Early Childhood Studies student researcher: Zainab Altaf

I am currently in my second year of my Early Childhood Study’s Degree. I am 19 years old and live in large family of 5 siblings. I have previously studied psychology and health and social care as my A-levels and throughout my years of learning I can honestly put forward that knowledge can always be captured no matter what the profession, there is no such thing as too much knowledge. In addition, I am extremely grateful to have gained all my experiences and skills and will always keep an eye out for new opportunities.

In the beginning of my academic year I witnessed a major difference between the learning environment, this is mainly because I transitioned through a 6 form college where the environment was more controlled and students were less independent. University to me in comparison to college, felt more independent and relaxed, however although in the beginning I was quite frightened by the change of environment and people, with the help of the staff I managed to make new friends from all age groups. This enabled me to share my experience as well as gain an insight into other individuals experiences.

The main reason behind my decision for going ahead with this course is to understand and help young children. Ever since I first started working with children during my placement at college I had a strong interest towards choosing to teach as my future career. Courses revolving around children can be extremely difficult and sensitive. As most childcare related jobs don’t only revolve around children, whereas it includes their families, backgrounds and everyone and everything related to them, which can be very personal and confidential. Hence in my opinion there will be a lot of skills that are needed to be acquired throughout the rest of this course.

One meaningful learning experience that I have attained throughout my first academic year is working alongside other individuals. Working with new people has always been an issue for me as I am a very shy person and fear what other people may think of my views. However due to majority of my assignments involving group work and engaging with new people I could improve this area of weakness. Having certain people to support me also played a major role towards how well I adapted towards engaging with other people. The support that I had attained from my lectures had played a major role in this achievement of mine as I had constantly gone through activities that involved talking to other peers. Alongside this I have also received support from a close friend who I had worked on a group presentation with, this friend enabled me to share my thoughts with the rest of the group ensuring that my views are shared and heard.

Overall, I aim to achieve more skills and experiences from this course alongside the university experience. And also wish to get involved in many opportunities possible to enable myself to advance my learning.

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