Experienced teacher gets her mojo back with Masters

Student spotlight | Sharlene Williams, MA Drama and Creative Writing in Education


Sharlene Williams

Sharlene Williams is an experienced drama teacher of 16 years and presently Head of Department at a local secondary school in Leeds. She is currently studying MA Drama and Creative Writing in Education part-time at Leeds Beckett University. She shares with us why she returned to study and her experience of the course so far.

  • Course: MA Drama and Creative Writing in Education

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to your course?

Working as a teacher for so many years I felt that I was becoming stale and that my classroom practice had become a little flat. I realised I needed a new challenge, and I needed to see my subject in a different light. I had done an evening creative writing course at a local college and thoroughly enjoyed the aspect of studying again, so when I saw this course advertised at Leeds Beckett, I felt that I had to find out more.

What made you choose Leeds Beckett?

The title of the course caught my attention as it directly involved drama with education. When I attended the Postgraduate Open Evening, I was immediately welcomed. I spoke to different tutors about the course and any concerns I might have had were eased. The location was also advantageous for me as it was close to where I lived, I did not feel that it added extra time to my already quite long day.

How have you found PG study and balancing it with your working life / family? How have you handled the time management?

Some days it is a challenge but it’s about finding the right balance. There are days when I can get straight into it and then other days where I have to really motivate myself to do the reading or do an essay. The modules are interesting and well taught – I do love studying them. The practical nature of the course has also been a big plus as this different way of learning allowed me to understand the theories and practices of the key practitioners in a much more exciting and interesting way.

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett?

The knowledge and expertise of the lecturers has been amazing. Both Lisa and Tom have been so supportive, and their work is inspirational. Other guest lecturers on the course have been wonderful and their breadth of knowledge has been excellent. Having access to not only the on-campus library but other university libraries through Discover has also been hugely beneficial. During the pandemic, I have still been able to access all resources whenever I have needed them.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?

Think carefully about if you are up for the challenge because the work is hard but it is so worth it. I have definitely got my mojo back in my teaching and I know that my students have benefited hugely and will continue to. I feel like I have not only another string to my bow but a whole orchestra. I have been able to access so many more opportunities through my studies at the university. I have really enjoyed my studies so far and would recommend it to anyone. I would, however, encourage anyone considering a postgraduate qualification to go along to the open days and ask lots of questions to be sure it’s something you want to do.

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