I am Lesleigh McAdam in the University of Dundee studying for an MA (Hons) in Education. I arrived here following a long and wynding journey of trials and tribulations, note taking and sitting exams. As a parent, I have a natural interest in the education of children and my ambitions to become a teacher came to the forefront as my son, now twelve, began nursery ten years ago.
It had been a long time since I had attended school in a student capacity but after contemplating my options in my choice of career, the only way forward was to apply to college which would enable to me gain qualifications in higher education; something I greatly wish I had fulfilled previous to leaving high school. I gained some experience working with children within the primary school environment acting as a voluntary parent helper standing me in good stead for my offered place at Dundee and Angus College on the course Access to Teaching.
Making the move from paid employment to return to being a student was as scary and challenging as it was exhilarating. I was able to enjoy a variety of lessons and quickly embraced the student life; learning new, interesting areas of study I had previously unheard of. Throwing myself in wholeheartedly encouraged me to venture out of my introvert shell slowly but surely, getting through the work; attending an interview with Dundee University to study in BEd Education and before I knew it the year had passed. Unfortunately, due to illness during the year I had missed a chunk of the learning and did not gain the qualifications needed to gain entry to BEd Education and so with a heavy heart I had no choice but to decline my place.
Deciding that I would apply again the following year, I returned to college on the Access to Highers intent on resitting maths intermediate two and to complete communication 4 literature 1 instead of struggling with higher English a second time. I knuckled down and studied so hard for maths, my efforts being rewarded when I passed my exam and exceeded my expectations of the grade I earned. Unfortunately, my interview at the university did not go so well the second time round and I was unsuccessful in my venture. Feeling a little defeated I wondered if my ambition to make teaching my career was beyond my reach.
With a little encouragement from supportive family and friends I decided that I would apply to Dundee University a third and final time thinking if I was unsuccessful again then it was not meant to be. I again returned to college, gained an HNC in Social Science however, following the Christmas break I discovered I was pregnant with my daughter, Carly now two and with my due date being October 2012 saw a gap year out was my only option.
After Carly’s arrival I threw myself into motherhood for a second time. As soon as I was able, I applied to complete my HND in Social Science, luckily being accepted immediately. Juggling further education with a baby was not easy but with plenty of support from all angles I kept my head above water. Once again, the application to the university was submitted, this time for the MA (Hons) Education course. I was fully prepared with my presentation ready but was a bundle of nerves. Reminding myself that this was my last chance I pushed down the butterflies and gave it my best shot. It went ok I thought. Fingers crossed.
Less than a week later, I received my unconditional offer to study on the above course and could not have been happier. It was a place I never thought I would be in and to find myself attending lectures, tutorials and workshops still evokes mild disbelief that I made it. Finally.
I shall aspire to be the best I can be, to be confident in my knowledge and understanding allowing me to make informed and confident decisions regarding the education of children and encourage their inquisitive and eager minds so that they might flourish and succeed in their lifelong journey.