By Steven Perryman Career Turn to teaching accountancy 14 Mar 2012 With jobs increasingly hard to come by, turning to teaching accountancy is more popular than ever. We meet three AAT tutors who did just that having successfully passed their AAT qualification We all remember a good teacher, don’t we? We may remember a bad one too for wholly different reasons, but a good teacher is someone we look back on with affection and gratitude. Whether it is helping us realise our potential, sharing knowledge or just showing us skills to use beyond the classroom, teaching is up there as one of the most rewarding career choices out there. In these times of austerity and, with it, increased unemployment, teaching has become a viable career option for many. In fact, the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) saw a three-fold increase in public sector workers turning to teaching through its Transition to Teaching scheme last year. In a special AAT Comment post, we talk to three former students who all turned to teaching AAT. Sonya Ashbarry FMAAT, Eagle Education Whilst I was studying AAT I was complimented on my ability to explain topics to other students in a clear and concise way. It was suggested that I might like to consider teaching, so I studied for a recognised teaching qualification alongside level 4 (AAT). I achieved both qualifications at the same time and was offered part time employment at the college as a teacher. I wanted to continue to inspire others, but in a modern teaching environment using modern, flexible teaching methods. In 2002 I took the courageous step to set up my own business, Eagle Education and Training. Eagle is now a distance learning specialist and we pride ourselves on delivering flexible courses using creative learning tools which suit a variety of needs. A decade on we are now a team of seven teaching hundreds of students a year. Each year we grow in size, but also our reputation continues to grow as our students value the flexible, professional and robust service we provide. Teaching for me is very rewarding; it’s not just about teaching people how to do something. You can help people discover skills and abilities that they didn’t know they had, help people grow in confidence, realise their potential and shape their future. Cathy Littler MAAT, Centre Coordinator, Milton Keynes College I’d studied maths at college, but I’d fallen into a full time job after college working in my local sports centre. I was doing a bit of everything, including accounting. I decided to study accounting to move away from leisure and my tutors suggested that I do some teaching. As I am passionate about working with people I took the opportunity to do some part time teaching and within six months was teaching full time. I now am Centre Coordinator for Milton Keynes College (MK) – AAT’s largest further education college, as well as Deputy Head of Leadership and Business at MK with 50 staff. I still teach 10 hours a week. I’ve always felt it important to make time for actual teaching – I love interviewing students and hearing why they want to study; it’s what drives me to teach. My whole philosophy on teaching is that each and every student is different and therefore it’s important that they all learn and understand in a way that’s right for them as individuals. If you are considering a career in teaching/tutoring you will need a sense of humour, the ability to get on with everyone, flexibility and determination. A good teacher will facilitate good two-way communication with students. While teaching at times can be testing, it’s the best feeling in the world when you realise how far your students have grown and they pass their exams. It really is a fantastic feeling to be part of that. Lisa Leonard, Accounting Trainer, Letchworth College I started out as a trainee accounting technician at Hertfordshire County Council, gaining the AAT qualification at Letchworth College. From there I moved onto a property management software company training clients on the accountancy software. This also included training up in-house staff on accountancy processes. I then moved to a company called Parker Hannifin, which was my last role before this one. While there I implemented JD Edwards Finance software into their sites around Europe and conducted on-site and in-house accounting training. It was a strong IT-based role which didn’t challenge me enough, so when I saw the opportunity to go into teaching I grabbed the chance. My advice to anyone who is thinking of a path into teaching is to keep up to date with your AAT knowledge and ideally you should try to obtain a PTLLS qualification. This is not always possible so see if you can gain experience of training some accountancy based subject, either in the workplace or on a voluntary basis. Ask your local college if they will let you do some work on a voluntary basis to gain an insight into teaching AAT. If you are interested in teaching AAT you can find out more information on the AAT website. Steven Perryman is AAT Comment's former Content Editor.