Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Beginning a New Chapter

When I decided to embark on the journey to a new career, my dream job, I was nervous of what it would be like. How would I cope being a mother, wife and mature student? Would I find it hard to get back into studying and academic writing? Would I be able to cope with researching, writing reports and meeting deadlines? All of these questions were floating around my head and yet I knew that, if I wanted to change my life, our lives, for the better...I had to take that step. Or rather jump. Very big, scary jump. Because to go back to college and qualify as an Early Years Practitioner, I had to leave a job that gave me a monthly wage...security...and hope to the high heavens that I made it through the first year.

Now, almost two years down the line, I'm a qualified Early Years Practitioner, and strengthening my qualification with further studying. There's a lot of talk in the news about whether Early Years Workers in England should have the minimum C grade in English and Maths in order to work with children in a nursery. That's a whole other post that I want to talk about but, here in Scotland, the steps are in place to make it a degree-led service. A Senior Lead Practitioner needs to have a BA in Childhood Practice by 2020 at the latest and if you want to have any sort of career structure, then you will need to have a BA before being able to move up the ladder.

I want a career structure. Whether I'll actually go in to management in years to come, who knows? But I'd like to have the option and, if all Early Years Practitioners are eventually going to need to have the degree, I may as well take the steps now whilst I'm still studying to do that.

So, despite being qualified from June 2015, I haven't been out working as an Early Years Practitioner. I continued my studies at college, however I was accepted on the Early Years Supply register in February which means not only am I a mature student, I'm employed again! Husband is thrilled that I am no longer a "lady of leisure". If only!

This is exciting because it means I can go out and actually work. I'm not "just a student"; I'm a person with responsibilities; there isn't the fallback of a mentor to observe me and help me out.

Tomorrow I will be working for the first time in almost 2 years and I'll be working in an environment I've wanted to work in since I went on work experience in a nursery at the age of 15.

I'm nervous but very excited. I'm not sure that it will be any different in terms of what I'm already doing as a student on placement, apart from being responsible for a group of children and wearing an ID badge. But this is the first step to the beginning of a new chapter for me; one where I love my job and feel like I'm doing something meaningful and rewarding with my work life.


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