"I have been an educator now for more than 10 years, both within the UK and internationally. The PGCE I had taken at another university in order to qualify as a Primary School Teacher had left me shattered and unmotivated by further post graduate learning. However, after a teaching post in Reception, I decided that Early Years was really the area I wanted to teach, yet I knew I had gaps in my knowledge in terms of child development and the pedagogy of Early Years. After having a child, I decided that both professional and personally I wished to learn more about Early Years education. Therefore, I researched Masters degrees available in the U.K. through online learning, as I was then living in Vietnam. I contemplated an Education Masters and then the Childhood Studies and Early Years Masters available at Leeds Beckett. When I compared the modules, it was clear to me that the Masters on offer at Leeds Beckett would be far more suitable. It was not my interest to study educational policy or even leadership, which the Education Masters seemed to promote. Instead I wished to gain an in-depth knowledge of issues within Early Years and an understanding of Play.
These modules leapt out at me when I looked at the prospectus. However, I felt nervous moving away from an Education Masters feeling that this would perhaps make more employable or somewhat better qualified. Whilst I was pondering this, I sent a quick message to an old Head and good friend. I asked him which he would find more valuable. He replied without a doubt, the Leeds Beckett Masters, as it offered a depth of knowledge within a specific age range, which a Masters in Education would not. So my mind was made up and applied to Leeds Beckett and was accepted.
This Masters, so far, has led me down avenues I could not have envisaged. At the time I was raising my little girl (she was 2 when I began study) so I would drop her at Nursery then squeeze my lectures and reading in the two hour time-frame. I would work most evenings until the late hours. However, I can count on one hand how many times I felt reluctant to begin work. I soaked up the learning, I felt empowered knowing so much more about my subject area. I savoured articles and the access I had to research gave me the confidence to develop and later argue my beliefs. As the course developed I found I had a love for Narrative Research. Initially it terrified me; writing my own experiences as research? I felt it was a too subjective option. I worried that perhaps the module leader may not like my writing. However, the module allowed us to practise writing. Each piece I wrote received excellent feedback and when I compared my work with others’, mostly I felt it was really good. I seemed to have a talent for it. Moreover, I really enjoyed writing and the more I read of this kind of research, the more valuable it felt. So much so, I disregarded my original idea of a literature review and decided to complete an Action Research Project using Narrative Research.
This marked another stepping stone in my life. I created a Parent/Child group in my local area in Vietnam which had never yet existed. As I studied several children for the project, I found I educated parents of the group in the value of play. The research project had so many ‘wow’ moments and twists and turns when the period of study came to an end I didn’t want it to stop. By researching children alongside their parents’ input I learnt so much more about them, it was quite a game-changer for me.
When I came to apply for full-time work as an Early Years teacher again, it was this project that excited the interview team the most. My passion came alive in the interview, whereby I confidently discussed how I had applied my Masters within this research. And I got the job!
I feel my time learning online with Leeds Beckett has helped me develop myself not only in becoming a better teacher, but also a more empowered person. In addition to a greater confidence delivering the pedagogy of Early Years, I feel that writing narratives has re-ignited my interest in Writing. I have begun my own word.press site where I blog about issues within Early Years and also discuss my experiences as an International Teacher. This is all in development, but I hope to make a ‘how to’ to help those teachers who want to teach in other countries but don’t know where to start.
I believe now I am capable of so much more and I push myself into situations I had perhaps not felt ‘good enough’ to. For example, only today, two years on from completing the Masters, I suggested I deliver Early Years training within my school for Teaching Assistants and for those not experienced within this pedagogy. In my future, I have thoughts of applying to teaching in a college or university, leading and lecturing others. Prior to studying at Leeds Beckett I would have not had the confidence to consider this. My work on my Masters helped me believe in myself I feel by getting strong positive feedback and finishing with a distinction, I could believe I truly am good at what I love to do. I won’t ever forget the one night waiting up until 12 o’clock midnight (due to the time difference between the UK and Vietnam) to see my double module mark of 90 percent. I couldn’t believe yes I really could achieve this and yes I really was that good. It was suggested during the Masters that I consider a PhD. Of course, this idea terrifies me but instead of ruling it out I now think, maybe one day..."
- January (3)
- Let's talk about... challenges and opportunities in coaching
- Let's talk about... enabling inclusive education
- Pause for thought?
- Let's talk about starting out as a teacher
- How can we best support early career teachers? Can collaboration, a social life and autonomy make a difference?
- Conference for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs)
- Mental Health: the problem with a clinical approach
- Artefacts of practice; learning in lockdown
- Time to reflect?
- Early Years Practitioners: Why 'goodwill' working alone should not be enough
- Learning, Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
- The Alwoodley Reading Project - World Book Day
- Let's talk about better leadership and culture
- Let's talk about... the profession and professionalism
- Building the future; the legacy of professional learning
- Can coaching help school leaders during the pandemic?
