Starting to teach on Foundation Years – advice from practitioners

Starting to teach a new course can be challenging and exciting at the same time. How much previous knowledge can you assume and how much material can you include in what is potentially an already packed curriculum? Being a new teacher on a Foundation Year course can present additional challenges, particularly around the different educational backgrounds your students might have. This being said, it’s also exciting and personally, we love teaching Foundation Year students!

Over on the FYN Twitter account, we asked fellow practitioners what their best tips for new Foundation Year teachers are. Here is what they said and what they found useful: 

  • Take some time to understand your students. What are their stories, voices and experiences? Keep in mind that their journeys into Higher Education can be quite different from student to student. 
  • Be patient  and ready to repeat some of the concepts and reassure students that it’s okay to ask questions and not understand everything the first time. 
  • Foster community and peer support, it’s so important for students to know who their peers are and be able to ask them for help at times too. 
  • When it comes to being in front of a class, it’s good to do a confidence check at the beginning and the end of a class. It helps if students reflect – if there’s been an improvement it can boost confidence. Even if there hasn’t been as much improvement as on other days, it’s useful to know where you need to go over material again and where to help.
  • Share your own journey into Higher Education, especially if your journey hasn’t been perfectly linear!

Have you found any of these tips useful? Are you going to try and implement some into your own teaching? Feel free to share more tips with us over on our Twitter account at (@foundationyear1), and remember that the network is here to support you!

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