Above: NEC team member Carly (far right) with fellow staff
Today’s blog is written by NEC team member Carly.
Like many people, I’m guilty of thinking I haven’t got time to study. There always seems to be something that comes up. Maybe it’s busy in the office, or I’ve got too much to do at home – I can always find an excuse to procrastinate when it comes to doing a new course.
Working at NEC though, it’s impossible not to be inspired to fit learning into your life. When you see a student that has a full-time job and is a single mother finishing an A level, or someone serving in the armed forces, managing to fit in a GCSE while on deployment overseas, you can’t help but realise that you can do it too – if you want to.
When the opportunity came up to be the guinea pig on the new Award in Education and Training course I decided to put the procrastination days behind me and go for it!
I’m not a teacher nor do I plan on becoming one, so why this course?
The Award in Education and Training is designed for anyone with training responsibilities. That may well be as an adult learning tutor in a college or training centre, or in the workplace or voluntary organisation.
As a Sales and Marketing Manager, my role involves training colleagues on new courses, best practice and new procedures. I also have to present to groups on a regular basis. This course was my way of improving those skills and bringing some more structure into my preparation for such tasks.
I found the course materials easy to access through learn@nec – NEC’s virtual learning environment. Being online meant I could do some study on my lunch break and some at home – without having to carry lots of paperwork around. I think of myself as a ‘scribbler’ – I like to study with a pen in my hand so I can make notes on the course materials as I go along. I could even print out the online course materials – so I ended up with the best of both worlds.
I did get the recommended textbook which I would agree is extremely useful when studying this course. I chose the e-book so that I could make use of my time on the train to and from work by reading it on my Kindle.
At NEC we talk a lot about taking the ‘distance’ out of distance learning and the forums on learn@nec are a really good example of how technology makes this possible. A great way to interact with other people doing the course as well as speaking to the course tutors. It was really easy to get in touch with my tutor when I needed her. She gave me support and encouragement when I needed it and the feedback on my work really helped me to make the most of the opportunity.
For me, the microteach session was a particular highlight. I was slightly nervous meeting a group of people I hadn’t met before and delivering a session to them, but because I had already got to know my tutor I didn’t feel alone.
At the microteach session you not only deliver your own session, but participate and observe others. In the space of one day I learned how to do a sudoku puzzle, make a lavender scented cushion, do CPR on a baby and speak a few phrases of Mandarin. It was excellent!
All in all, I’m really glad I made the effort to fit this course in and I would encourage anyone to do the same. Not only do I have a new set of skills that make me better in my job and a recognised qualification, but I now have the confidence to take on new challenges – not to mention a new found love of sudoku puzzles!
If you want to find out more about the Level 3 Award in Education and Training with NEC, you can see full details on the course page.