So today (19th October) brings an end to the first 4 weeks of uni. 1 “freshers” week and 3 weeks of lectures and seminars. This post was inspired by Courteney from my course who is doing the same on her blog so feel free to check it out via the link. She’s recently moved down to Shrewsbury from Durham for her degree and she’s set up a “life of a shrewdent” instagram and blog!:) https://courteneyjade13.wixsite.com/lifeofashrewdent/single-post/2018/09/11/The-final-countdown here’s the link to her blog and her Instagram is shrewdent so feel free to have a look!:)
So on to my review of the month. First week was freshers and as I’ve written about on a separate post and was very very challenging for so many personal and social reasons but I’d like to think I’m growing every single day and finding my feet continuously.
So the first week felt incredibly strange but exciting too. Being back in the classroom as a learner was in all honesty, horrendous. Something I dreaded and still dread going into 4 weeks on all be it, I dread it less and less as weeks go by. A class of 25 learners in sometimes crowded rooms which are not easy to leave if and when I need to take a minute to breath and calm my system down again. As I write this, I’ve not had to take a time out yet and that is something I’m immensely proud of myself for as it’s something I didn’t expect to be the case. Granted I had a wobble in freshers week but hey ho, it happens and I moved on and accepted it.
At present we are focusing on 5 of the 8 modules and it’s made me truly realise how much theory and broad the aspects of teaching education is. For so long I thought that teaching was simply the motion of teaching the subjects but in fact it is so much more. You have to look at the teaching standards and how to meet them, the learning skills for us as learners but also the Primary aged children and finally even covering culture perspectives such as gypsy children and how they learn. The OU gave me an understanding of the cultural perspectives but never did it cover the teaching standards.
Now it’s time to look at the scheduling of lectures and the length of them respectively. Lectures have ranged from 2 hours to 4 hours which more often than not a 10 minute break during the 2 hour ones, a 15-20 minute one in a 3 hour lecture and about a half hour break during a 4 hour lecture. So far I’ve only had 2 lectures in a day which after being off work/uni for so long leading up to this degree, is draining and I fully respect the other students on my course who come to lectures and then go straight to work! In the new year the amount of lectures in a week dramatically increases but let’s deal with that when it comes to it. 1 assignment has already been completed and I get feedback from that in the next few weeks so that will be good just to see how I’m working academically and the improvements I need to make going forward.
So far I’ve had only 3 lectures, all of whom seem nice enough and understanding of my condition which is incredibly reassuring. The main lecturer is lovely and completely supportive of me recording lectures on my audio recorder if needs be but also the tone of her voice is welcoming which in my view is crucial for me to focus throughout the sessions. The head of subject seems great too. Met him on the open day and in all honesty I thought he was an approachable guy who is clearly passionate about education. Finally the other lecturer I’ve only met briefly during freshers week and she was amazing when on the first day I approached her saying I had a panic attack before getting to uni and she just told me to deal with my anxiety in any way I need to.
Pastoral care at the uni has been brilliant for me. They’ve set me up with an inclusion plan and given me some ways to cope with my lectures. Something which the OU never gave me, in terms of support with mental health during the degree. This aspect of face to face uni is one of the things that attracted me to restarting my degree. The uni pastoral care are always available for a chat and have already put me on the right path to obtaining counselling quickly which will help me no doubt in dealing with this change.
The students I’ve met are lovely but I’m not going to repeat myself after writing a post about this during the week so feel free to have a look at that. It’s the post Called “Meeting my Female Double and Making New Friends at Uni”.
Just want to close this post but saying for anyone who’s unsure about going to uni, all I can suggest is from the early stages of being at this uni, uni life is 100% worth it.
So until next time,