I am excited to announce that in January, I was offered an unconditional place to study Education at the University of Southampton, which I have accepted. Unfortunately, this does mean, that from September, I will no longer be continuing my role as a Learning Technologist at Basingstoke College of Technology.
[Update: I have now changed my course from Education and Psychology to Education. This allows me to have more opportunities, including to study abroad, a placement year and an option to study a minor.]
It makes me sad to write because I feel like I have lived here for so long, but I am also excited to learn more about education and the psychology behind learning, as well as better myself to become the best educator I can be.
My time at the college has been invaluable. It has been the best experience of my life. I went from being in a dark place and thinking I would never get anywhere, to being at the front door of my dream career. I have so much to be grateful for and so many people that have made my experience at the college, whether as a student, an apprentice, or a full-time employee, absolutely incredible.
I am excited about what the future holds, especially in this dark time. I am happy to announce that the University will be going with a blended learning approach in September (according to this statement), so at least I am semi-prepared for the future!
My end goal is to become a teacher and I want to improve student experience within Further Education. I am not sure how but I want to. Working with students over the last four years has been incredible and I don’t want that to stop. I currently play Mum in our Southampton WhatsApp group chat and I ensure I check in and make sure everyone is doing OK. This coronavirus-exams stuff has been hard on our students and they are extra-stressing and worrying. It is difficult to watch them struggle but others in the group have been great, setting up a Discord server and hosting games, films, quizzes, all of it. I think it has been a good distraction and I’m sure as we all know, our students just aren’t themselves at the moment.
I don’t want this blog post to be too long, but I do want to thank everyone who has supported me along the way. I went from being anxious about leaving the house, to anxious about leaving my comfort zone, to speaking at events and conferences around the UK. I passed my maths exam – something I never thought I was going to be able to do, I even helped someone pass their maths exam – something I could barely do myself. I have been shortlisted in the Women in IT Tech Excellence awards, and I have won the Student Digital Champion award at the EduFuturists summit last year. My resit maths site was recognised nationally in the EdTech50 in February and continues to bring in a good level of people from around the world. I was able to join the incredible National Society of Apprentices which gave my passion a home and I met some wonderful people there, at BCoT and at every event, conference, industry day, or college I visited.
I am incredibly lucky to have the support of my team and BCoT around me. I plan to continue my blog and keep hold of my Twitter. So I won’t be gone gone and I’ll still be my usual cheerleader self for any new updates from my fave products. But I will be a full-time student, experiencing university life, and I’ll be back in a few years, better than ever, looking for a new career path. My journey to becoming the person I needed when I was in education has only really begun, and these experiences as a Technologist, I will hold close to me and will help me reflect and they will mould me into the educator I will be in the future.
Thank you to everyone.