exercise sessions back to lectures,” she explained.
The lecturers work closely as a teaching team to ensure that the College syllabus is delivered in a consistent and co-ordinated manner.
“The workload is high, particularly as a new lecturer,” Jasmin cautioned. “I prepare multiple resources for each class alongside teaching, however, being organised and being used to academia and managing that work/life balance has helped me.
“I work with an incredible team, amazingly knowledgeable lecturers and a fantastic operations team,” Jasmin added. “The students are also lovely. They are so eager to learn and passionate about their jobs. They are a delight to teach.”
Another attraction for the role is that there are many other opportunities for progression. “I am currently in training to be a practical examiner with ABDO, something not restricted to lecturers but something that I might not have considered if still working in practice,” said Jasmin. “I am also working towards my teaching qualification, as well as finishing the Contact Lens Certificate.
“The College really encourages us to pursue our interests and further our knowledge. It’s an amazing place to work and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
Jasmin began her optical career just six years ago, applying for a job as an optical assistant in a large multiple while completing her final biology exams at university.
“I wanted a break from biology and academia for a while and the job seemed different,” she explained. “I realised during my interview that I would probably stay in optics for a long time as the job seemed incredibly interesting. I liked the idea that I could eventually progress clinically.”
Jasmin has found that working in optics is never the same two days in a row, but she loved the problem-solving that came with finding each patient their best visual solution.
“I quickly became interested in the more complex dispensing and the physiology and pathologies involved with vision,” she said. “As soon as I could, I applied to the sponsorship programme to become a dispensing optician and applied to the College to study.
“ABDO College is a wonderful place to learn and as a student I quickly fell in love with it. I was always so excited to attend block release and continue my learning with the amazing lecturers, so much so, that upon qualifying as a dispensing optician, I immediately enrolled onto the Contact Lens Certificate. The advert for a full-time lecturer appeared while I was studying for that and I seized the opportunity.
“The lecturers are incredibly knowledgeable and the method of teaching is diverse and thorough. The College team are so friendly, helpful and welcoming and you are truly made to feel at home. I love education, be it learning or teaching, and being a lecturer means I get to do both.”
So, what are the key qualities you need to be a lecturer? “Organisation and time management is a must,” Jasmin emphasised. “We are often preparing the latest content for one section of the syllabus while teaching another. Motivation is also important, particularly towards the end of term.
“The students appreciate an approachable and friendly demeanour, so it helps to be outgoing and enthusiastic, especially when teaching the more difficult aspects of the syllabus.”
And her advice for any DO or CLO who might be interested in becoming a lecturer?
“Go for it! If you love optics and enjoy training and mentoring, then this is a great opportunity. ”