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Val joined City College Plymouth in 2017 as a Learning Support Assistant and eventually moved to become part of the maths team.
With a degree in economics, her strong skills in maths have been an asset for the department, but being from Romania, Val was required to gain a qualification in education to support her understanding of the English education system.
Valuing the importance of education, Val took up the opportunity to study for a level 5 qualification and has been studying one evening a week for the past two years. Val said: “I was working at City College Plymouth when I became aware of the course. I was looking to do a teaching qualification anyway so chose the College knowing how good it is.
“At times, I found it a bit of struggle trying to juggle being a student, having a job and a family, but I organised my schedule to fit in all of these responsibilities. I tried to balance it so that on one weekend I would be doing research, planning and assignments, and then the following weekend I would focus on family activities.
“I had great help from Chris Brown and my maths colleagues, especially Darren Kimmince. They offered fantastic support when I needed them. They were always there with advice and supported me with any resources they had.”
As a result of the course, Val said she feels more confident in her ability to manage difficult situations and she feels more organised in her day-to-day job. Having not taught before, Val said it has also greatly improved her understanding of the learning process.
Val added: “I look forward to applying all I have learned so far as well as continuing to improve my skills and sharing my findings with colleagues.
“I would recommend this to anyone that’s not yet qualified as a teacher. It’s great to work and study at the same time because you can immediately apply your new skills to your profession. Also, it’s a great opportunity to develop your career and have support while doing it.”