Without doubt, our most popular course is the Award in Education and Training (AET – formerly PTLLS) and I spend most of my social media time posting about it. Although SKL Training as a business is relatively new, the qualification and my teaching of it isn’t new – however, every time I deliver it, it feels like a new course as it is constantly changing! Not because the course criteria changes, because that hasn’t changed since I first taught it: more so the way I am delivering it and, more importantly, the way learners want it to be delivered. 
When I signed up to my teacher training course over ten years ago, I thought I knew what teaching meant. I had an image in my mind. It was a person (me) standing at the front of a classroom (of course), in a college (because that’s where people go if they want to do post-compulsory education, isn’t it?) delivering beautifully planned lessons to enthusiastic groups of students with perfect worksheets and – if I was really indulging in my fantasy – there may even be workbooks (that I had written). Of course, though, that is exactly why I needed teacher training: because the idea I had in my head was so fixed! 
 
The people who study on the Award in Education and Training come from the widest variety of backgrounds. Here are just a few: 
 
• A chef who wanted to teach volunteers in his kitchen how to cook 
• Four teachers in prisons who were already teaching but wanted a qualification 
• An HR manager who wanted to deliver more effective training sessions to staff who don’t always want to be trained 
• Two experienced trainers who had been training for many years but wanted to get qualified 
• Support workers who wanted to offer life skills sessions to their service users 
• People returning to work after long periods away who had never taught a lesson in their lives 
• A “I always wanted to be a teacher but I didn’t think I was clever enough” person 
• Someone who wasn’t planning to teach as such but did want to improve her skills when delivering presentations at work 
• A key worker who wanted to teach her client some IT skills on a one to one basis 
 
I could have listed every person who has been on the course with me there but that seemed excessive (for the first blog post, anyway!), but the point is that every person on the list above -as well as the ones not listed – said that they learnt new things on the course, even though they all had completely different levels of experience and reasons for wanting to complete it. At the risk of sounding hugely cliched, I learn from every person on the course and their experiences – and of course teaching them increases my teaching experience too, which is why every cohort’s AET is delivered slightly differently to the last. The appealing element of this qualification through Open College Network (our awarding body: the people who accredit the course) is that their qualifications give the flexibility to deliver in a way that suits the learners who are on it at the time. We can gather evidence in different ways and never solely rely on one assessment method, which means that you won’t just be writing essay after essay. That wouldn’t help any of us! We use discussions, pictures, essays, journals, worksheets, practical activities, observations and tables to gain all of the evidence we need to show that you know how to teach. 
 
I am in the process of writing a distance learning version of this course. At first, in the same way as I did when I started teacher training, I had a fairly fixed view of how this might work. I would just be writing out exactly what I taught, wouldn’t I? Well no…. not at all! It’s been an excellent challenge trying to incorporate all the different learning styles within a distance learning course and making sure that everything is fully covered for someone who doesn’t have that face to face contact with a tutor. I love writing it and I’m looking forward to offering it to learners as well as using the workbook as an accompaniment for those who are studying in the classroom version. I think it’s more proof that this qualification really can work for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge of teaching and learning for any type of delivery they want to do. 
 
Have a look on any popular course sites and you’ll see hundreds of different options for AET. If you see one that is super-cheap, just check that everything is included because some organisations charge extra for the assessments and sometimes certification. Also make sure that it is accredited through a reputable awarding body as it’s incredibly frustrating to study hard for something that you think is accredited only to find out you’re just going to receive a certificate of participation and nothing else! If you like the look of the course and want to sign up with SKL Training, our AET course is extremely flexible to fit in with your current commitments; is accredited through OCNWMR; is £400 inclusive of everything (including catch up sessions and tutorials if you need them); is available in Worcestershire, Birmingham, Oxford, Haslemere, Cheltenham and Bristol AND we are offering refer-a-friend incentives if you signpost anyone to us and they complete their course. If you’d like a further chat about this course, please get in touch for a no obligation chat. All of our advice and guidance is free and impartial – even if it’s about a course with a different provider. 
 
SKL Training provides bespoke training where and when you want it. For more information about this course, please see https://www.skltraining.co.uk/for-staff/ , follow us on Twitter @_SKLTraining_ and on Facebook @SKLTraining . We would love to read your comments below. Thank you for reading our first blog post. 
 
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