An English teacher has told how studying two specialist teaching diploma courses has given her the skills to become even better at her career.
Nicola Churcher, 40, successfully completed two Level 5 Diplomas in Teaching English: Literacy and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and Teaching Disabled Learners.
She studied at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), one of a few colleges in London to offer specialist Teaching Education courses.
Nicola said: “Gaining knowledge and experience of both literacy and ESOL teaching has really opened up the opportunities available to me as a teacher. I am able to teach GCSE English, Functional Skills or ESOL, which looks great on a CV.
“Many learners speak English as an additional language, which can be a barrier to their learning. The course taught me ways to approach these barriers and break them down.
“Likewise the Teaching Disabled Learners course gave me a real insight into the issues these learners face and innovative ways to address them. I knew that the skills gained on this course would be transferable to any teaching job in the future.”
Nicola studied for an Access to Higher Education Diploma at CONEL, then Enfield College, in 1999 where she had worked with students with special educational needs (SEN).
She added: “Although I no longer work in the SEN sector, mainstream education has an increasing number of learners with additional learning needs. Just to be aware of how to support these learners has proved hugely beneficial to me.”
Nicola says both courses helped her to adapt the way she delivers lessons and resources to make them accessible to all, which has also led to an improvement in GCSE results.
“I have always strongly believed that the role of a teacher is not just to impart knowledge, but to nurture, guide and support young people in their learning," she said.
“I am a real advocate of the idea that everybody can reach their full potential in education if the learning environment is right for them. These courses taught me how to create those learning environments so that I can be the best teacher I can be.”
Nicola studied a Diploma in Education and Training (DET) at CONEL in 2016-17 at CONEL after completing a Certificate in Education and Training (CET) and Award in Education and Training (AET) the previous year.
While studying for her AET and CET she also studied the Diploma in Teaching English: Literacy and ESOL and last year completed the Diploma in Teaching Disabled Learners.
Nicola, who has a BA (Hons) in Communication and Language Studies with Education Studies, has no hesitation in recommending the College.
"The training I had was second to none and set me on a path to the job I had hoped for, as well as gaining additional skills and qualifications along the way,” she said.
“The teachers were supportive, friendly and encouraging in getting me to where I am today.”