Fast forward 3 years
My friends were applying for PGCE Secondary English, but I wasn’t sure. By now I was a single parent in my early 30s. The learning bug had me in its grasp and I’d got my sights set on MPhil. I was accepted onto a funded Postgraduate Degree which was converted to PhD study within a year. Then I was told – all postgrads teach 6 hours a week – fait accompli. So now I was a teacher - was I a teacher? Thrown in, no preparation, scared to death, excited beyond belief. And I fell in love with learning and teaching. Fast forward another year – there’s something missing for me, a feeling that there must be something more. Browsing through a college prospectus I found that you could do courses in Teacher Training – C & G 7307 Stage 1 – a 12 week course for 1 evening a week. This 12 week course at Matthew Boulton College changed my life and it went on to become my all time favourite course to teach. Here I discovered the power of reflective writing, of collaborative learning and a hunger to know more about how to make learning better for my students.
Serendipity strikes again as the course tutor offered me a fast-track onto Stage 2 which was also year 1 of the Cert Ed. The ‘theory’ and debate that I was exposed to in FE was making me challenge the HE environment I was teaching in and I became somewhat restless. My Cert Ed tutor quite out of the blue asked me if I’d like to team teach (for the experience and not for pay!) a 7307 Stage 1 course starting in the Spring term. I accepted. The week before we were due to team teach she went off sick. So, one term ahead of the students I was going to teach, I jumped in and immersion was the best policy – at times it felt like I was ‘not waving but drowning’ but the buzz I was getting from sharing their growing confidence as becoming teachers was infectious.