As it is the closing date for UCAS applications, I am focusing today’s post on being a student. I want to share with you the inspiration behind me going to college, how long I’ve been in college for and the course I have done and are currently doing, as well as my plans for future study and what my goal is once I reach the end of my academic studies.
If you have read my other posts you will know that I am a mother to two children. A son who’s currently 9 years old and a daughter who is currently 7 years old. I am randomly reminding you of this fact as it is my beautiful children who kind of made my student life fall into place. Let me explain ….
When my daughter was coming to the end of her time in reception, her teacher approached me regarding needing volunteers to help them with reading. This teacher had also taught my son so I had built up a very good relationship with her over the years. This also happened the same year that my mum passed away (I’m sorry I keep mentioning this, but it is apart of my journey to where I am today). The teacher knew that while my children were in school I would mainly spend time with my mum as I did not work. I was also at the point where I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself now that my mum was not around for me to go shopping with, or to have a coffee and a chat with. So when Mrs D mentioned the reading situation, I explained to her that I have often wondered if this was something the school did and due to having a lot of free time on my hands, I would love nothing more than to be able to selflessly give back to the school. That day was the start of me being accepted into the school as a volunteer.
During the summer I considered my options for my future. My partner and I were discussing the fact that our children were now older, it was time for me to start thinking about going back to work. Before I had my children, I worked in retail. I did not want to go back to that kind of work as it is not very child friendly over the Christmas period and would also mean I would be working weekends while my partner and children were at home. It wasn’t until my partner asked me what it is I would really love to do, I considered my options carefully and then admitted something to him that I had known all along. The only job I could ever imagine myself doing for the rest of my life that I would absolutely love would be teaching.
While I was at school I spent all of my work experience hours in a school and I remember loving every second of it. I’ll admit that I didn’t put enough effort into my grades while I was at school and I struggled with Maths. I also lost my way when my father passed away.
I hoped that through my volunteering I would possibly be able to train to teach. I didn’t give it much more thought until after I had started going into school. Even in the very beginning when I was going in for training, I loved every second of it. I began to go in for three full days a week to ensure that I read with all 60 children that was in the class.
After the first term was over I spoke to my partner about his thoughts on me going back to college to get the grades that I needed to go to university to become a teacher. He was very apprehensive at first, so I gave him time to think about it. In the meantime I discussed my idea with Mrs D who encouraged me to do it.
That night I went on to my local colleges website and applied to do their Preparation for Higher Education course. I already had a C grade in GCSE English. I needed Maths and Science in order to teach.
I heard back very quickly and was offered an interview and then a place straight away.
Due to a lack of ability in Maths, I had to do a level two course called, Functional Skills. By the end of the year I passed it with almost full marks.
As I was not able to take GCSE Maths, I had to pick two other subjects to use as grade builders. I picked to do both GCSE Psychology and Sociology. I absolutely loved psychology and went on to achieve the C I needed. Sociology was a very dull subject for me and my lack of interest showed in my exam results, but it did not effect my chances of teaching. I also went on to get a double 4 grade in combined Science.
While I didn’t revise as hard as I should of as during this time I had lots going on, I am very pleased with my achievements. My partners mother was not keen on the idea of me attending college and would constantly try to dash my hopes and dreams. By passing my GCSE’s I proved her wrong.
As I passed my GCSE’s I was able to progress on to the next step, which for me was the Access to Higher Education: Teacher training course. On my acceptance of this course I also had to take GCSE Maths alongside it.
This brings us to our current day.
I have been at college for seventeen months now. My current course is made up of English Literature, Biology and Study Skills. As well as my weekly evening Maths class. This years course is an equivalent to A levels, which seems to resemble more university based assignments then typical A level exams and coursework. So far I am absolutely loving my course.
Before Christmas 2018 I received my first proper graded English Literature paper back. I cried happy tears as I had achieved my first distinction. Upon starting 2019, when college started again after Christmas break, I found out I had achieved a Merit in a Biology exam on the Cardiac and Respiratory System. I hope I can keep up these results for my future assignments.
So as I mentioned before, it is UCAS closing date today for all UK university applications. This application process has been very daunting for me. Originally when I set out on this journey, I only wanted to go to BGU and study Primary Education with QTS. But, four months of Maths and struggling to grasp the basics, I decided that it possibly would not be the best route into teaching for me. Maths was causing me sleepless nights. I knew I would have to sit a maths assessment that would seal my fate on securing a place on my chosen university course. I had never been so scared in all of my life. I didn’t want to submit my application for fear of failing before I even got started.
I began to think back to an earlier conversation I had with my Tutor. She suggested that I apply for a second course, just in case I was unable to achieve the 4 I need in Maths. As I enjoyed psychology so much during my GCSE year, she suggested I applied for Education Studies and Psychology as a combined degree. She informed me that this would mean I would have a longer time scale to pass my Maths and to put in as much practice as possible before sitting any teaching assessments. I took this on board and added it to my course options.
Since I started feeling so anxious and physically sick over my impending application. I decided to remove Primary Education with QTS from my course options altogether. In its place I opted for Education Studies with English, then I sent my application, along with an email to my tutor to explain my change in direction.
I felt extremely emotional and sick to my stomach with anxiety. My tutor responded to my email saying she thought that I had made the best decision based on my feelings.
So now my plan is to study Education studies and English for three years and then go on to do a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) for one extra year in order for me to become a teacher.
I cannot wait to get to university and make my dream a reality.
If you are reading this and have applied for university, I wish you the best of luck in securing a place on your chosen course and beginning your journey into making your own dream a reality.
If you have read this and are considering going back into education… just do it!! It honestly will be the best thing you could ever do for yourself. If I can do it, anyone can.