I work part-time as a personal tutor and lecturer in the Animal Management Department. Most days I am either planning lessons, teaching, having one-to-one tutorials or marking assignment work. The areas I teach include animal welfare, anatomy and physiology, zoo and exotic animal husbandry and nutrition. Animal Management is a very practical subject which means that as a group we are often out visiting organisations to put theory into practice. We have a close relationship with the JSPCA and Jersey Zoo. I can often be found lecturing to students outside animal enclosures!
How did you get your job?
I have a BSc (hons) degree in Zoology and after a student placement at Jersey Zoo, I spent a large amount of my career as a mammal keeper and student placement manager. These steps gave me a unique set of skills perfect for vocational education.
What motivates you in this role?
I am a keen advocate for Animal Welfare and am passionate about keeping animals in the best conditions possible. Through teaching animal management to the next generations of animal carers I hope to instil these core values. I work with a small group of students and want to give them all the best chance to achieve the Animal Management qualification. I know that if I can motivate students to learn, they are more likely to achieve higher grades!
Are there any future skills you will need to learn for your role?
I am currently studying towards a Diploma in Education and Training at Highlands College. As lecturers, we are constantly learning and developing new skills through courses and continuing professional development (CPD).
What are the three most important skills required for your role?
Organisation: planning timetables, creating lesson plans, producing resources and marking assignments; require good time management skills.
Passion: passion for your subject translates into your teaching and keeps students engaged.
In-depth subject knowledge: to teach a vocational subject you must have practical experience and background knowledge of the subject.
What advice would you give someone interested in a career in your profession?
I would always advise people to gain some experience and qualifications in the area you wish to teach and make sure it is something you are really interested in! To teach in further education you must commit to ongoing training, but the first step would be to complete an Award in Education, which can be studied at Highlands College.
My second-year students call me Efficient Susie. I’m not sure if this is a compliment or not! The highlight of my career was meeting Sir David Attenborough!