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The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute

Nicolle's Diary #11: 20th January 2021

Three months have flown by since I last wrote detailing the process of readjusting after the summer break. What shocks me most as I consider those 3 months is that I am on my fourth module of this academic year and that this is module four of six!

A lot has happened in this time. I began back at my placement school. Being a volunteer my placement was partially disrupted last year due to the national lockdown. I went back with a spring in my step, this time entrusted with a class of mixed years 3 and 4. Fortunately for me we were repeating a lot of the things I had done a year previously so I was much more willing and able to just get stuck in with curriculum content. It was alien in some ways though… so much hand washing and so many new responsibilities! Fast forward to December we had Christmas parties and fun-filled activities and this all was feeling somewhat normal. Then with the new year came lockdown 2.0 and I am again sat at home.

Fortunately for me, I am being kept super busy! As I have already said, four out of six modules!!! Studying in lockdown is definitely not something I had hoped to be doing again. Two children at home again and this time you can see their anxiety is through the roof, they thought this was all over! Then here I am juggling the much more intense home-schooling with my assignments and online sessions. That being said, despite lockdown and the issues COVID-19 has churned up I had an amazing surprise in December, which would never have happened if I was not doing this degree. A surprise that made this juggling act now feel completely validated. I got an email telling me I was a recipient of an academic scholarship award! I did not even know this was a ‘thing’, but there in black and white (with a congratulatory video for good measure) was a certificate and the news I would be receiving £1000 for my efforts. This has given me a huge drive to keep going since the second lockdown was announced!

What else has this academic year thrown at me so far?… We did a fantastic module on motivating learners back in October-November where I constructed an assignment on autonomous learning, this has really led me to want to push myself outside my comfort zone! My most recent assignment was about individual need’s and I chose to do my assignment on CHARGE syndrome. This is a really rare condition and can be life limiting, it is seldom found in mainstream primary settings and my brother was born with it. I took my desire to explore this to the module lead who green lit it and I cannot help but think if I had been doing my degree anywhere else this would not have been the case (now I just need to hope it is a pass worthy assignment!). I think also, as students many of us have taken this second lockdown and quite resourcefully developed ways to keep the social aspect of our sessions in play. I now regularly spend my evenings on the phone to learners from other centres across the south!