I’d like to be a teacher one day but I also felt an OU course would help me build knowledge that I could apply to my current role.
I had the opportunity to make good use of the study materials and forums, which meant I could plan and carry out enquiries and observations in my own school. The course is so flexible and I feel that tutors give you a great sense of freedom too. It's not too full on but at the same time there are people there to motivate you, which is a good balance. At times the getting myself organised was tricky, but I think it’s also a really important skill to learn. It’s a great feeling, meeting each deadline.
I’m lucky enough to work part time too, so it’s been easy for me to come home at lunchtime and make the time. If that's not do-able, it really is about looking at where your free time is and when you can make your studies work for you. I think you have to be strict and stick to a schedule in order to make it work for you.
My degree has helped me to understand the children I work with better, and helped me to understand Teaching and Learning as a whole.
I have really enjoyed using the forums. Sometimes it's nice to know others feel the same away about some subjects. It's also nice to learn from others and to get a feel of how things work in other people’s settings.
The tutors are great, too! Motivating, fair and supportive. They are also really supportive of each other, which is very useful if someone’s unable to be there for any reason. I think that speaks volumes. The teaching materials are great, they really give you food for thought. The only time I haven’t done well with a topic is where I’ve been unable to identify with it or apply it to my own situation. This isn’t a reflection on the material, it's just how we are set up.
At times, it’s true, the studies have driven my family crazy – especially as I’ve approached assignment deadlines. But my family and friends know how important this is to me and they’re really encouraging and proud. It's enabled me to confidently fulfill aspects of my role and given me confidence to work with others. I have enjoyed my studies and my headteacher has noticed this. It’s been a really positive aspect of my professional development. I never really believed I’d go back to study as an adult, but I’m already half way through my Foundation Degree!
It's been a great experience and I really do feel like I have achieved lots. I have learned so much and now approach things in different ways, applying what I’ve learned to situations at work and home.
All in all, it took about eight months to complete the course - studying around work and home commitments. I am very proud to say that I am completing a Foundation Degree through The Open University. I did plan to complete my final 'top up' year through another university but the experience has been so good so far, that I think I am likely to stay with the OU, which is a good thing.