Although I would not go as far as to say that I was a strong student in grade school but since being an adult learner ( starting from my early 20’s), I realized that I was good at something – learning! Since taking my first course in the program I soon realized that I had a passion for learning and now I enjoy learning how to teach others. I was supported by my instructors when I required extra help and/or support. I was challenged by them to produce high quality work and once I was nearing completion of diploma – I announced to my peers and instructors that “I love learning!” and “The more I learn – the more I realize what I don’t know.”
Shortly after that announcement I remember also feeling very connected to the field so much so that shared my plan to one day complete my degree and possibly even go onto complete a masters degree program – even if it took me another ten years to get there! Well here I am today with a bachelors degree in the field of human and social development from UVIC ( graduated in 2012) which I might add did take me well over a decade to complete in total as I also had some significant life changes over that time period (i.e. 4 close family member’s death’s, 2x big moves, 2x children, a wedding and a house).
Today I have nearly completed my last and final course required for the PIDP program and next I will take on the task of completing the Capstone Project so that I can apply for graduation from the program. Although I have no immediate future plans to begin working on a masters degree at this point in time, I certainly will not close that door. Between my 1st and final years as adult learner I can say one thing has been constant in my life and that has been “change”. I have changed jobs, have two growing children, planned and attended my own 2nd wedding, planning and attended 2 x close family members funerals & am just now at the point where my husband and I can start planning and living out our own vacations – including an old travel trailer that we purchased this summer. If there is one thing I can say today that I am very good at – it is “change”. I am very good at being ‘flexible’, setting goals for myself but knowing that if they are not completed in the time frame I initially set for myself at least I know how to adjust the timing in order to make it work.
I have been fortunate to have a supportive and loving husband & family and an employer that recognizes and values on-going learning. As without all of the above in place I would never have been able to succeed in reaching my educational and career goals as I have thus far. I think that one of the most important things I will take away from all of my years as a ‘mature’ student would be that when a person is faced with many challenges however, great if they are motivated and driven they will be able to attain their goal. No matter how large or small it seems. As an adult learning instructor, I believe this will be one of my assets to bring to the classroom. I will be able to better understand what learners are faced with when they also have families and other responsibilities in their lives. I will take this knowledge and experience with me and ensure that I am one of the ( figuratively speaking) steady posts for adult learners so that they feel supported when in a constant place of change.