After a serious accident in 2007, I no longer could continue in the trade I had worked in. I choose to re-train and went back into education. After experiencing how adult education had such a positive impact on my life, I decided to become a professional adult teacher in the hope of helping other adults who would return to education. When my degree was coming near its end I decided to do my HDip in adult education and began a vigorous research campaign to find the place that most suited me and my dreams.
I choose the HDip in adult, community and further education in Maynooth University after I had fully researched all the options elsewhere from other universities. After my research, it became clear to me that this course offered me everything I needed to achieve my outcome. It combined theory, practice and a fully accredited and recognisable professional qualification. It also was held in high esteem within the adult education sector and I felt it was the perfect fit for me to enter this sector as a professional teacher.
The course content is brilliant in that the theory is so engaging and challenging. It took me out of my comfort zone, spun me all around and allowed me to expand my line of thinking to ‘infinity and beyond’. The support, encouragement and help we as a class and myself as an individual received, went beyond the call of duty. The feeling of belonging and the person-centred ethos of the department is a major factor in the high achievements of its learners. Their non-judgmental approach to both teaching and/or learning is a breath of fresh air to someone like me, who as a mature student returned to education after a long absence.
The teaching was immense and the learning life changing in the fact that the degree carries a professional award. Going out to an FE centre as a ‘student teacher,’ was a phenomenal experience for me. I am a practical person so this allowed me to take my theory and learning into a classroom environment which in turn allowed me to gain invaluable experience of teaching. Under the professional guidance of the Irish Teaching Council and the compassionate eye of your supervisor, the reflection and learning gained from their visits was the ‘making of me as a teacher’. I am now a member in good standing of the Teaching Council of Ireland and fully qualified as a teacher but most importantly, I now process all the tools I need to teach.
I am now a professional FE teacher and with this qualification I was able to access employment the week I finished the course. The variety of both theoretical and practical modules on the course, the range of methods we covered in delivering classes and building lesson plans as well as building curriculums were major factors in my success. My experience is that the degree is considered to be highly recognised within the sector also.