Its the last day of the school term. Ask anyone who works in education….it is the most anticipated day of our year…and it is finally here!
Not only does this day signify six weeks (technically paid) holidays, but its also the end of a year, a way to cleanse and come back in August with a fresh start, and a much clearer head. However, this year, it is more than that. I have worked at the same company (an out of hours care service for school aged children) for a little over two years, and after feeling stuck in a rut and like I was going nowhere, I finally handed my notice in and have been accepted into college for the start of the academic year.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, I love the kids I work with and my colleagues are great but I just felt like academically it wasn’t great. I felt like I wasn’t being challenged, and to me that’s something really important in a ‘career’ . I need to be challenged, and push some boundaries, I like a little bit of problem solving, it keeps you on your toes, and keeps you looking forward. If a person is not challenged, and given the opportunity to work things out, then they are never going to ‘move with the times’ and grow and develop, and I think that this is so important, especially working in childcare.
I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I am good at my job. I know I am. I have known from a young(er) age that I was destined to work with children, and even with the absence of a qualification, I know what I’m doing. I would never voice that out loud, but I know it shows in my practice and I think its a mix of common sense, reflective practice and actually listening to the children, (which believe it or not doesn’t come as a priority for some people in the sector) .
That was a really difficult realiastion for me, to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t growing and developing, and that when I was all happy about ‘hitting my stride’ it actually was more to do with the fact that I found what I was doing easy….. Once I realised that, I knew that I had to make a change.
I applied to college, and got several interviews but I never for a minute thought that I’d get in. I didn’t think that my time working would transfer over and be seen as practical experience. I knew that I needed a change, but it wasn’t until I walked into the interview for the course that I want to do that I realised just how much. I wanted to be a student again, I wanted to grow and learn and study and find out about all these different learning techniques and make a positive difference. As soon as I sat down in the interview and my old lecturer walked in I was sold, almost to the point of being emotional about it, because I wanted it. I felt a real drive and motivation and excitement for the first time in a long while.
….and that’s where I am now. I am leaving my job and all financial security. I am making steps to better my future, and after having a very emotional past month, I am ready to commit to college and all of the freedom and change that student life brings. I am optimistic about the future and what all of that means for me.