Keith Worley, tutor in Waterford Wexford ETB talks about how returning to education part time allowed him to juggle family life, work life and education
Prior to completing the course I worked in the field of social care and provided staff with therapeutic crisis intervention training. The Post Graduate Diploma offered me a new career path. Returning to education as a mature student one full day a week; allowed me to juggle family life, work life and education.
Opportunity to learn
It highlighted and developed my transferable skill set to utilise in my teaching practice. The course, as a whole, offered me the opportunity to learn from my fellow students and the lecturers. The modules covered all the practices required in the profession.
The course offered me the opportunity to evaluate my practice and the practice of teaching across the various positions in the further education sector. Those delivering and running the course were aware of the demands external to the classroom and took these into account when dealing with the group.
The course was not without stress (assignments, due dates, portfolios and group work) but it was a collaborative experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
My first teaching practice experience was initially daunting. The process of developing schemes of work and lesson plans prepared me for the eventual face to face teaching experience. The placements allowed me to learn by doing and reflect on my practice to hone a teaching style I was comfortable with.
The practice presented the reality of teaching on a daily basis, preparing me for the workplace practices without doubt. The feedback and consultation with my supervisors over the three practice placements were insightful and integral to my personal development in a new professional field.
The placements allowed for first-hand experience being new to the teaching profession.
Knowledge is power
They say knowledge is power. The knowledge and professional network I gained from completing the course has without doubt changed my life. It has offered me a new career path, changed my outlook, my working environment and enhanced my ability to communicate with peers and learners alike.
Professionally, the course allowed me to interpersonally communicate and form working relationships with many teachers/tutors with vast experience, which enhanced my teaching practice. The difference in my personal life is night and day.
I have worked for the past two years teaching across the WWETB and I have not looked back. The decision to commence the Post Graduate Diploma was not taken lightly but it has proved to be personally rewarding and has set me on a new path professionally.
Currently Keith is working for Waterford Wexford ETB across a range of fields, BTEI, community and literacy.