Michelle Mitchell

In 2013 I graduated with my BA (hons) in History and Sociology. The same year I commenced the Higher Diploma in Further Education in the Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University. When I reflect back upon what opportunities the course has provided to me over the past year I am truly grateful. Small class sizes made it easy to make friends and create valuable supportive relationships with fellow students and staff members. The diversity in classroom methodologies and assessment procedures also made the course interesting and engaging to participate in.

During my time on this course I was presented with many external opportunities as a result of my participation on the HDFE programme. In February 2014 I trained with the National Adult Literacy Association as a Learner Ambassador. I am now providing talks in my local ETB area of Laois/Offaly in order to motivate and encourage adults to return to education which I really enjoy doing.  Another event I was very excited and lucky to participate in was an Erasmus Plus programme entitled “Iceberg of Literacy”. This programme was conducted in Vilnius, Lithuania for one week in May 2014 and was entirely funded by the European Union. 18 professionals participated and 10 countries were represented from all over Europe.  I was delighted to represent my university and country as an adult educator on this programme and it is an experience that I will never forget.

As my time on HDFE has come to an end my future is looking very bright indeed. Just one week after handing in my learning portfolio and finishing the course, I have accepted a full time permanent teaching position. In September 2014 I will be teaching sociology to A Level students in London which I am very enthusiastic and exited about. My Higher Diploma in Further Education and the vast range of experiences it offered me proved very impressive in my interviews and hence I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking for an exciting, diverse and alternative teaching career.