"Having the opportunity to go on placement during my degree has really allowed me to understand the structure and day to day practice of early years."
My first job after graduating was an Early Years Teacher post in a preschool. This was a new preschool which was due to open in the coming months after I had graduated. I went in person to see the manager and after I had told her of my experience and qualifications, she was happy to hand me an application, which I filled out almost immediately.
My current role is being an Early Years Teacher within the same preschool. This involves observing, planning and assessing children’s learning and development. My role involves teaching all areas of the foundation stage, which is focused on helping children to achieve early learning goals. I also sharing knowledge gained about children with other practitioners and parents.
I have gained many valuable skills whilst studying at the university. I am more confident to hold conversations with other people and professionals bodies and feel more confident in approaching them. I have really begun to be confident working under pressure.
During my BA Hons Early Years and Childhood Studies I also did my Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) alongside it. This was a post graduate qualification. After completing these, I went onto studying a Masters in Education Studies. Doing two degrees at one time (BA Hons and EYTS) has really allowed me to show my resilience. This is very valuable to me in my workplace as early years sector is a very demanding and busy environment to work in.
I did placements every year during my degree in various childcare settings from public to private sector. It has really helped me to understand the day to day tasks involved when being a practitioner in the early years. I was able to see how settings in cooperate the EYFS and during my EYTS programme I took a lead in enhancing the settings areas of learning and development. Having the opportunity to go on placement during my degree has really allowed me to understand the structure and day to day practice of early years before embarking this career. I have also learnt the value of constructive criticism from the feedback given by my tutors on my assignments. In the workplace I am always looking for ways of improving myself as an individual and for my practice as well.
My top tip would be to look for extra-curricular activities and part time jobs to make you stand out from the crowd when applying to jobs. I took on many part time jobs with Jobs4Students and through this, I developed many other skills such as IT and admin, which is equally valuable in my place of work as I often do use various computer systems within the preschool. I would also say: be willing to have a go at everything and take on challenges as it really teaches you something every time!
I would say Josie Gabi. She was my tutor during my final year of my BA Hons and she was a true inspiration to me. She really motivated me to perform the best I could during my final year. Her tremendous support meant a lot to me and I will always remember her inspirational stories to help me progress in my life.
Manchester Met gave me the confidence to believe in myself, and be the person I am today!