30th July 2020
We caught up with Stafford College's Lecturer in Early Years, Tara Morton, to chat about her experiences before joining the College, what she loves most about the work she does, and her advice for anyone wanting to pursue a career in childcare.
Q: Tell us about your experiences before joining the College.
A: Before joining NSCG I was in a completely different sector; sales. After having my first child I decided that it was no longer for me and decided to retrain. I went back to college and completed an Access to Education Diploma which enabled me to enter university where I achieved a degree in Childhood & Family Studies & Sociology. I then went on to complete a PGCE PCE which is when I joined the NSCG family to complete my teacher training, I was lucky enough to join this fab team for my first year of teaching.
Q: Why did you decide to get into teaching?
A: After having my first daughter, I wanted to change my career to something that was more fulfilling and meaningful. Whilst completing my degree I realised I have a passion for education and education is what makes a huge difference to those who are lower on the social mobility ladder. Coming from a working class background myself and being a first generation university student from my family I realised I wanted to help others further their education and stretch their limits.
Q: What advice would you give to your 15 year old self?
A: Anything is possible as long as you’re willing to work for it. I never believed I could go to university and gain a degree – I just thought it wasn’t possible for someone from a poor background. However, nothing is out of your reach as long as you put the hard work in.
Q: What challenges have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
A: The biggest challenge I have faced, and still face at times is imposter syndrome. It took a good while for me to feel confident as a teacher especially as I work with some fantastic teachers who make it look effortless. To overcome imposter syndrome you have to start believing in your ability, it isn’t always easy but once you start you will soon feel the difference.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into Childcare?
A: My advice for anyone wanting to get into childcare is to get some work experience with different ages. Some people decide they don’t want to work with children after only experiencing one age range, however many practitioners or teachers have a preferred age range so you do need to try different settings. This is another reason why our course is fantastic as you gain work experience alongside your studies where you will have the opportunity to work in nurseries, pre-schools and schools.
Q: What sorts of careers have your past students gone on to have?
A: As I have just completed my first year of teaching, I am yet to find out what my students are going to do as they are progressing to further studies. However, a lot of our students go on to become nursery practitioners, paediatric nurses and teachers.
Q: What key skills does someone wanting to pursue a career in Childcare need to have?
A: To pursue a career in early years you need to be adaptable; Children don’t come in a ‘one size fits all’, therefore it is important that you are able to adapt to suit the needs of each child. Other key skills needed for childcare are patience, good communication and the ability to have lots of fun!
Q: What’s your favourite thing about working at the College?
A: My favourite thing about working at NSCG is most definitely the students and the fantastic Early Years team. I have the privilege of working with some amazing students who never fail to make me smile, there is certainly never a dull moment. I also feel very lucky to work with an amazing bunch of people who were so welcoming when I first came to NSCG and have been super supportive since!
Q: What’s the most rewarding about your job?
A: The most rewarding part of my job has to be seeing how much our students progress and mature during their time with us. Even the students who are extremely shy at the beginning of the year soon come out of their shells. During our course we also focus a lot on community and charity events which all students get involved with and put a lot of effort into. It feels fantastic knowing you have helped these students develop not only their academic skills but their life skills too.
To find out more about studying Childcare at Stafford College, visit https://nscg.ac.uk/study/course-departments/care-community-education.