25 February 2021
As the last 18 months have flown by, and I’m now looking ahead to completing my final two trimesters at ARU by August, I wanted to take a brief reflection back and then look ahead to what is next.
It has certainly been an interesting year (as I write this it has been almost 12 months since I last studied on campus) but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t enjoyed or engaged with the course. In fact, we will be taking some very funny memories away with us thanks to the inventiveness of some of the course tutors!
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic our lessons have been 100% online since March 2020, with a flexible timetable to help everyone work around their rather dynamic responsibilities. This includes pre-recorded lectures and live seminars which are also recorded so you can watch them back later, if needed.
I must admit being able to pause, rewind and listen again have been game-changers, as well as sitting on my sofa on a Sunday afternoon, wrapped up on a blanket while I watch a lecture on SEND! I don’t feel like I have missed out on much at all, but I do miss lunchtimes in the Lord Ashcroft building with my friends, while listening to someone playing the grand piano (one of the best spots on the Chelmsford campus if you ask me).
The next 1.5 trimesters will go just as fast, and then my current journey with ARU will come to an end. I have a position agreed with a local SCITT to study my PGCE and QTS (Qualified Teacher Status), for which I am very grateful. The tutors at ARU have been amazingly supportive through that process, arranging for SCITT companies to talk to us, building our awareness of all our options to get into teaching, as well as providing the possibility for early applications and giving guidance on our personal statements and interviews. It was all certainly less daunting with our tutor’s support.
I was able to choose from a few different offers, which was certainly the best-case scenario I could imagine. The ARU Education Society (Chelmsford) recently held an online event with a current SCITT and PGCE student who quelled any fears we had and reassured us that, even in the midst of a pandemic, we can do this!
There are many ways to gain your QTS once you have completed your degree, and you can train to teach at any level, and I recommend checking https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/ for full details of your options. ARU also offers their own PGCE and I would have loved it if my SCITT was working with ARU as I know the high quality of the training I would have received.
That doesn’t mean that I won’t be back. Looking further ahead, I plan to apply to study for a Masters with ARU, knowing full well that it will be great fun as well as help my career. Who needs free time, right?!