The best thing about teaching, is the money…joke! (That’s possibly the worst part).
As we finished up another run of Digital Marketing night classes last night, I began to reflect on the drive home what delivering these courses means to me. It is January after all, and a great time to reflect!
I’ve been involved in delivering adult education for over two years now and in that time I’ve evolved so much myself in terms of my knowledge, my experience and, mostly, my confidence. I can now say, hand on heart, that I love teaching and the best part of teaching, is the great people I get to meet along the way.
Teaching adults is, I imagine, very different to teaching children. My students rarely throw tantrums, hardly every fight during break and I’ve yet to have an irate parent accost me in the carpark. All and all, they’re pretty nice people. I tend to like them.
Some are employees, others self-employed, some are unemployed and more are just out of college. Whatever their status, all of them are there to upskill and learn something new to help them along their journey.
That thirst for knowledge is the common denominator that binds them. I watch them over the course of the semester as they develop friendships, support each other and engage in general banter, and it’s such as positive transition.
You can never underestimate how hard it is for an adult to return to education. So many haven’t been in a classroom setting for years. So many never finished school first time around. For others English isn’t even their first language.
I know, I too returned to college as an adult. My previous career had run off with that mythical creature, the Celtic tiger, and left me abandoned at a crossroads. I desperately needed to upskill and move forward onto a new career path.
While pouring over college courses one Friday night (there may also have been some pouring of wine involved), I stumbled on a course that stirred something in me. On a whim, I enrolled, and before I knew what I was doing I was walking back into Cork Institute of Technology for the first time since I had originally left it in 1998. I’m glad to say both it and I had changed enormously, and for the better, in the elapsed 17 years.
But this isn’t a blog about me and my story in adult education. I only mention it to reiterate how returning to education and learning a new skill changed my life. It changed everything about me. It awakened my brain, gave me a new outlook on life and gave me back some of the confidence and self-belief that I had lost along the way.
You will never regret the things you’ve learned – the knowledge, the skills – you will only regret the opportunities you didn’t take to help yourself along your journey. Nobody is ever too old to return to education. You are never too ‘stupid’ to learn something new. You are never too ‘out of touch’ to embrace a new skill.
There may never be a right time to take up a class. There will only ever be now, today. Make the decision and you’ll make it work. What’s the worst that can happen?
Karen Twomey MA BSc is a freelance Digital Marketing Consultant and delivers a part-time QQI L5 Digital Marketing course in Mallow College of Further Education and a Digital Marketing Institute Professional Diploma in Cork Training Centre. She also provides bespoke one-to-one and group training sessions. For more information you can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or see her website.