After a first degree in English, I studied for a PGCE in primary and worked as class teacher across all primary stages. I developed a passion for early years teaching and child development and moved from direct class teaching to become an educational advisor within early years settings. I carried out this role for 6 years, becoming increasingly involved in researching, writing and delivering training programmes for staff, and working with children categorised as having 'special needs'. Delivering training to adults, lead to a change of direction, and an interest in adult engagement in Higher Education.
Supporting students is a large element of my role, and I offer practical help in negotiating the systems of university life, and is also there as a crisis help point when needed. I act as a link between students and the university, facilitating additional support where needed.
Within the department I support the PLP students and advises on the support services available to all students. She leads on the peer mentoring scheme and social care's 'Futures' initiatives. I am also involved with developing the employability strand of the degree, along with Jenny Fisher, and in developing a programme of extracurricular events.
I am always interested in student ideas and perspectives and am willing to become involved in student initiated projects around student experience.
I have a strong interest in child development and early years education and continue to research this area. I am particularly interested in what we label atypical development, creativity and environmental influences on learning. The role of family is also an area of interest.
I am currently working on my PhD on Hidden Disabilities in Higher Education. I am is undertaking a Life Stories and creative approach to explore the experiences of students categorised as disabled and the impacts of labelling.
Early Years Educator (EYE), 'Not just sticking things' Vol 15, Issue 1, May 2013 pp 55-37
Early Years Educator (EYE), 'Promoting bilateralism' Vol 14, Issue 1, May 2012 pp 18-29
Early Years Educator (EYE), 'Take nothing for granted' Vol. 13, Issue 2, June 2011 pp 31-34