Kerry Smith, Supporting Teaching and Learning

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What does Kerry think?

If you're considering a Part-Time course but not sure if it's for you, read Kerry's story to hear her experience.

Kerry Smith, age 41

Level 2, Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Adult learner on supporting teaching and learning course outside Bournemouth & Poole College"After I became a mum, I wanted to concentrate on bringing up my children so I decided to give up work. The time I had at home was precious, however as the children started school, I began to think about my future and furthering my career.

I began to volunteer at my children's school and soon realised how much I enjoyed it, so I began to look at jobs within schools. The Teaching Assistant role appealed as it would mean I could still be ‘mum’, but would enable me to further myself and get me back on the career ladder.

When I started at the college, I did think that I would be the only adult, but was pleasantly surprised that the majority of people on the course were returning adults and parents. We all had similar commitments and fears.

“The whole experience has changed my outlook and how I deal with my own children. I see them and their needs differently and I feel like it’s made me a better mum.”

Managing home life and college work is challenging, but there is support whenever you need it and being organised really helps. The course originally started off as one day, every two weeks and then went to one day, each month, so it was flexible enough to fit around everything. I also had to continue volunteering as part of the course too.

It has been a really great experience and has given me heaps of confidence. I even applied for a job whilst still studying, and got it! It’s meant that I’ve been able to apply my knowledge and learning to the working environment and also share my experiences with the rest of the class at college.

I plan to continue onto the Level 3 next year and hopefully build up enough experience to eventually become a Senior Teaching Assistant.

Being a teaching assistant is a rewarding career, especially when you see a child flourish. The whole experience has also changed how I interact with my own children, I see them and their needs differently and I feel like it’s made me a better mum.

I’d say to any adult considering a return to education don’t even think about it, just do it."

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