Why my placement was so rewarding
Student spotlight | Hannah Buckle, BA (Hons) Teaching and Education
BA (Hons) Teaching and Education student, Hannah Buckle, shares with us how the opportunity to go on different placements throughout her study enabled her to further explore different career options.
- Course: BA (Hons) Teaching and Education
Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to BA (Hons) Teaching and Education?
Having previously dropped out of a different course at a different university, I was very nervous about trying again in higher education. Finding the right university and the right course was extremely important to me.
I was attracted to studying at Leeds Beckett because I was impressed by the facilities, such as the Carnegie Teacher Education building, which gives students the opportunity to develop their skills within a ‘real’ education setting. Investment into these types of dedicated facilities showed me the university’s commitment to continually providing students with the best possible student experience.
I knew that I was passionate about education and wanted to study an education course. I was not certain what career route to take though, so this meant I needed a course that was broad enough that I could look at various areas of education itself. I already had experience of working with children previously, especially in my role as a leader in Girlguiding, although I did not have a favourite age group, so I also wanted to consider a course that would allow me to work with children of all ages. The varied modules in the Teaching and Education course at Leeds Beckett University offered me this.
What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett University?
There’s a real supportive community at Leeds Beckett, there are people to help everywhere. My lecturers are extremely helpful and take time to explain things. They are the first people I go to when I’m struggling and they provide encouragement wherever possible.
Everyone on my course is very supportive of each other. We often participate in debates which help to strengthen our understanding or help to explain things in a different way.
Studying can be difficult, and life continues to happen around it, so reaching out for help is the best thing I did, people were more than happy to offer that support.
How did you find your placement and was it what you’d expected?
Choosing our own placements seemed daunting at first but with the help of the Placement Team I had many valuable experiences.
I secured a placement with the council’s Educational Welfare and Exclusions Team. I was part of multi-agency working, which had been a prominent discussion during lectures. Being able to see in practice what we had discussed brought a different element to it that I was able to reflect on and use going forward. This placement was extremely varied, working with schools, pupil referral units, children missing education, home education and looked after children. This one placement presented such a large variety of work, it proved to be an eye-opening experience, tough at times but very rewarding. It reassured my passion for the industry.
Working with an academic from the Carnegie School of Education, I had the chance to explore how learning can be made more interactive through developing activity packs that were cross-curricula surrounding hydroponics.
For my final placement I worked with a voluntary uniformed organisation to round out my experiences. All three of my placements presented different opportunities that let me further explore my areas of interest.
How would you describe the opportunity to go on placements?
The opportunity to undertake placements as part of my course was a real highlight for me. Combining what I learnt in lectures and seminars with real-world experiences led me to a greater understanding.
We talk a lot about real-life application in my lectures, but working on placements showed me that it was not always as straightforward as it may seem. I was able to see how professionals confronted issues and provided solutions. Meeting new people and making contacts within the education sector could also prove to be beneficial for after I graduate.
What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?
It can be a nervous time, starting a placement. Starting something new can be a big thing but it is an incredibly worthwhile experience.
One of the biggest things is being as prepared as possible. Checking you know where you need to be on your first day, how you will get there and what time you need to be there shows your mentor at your placement that you can be prepared, prompt and organised, and gives a great first impression.
What will your story be?
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