Tasha’s past experiences, such as work experience in a play school and other volunteer work in primary schools, and placement opportunities, were important in leading her to secure her current job.
From a very young age Tasha looked up to all the teachers and educators who supported, encouraged and taught her. As she grew older and gained a greater understanding of the educational system, she came to the conclusion that mentoring and supporting children and young people’s learning was the career she wanted. She came to the UK from Jamaica when she was four and she remembers it being very difficult to understand and deal with such a major transition. Staff worked with her to develop her social needs and esteem. This experience has stayed with her and this kind of support is what she wishes to provide for other children and young people who find themselves in the same situation as she was in many years ago.
The most relevant skill that Tasha gained during her degree in supporting learning from University College Birmingham, was to be non-judgmental in the cases she is involved in. She has also understood the importance of tailoring support to fit the needs of pupils' learning styles by differentiating work.
Tasha feels that without studying for her degree, she would not have learnt about the many theories involved in education support and mentoring. She found it most useful to learn about the wide range of approaches that can be used to assist a child in overcoming barriers to learning. Policies and legislation change and she has regularly to take these into account. Without the opportunity offered by studying for her degree, she would not have had full background information on the essential documents in this area.
Tasha’s past experiences, such as work experience in a play school and other volunteer work in primary schools, and placement opportunities, were important factors that led to her securing her current job as a learning support practitioner.
Tasha has some tips for getting into learner mentoring. She says it’s wise to invest a lot of time in research and reading around the job, what it entails and the requirements. She advises taking courses related to the job to gain further theoretical knowledge.
Tasha assists the teacher and the pupils during a wide range of subject lessons. Her role involves working with teachers to tailor work to fit the needs of pupils, maintaining display and classroom equipment, supporting learning and providing oral and written feedback to students.
She finds her role very rewarding. She enjoys the satisfaction of knowing a child has understood something he/she found difficult to achieve previous to her support. She loves making learning fun, bright and achievable. She is happy just seeing the improvements made by pupils who didn’t believe they could be successful. She finds that trying to provide a good link with the home and school can be difficult. It is very important to have the support of parents and guardians for pupils in school, but making that connection involves time, communication techniques and persistence.
In the future, Tasha aims to work within a team of mentors to provide support for children and young people by helping to break down barriers to learning.
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