As my last day approaches, I wanted to say again how thankful I am for every person who has supported me through my career as a Learning Technologist. Going to university is not the end, in fact, it’s the beginning. That’s not to say that my time at BCoT isn’t included, I’d like to say it’s my origin story. BCoT saved my life, took me from nothing, to something. When I dropped out of sixth form in April 2015, I had no plans, I didn’t think I was worthy of plans and I had given up on life. Although, starting a Games Development course seems completely random in everything else I’ve done, being in a class of people who were just like me boosted my confidence. I would never have had the courage to even go for the apprenticeship if it weren’t for the year previous where BCoT really took me and developed me into my own person.
I am not the same person I was in that Games Development class, and I am not the same person I was in sixth-form taking four irrelevant A-Levels. I am a new person, a better me. It has taken a lot of work, support and good risks. When I talk to my friends from school, they don’t believe it’s me because I am a different person. I like the person I am but I still have more to learn, more growth, more character development and I am ready, hence the next step into higher education.
Thank you to my Games Development lecturers who put up with me and helped me go from the shy caterpillar into the loud butterfly. Thank you to Matthew, Jim, Nick, Anna and Sam for 1) helping me to realise a career in Games Development probably wasn’t for me and 2) making the class a safe space for me to become who I was, rather than stay down and alone. I loved my class, and I never regret signing up to do my Games Development half course at BCoT.
Thank you to Scott and Vikki, and my assessors, Sarah, Sarah and Helen, for helping me to get through my apprenticeship. The support I received from my assessors helped me to grow and develop, and Scott and Vikki both helped me in getting where I want to be. I wouldn’t even hold my Level 4 teaching qualification if it weren’t for Vikki helping me, and Scott backing me. I appreciate all of the support I have had in coming closer to what I want to be when I’m older. Also, thank you to Rich (for the millionth time, I know) for never giving up on me. Maths was, and is, difficult but I appreciate all of the extra work you put in to not only help me pass, but to help me develop my self-confidence. I also want to thank the entire maths department for just letting me be me. I am sure it was annoying for me to keep coming in and demand work and to help with things, but you all just kept believing in me, kept me going and helped out wherever you could. I wasn’t your student, you didn’t have to, but you did. I find that’s a really strong quality about studying at BCoT. It’s not just one teacher that supports you, it’s all of them.
Along the way, I have met some incredible educators who have influenced me and inspired me to want to become a better educator. Obviously, Scott is incredible and if I am just half as good the educator he is, I’d be more than happy. But also more around the professional learning network I’ve grown on Twitter. There’s always someone there to help, even if they don’t know you. For example, I put out a tweet about the difference between a PGCE in FE and the Level 3 & 4 certificates, and someone direct messaged me to answer the question. I hadn’t spoken to this person before, but they were helpful and helped me decide my next steps after my degree. They also introduced me to Mars Maths which is an fab resource that I hope all teachers use and recommend to their students. I plan to keep my Twitter open for University bits but also to return to after my degree.
I also want to do a quick thank you to all the students I have had over the last few years. I was rusty, I know. But I’m getting better. My first years made me feel like teaching was a possibility, and my second group challenged me and made me see its worth. I’d also like to apologise for the absolutely terrible learning materials – I was excited, alright? I’ve gotten better. I’ll get even better. Thank you for letting me be your teacher. Thank you to Callum, as well, who gave me someone to believe in. You are a fantastic human being and you deserve all the good things in life. You passed your maths exam, not me, and you deserve it. I hope one day when my blog needs a rejig you’ll be happy to design it for me.
I will probably do personal thank you’s over on my Twitter as a direct way to thanking everyone who has supported me over the last four years, and who I hope will continue to support me for the next 3+ years as I continue my adventure in learning technology.