Career as an instructor.

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by It'sGoat, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. It'sGoat


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    Sous Chef, line cook, prep monkey.
    Hi everyone, I'm currently 28 years old and have been thinking lately about what I want to do when I'm too old/broken down for general Kitchen work, and thought that maybe instructing in a culinary school might be a nice way to continue being involved in the industry without being stuck to a desk all day.

    Are there any instructors/teachers here who can tell me a little about how it differs from general kitchen life? What kind of skills or further education would I need before looking into culinary institutions? I'm currently a sous at a ski-resort/spa, and quickly realizing just how different it is having to supervise and teach multiple people on multiple stations.
  2. chefross


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    Former Chef
    Perfect. This is what I did after culinary school. I went on to get my BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management, then got a Masters in Education to do exactly what you mentioned. What I was not prepared for was the evolution of the human species tendencies. While I am very good at public speaking, and was able to project and plan a semester of culinary knowledge, I was not able to deal with the students. I found myself being more of a disciplinarian then a teacher. I got frustrated and left.
    I enjoyed teaching, really I did. I got to share my knowledge and experiences of 20 years to these bright eyed young people.

    As for you....It will get easier. You have many years yet to gain enough experiences to teach others in a classroom setting.
    In a is make or break with timing and stress...In a classroom it is boring and necessary to excite and motivate.
    drirene likes this.
  3. jimyra


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    Professional Chef
    All should note your education with the experience you have. Just because a cook can work the line or a chef can run a kitchen does not mean they are educators. A masters or doctorate are required for those teaching above the community college level in most cases.
  4. ShrutiSane


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    6 month
    It always good to choose the field in which one has interest. It makes them more successful in that particular field. Cooking always the best choice who like to cook.
  5. 21TonyK


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    Chef, ex-restaurateur
    Not sure how useful this will be but I made the change from kitchen to school a few years back.

    I teach in a slightly different environment though. Its for kids and young people with special educational needs, for some its more about leaning life skills and cooking for themselves and for some of the older ones they achieve a basic catering qualification. I have also taught adult classes privately and used to do monthly masterclasses when I had a restaurant.

    Prior to getting into food my background was in training so I had that experience behind me, I was also an external examiner for some qualifications. This I'm sure helped me land the job I'm in. However it was more my catering experience and ability to lead a class (which I had to demonstrate) that was of interest to the school.

    Much the same as in the US, if I wanted to teach at a higher level it is likely I would need a formal teaching qualification. But, in the UK I have what is known as UQT status, unqualified teacher. This means I can teach anything, anywhere. But, I have to be able to prove to the employer that I can do it. You may find something similar where you are?

    As for the differences... far more paperwork teaching, lots of targets and criteria to meet. Huge amount of planning work (the programmes I have designed now run at two schools and a college), massive amount of student assessment.

    Not as much fun cooking (although I also run the schools catering) but a lot of fun with students.

    Main things, I drive 15 minutes to work, starting at 8:30am and I'm done by 3:30pm at the latest, some days 1:30pm. It's not stress free but nothing like the pressure of a heavy service.

    Moneys ok, 13 weeks holiday, a decent pension and secure employment.

  6. jcakes


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    In addition to culinary teaching (after you want to move on), you could also consider becoming a health inspector, or teach ServSafe classes.....