- NQTs thoughts on ‘Home Teaching’.
- Time to Celebrate; Building a Fellowship for Professional Learning through CollectivED
- Reimagining Home Together: Saving Planet Anksi!
- Is the Department for Education rushing through the new Reception Baseline Assessment?
- Mentors Matter; unique challenges and opportunities for new teachers in an uncertain time.
- The right response?
- We are Carnegie Educators
- The theme for Mental Health Awareness week is Kindness
- Finding our Face Mode: courage, coaching and Covid:19
- Calling All Primary School Children…
- Does supervision help school leaders during the pandemic? A new research question
- Why Kindness Matters?
- A Better Education Built on Networks; Welcoming our New CollectivED Fellows
- CollectivED ‘Let’s Talk About…Better Professional Conversations ’
- Mentoring the EduMentors
- Can WE be the midwives of our own future? A call to the education sector
- Schoolchildren create new book to empower female BAME pupils
- Problems mount for transgender young people during COVID-19 lockdown
- Building Teaching Capacity for LGBTQ+ Inclusion with Queer Ethnic Studies
- Windrush Day
- Bridging educational phases and sectors to strengthen practice; welcoming new CollectivED fellows
- Windrush 72nd Anniversary
- Story Makers Press Novel
- Still learning after all these years
- Pre-service Induction problems to be addressed; show me the science…
- The trials and tribulations of 'Social Distancing'
- Black Lives Matter
- Coaching is more than strategies, it’s also about perception
- Not at Home
- EduTwitter; a space of public engagement and private dilemmas
- Tales of my Father: a story of immigration, racism and success
- Teaching and Education student explains why placement is so rewarding
- Primary Education student shares why she loved the residential
- Education is not a preparation for life, education is life! Adding lifeblood to education through CollectivED Fellowship
- Moderate Demands become Revolutionary when Leaders Refuse to Listen
- August (3)
- Can models, frameworks or tools support us to support others?
- Podcast series launched which explores uncomfortable truths around race
- Schools eligible for award launched to promote anti-racism
- Planning for observation of novice teachers
- Coaching for Creativity – Think About it!
- Through and beyond the pandemic; implications for supporting the teaching profession
- October (6)
- November (3)
- December (4)
- From challenges come wise practices; addressing the behaviour debate through teacher efficacy
- The Role of Schools in Supporting the Mental Health of Young People who Identify as LGBTQ: A 10-Point Plan
- Supporting Transgender and Gender Diverse Children in Education
- The education inspection framework: draft for consultation 2019
- Landfill or Lunchbox, should we really be eating this rubbish?
- How do white people do anti-racist work in the context of pervasive institutional whiteness across our educational institutions?
- New Year, (not so new) new thinking
- Potential benefits of peer mentoring for supporting international students in Higher Education
- Is Education Oppressive?
- Teacher mentoring; rising to the challenge of the Early Career Framework
- Social Media and its effects on children and young people’s mental health
- The Early Career Framework for Newly Qualified Teachers
- March (3)
- April (5)
- Story Makers Company: Working with children to make stories that matter
- Body image and mental health
- Mental Health in the Early Years and in Primary Schools
- Mental Health in Young People
- Join the conversation
- LGBT Inclusion in Schools
- Graduate in two years - accelerated degrees
- The new 'PE with' Ebacc scheme
- June (5)
- July (2)
- August (1)
- Nomadic enquiry: Reimagining research ethics for ‘posthuman’ times
- Unexamined privilege and schools as sites of othering: Towards an ethics of commentary and debate.
- CollectivED: Curating voices in professional learning
- Turning the PROMISE into a reality; making sense of teachers’ dilemmas as the basis of professional learning
- Bridging the Generation Gap to Produce Peer Mentoring Programmes for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children in Leeds
- The salary increase for new teachers is welcome news, but the government also needs to focus retention.
- Story Makers Festival: A critical response to the imagination gap felt by children
- Should a one-size-fits-all OFSTED inspection system continue, or should local education authorities be more accountable to their local population for their schools?
- Disability Hate Crime in West Yorkshire
- Who cares? We care!
- Inclusive Relationships Education
- Growing coaching through partnership
- Throwing down the gauntlet: the new CollectivED Advisory Board
- First Research Symposium at National Practitioners PE and Sport Conference
- Mental Health in Schools for World Mental Health Day
- Walk to School Week
- Thank a Teacher
- November (1)
- December (2)
- January (7)
- October (5)
- Newton Fund Researcher Links Workshop - Higher education and societal transformation: Decolonisation and racial equality
- 30:30 Wristband Challenge
- Unconscious Bias and The Level Playing Field
- Virtual Reality in Education: The VR Classroom
- Talking about our work as educators; stress release or active engagement?
- Le Grand Départ!
- "None of this is acceptable"
- December (1)