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The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute

First year reflections

As I sit here writing, I am full of relief to have completed and submitted not one but two of the most challenging assignments I have been tasked with so far.

Whilst it was difficult, I still felt the pride and sense of accomplishment just as much as other submissions, in fact maybe even more!  It is beyond belief that it was my second to last module of Level 4.  I cannot believe it has gone so quickly and how much myself and my fellow students have achieved.  My confidence growth is astronomical, and I have seen so much improvement to practice, it is incredible!  It has been a year of challenges (FDLI1002, the most recent module, being one of them) but also a year of proud accomplishments and achievements too.

If I had been asked if I’d be this proud or had achieved this much before starting in September, I would have answered absolutely not!  I never expected to have enjoyed it as much as I have, been this successful or grown so much personally, professional or academically.  I thought I’d have been swamped with work, that I would never have any “me time” and that it would be incredibly stressful.  The word 'degree' made it sound scary and if I’m honest very intimidating, how would I ever be able to do this?  I have struggled in the past with confidence and self-belief issues and I was so worried I was taking on too much.  I had a thousand things going around in my head like whether I was actually good enough or capable along with anxieties about using online technologies (I’m useless with computers as it is!) amongst many other things.  If only I had actually listened to the people close to me then I would have known the little devil on my shoulder telling me these falsities was absolutely wrong!!

I had nothing to worry about at all.  I will admit to begin with it was a little daunting (particularly talking about my viewpoints to a group of strangers) but honestly, these worries subsided so quickly.  My Early Years specific group will tell you they have a job to get me to shut up now at times!  Some of those worries were realistic, for example the time management and workload issues.  I work almost on a full time basis in a busy setting with lots of duties daily but if you use the support given to you from your mentor, the tutors and your fellow students then it really isn’t as much as an issue as I thought.  It also really helps to plan out your study time, whether this is a mental plan or not doesn’t matter, and stick to it even when you really don’t want too.  Procrastinating doesn’t help!  The course gives you enough motivation to want to study, you actually enjoy working, as ridiculous as that sounds.  In fact, I actually enjoyed writing my first Early Years specific assignment, who’d have thought that?

Who knows what next year or even this term holds?  The time of Covid is unpredictable, worrying and even upsetting at times. Will we back to face-to-face teaching soon, who knows?  But one thing I do know, no matter the classroom (whether it be online or physical) I will have the support, the friends and the tools I need to achieve my goals.  I am sat writing this full of reflection as I look back on the course so far and get ready to embark on the final module of this year(!!), and the knowledge that this difficult and crazy year has been one of the best of my life in terms of what I have achieved is making me smile like a Cheshire cat! 

Roll on Level 5 and beyond, together we can do anything!