Polish national Kornelia Krawczyk arrived at North West Regional College (NWRC) on a Spring morning in 2017, to act as an English interpreter for a friend’s daughter who was being interviewed for a course in Early Years.
She emerged three years later with a Level 3 Diploma in Children’s Learning and Development, and a career in Early Years, delighted that a favour for a friend had resulted in her taking a completely different direction in life.
The 37 year-old now works part-time in a Primary School, a job she adores, and makes her happy.
Kornelia said she had no plans to sign up for a course in Childcare – but the faith that a NWRC lecturer had in her ability, when she spotted her natural skills in working with children, gave her the confidence to start studying at college in a new country, when English was not even her first language.
She said: “When I was at the interview with my friend’s daughter I met lecturer Mary McGlinchey. After the interview Mary asked me where I was working, I was a kitchen porter at the time, and if I would like to join the course as well, because she thinks that my character traits fit working with children. When I left the interview, I thought that it was not for me, that I just would not be able to cope and I was too old for it. When my friend’s daughter started the course, Mary kept asking her about me. I thought then that it is worth trying the course. It was very nice that a complete stranger believed in me after a few minutes of conversation and kept asking about me.
“NWRC (Early Years) is a very friendly place, where the well-being and needs of students are met at a very high level. Despite my age and nationality, I have never experienced any unpleasantness or lack of acceptance because of it.
“My biggest learning barriers were that English was not my first language and that I often had to get out of class faster because I had to pick up my daughter from school. My teachers (Mary and Sharon) have helped me a lot with learning English by preparing various activities and arranging extra English lessons (ESOL) to improve my English. Also, the fact that I had to leave the lessons earlier was not a problem for them, I could always count on their help with catch up, and not be left behind. I also studied Essential Skills Level 2 in Maths and I.T. and Level 1 in English.
“Early Years was perfect for me because working with children is very interesting, each working day is different. It is wonderful to see children develop, learn and know that you have had a part in it. I really liked every part of the course (College and Placement). Learning new skills, meeting new people, being with children, learning about children’s learning and development allowed me to break away from my previous life and gave me a lot of joy.
“I am currently working at the Foundation Stage in the same school where I had Placement for 3 years. I really enjoy my job, every day I look forward to seeing little children’s smiling faces and being part of their school life. Each day of my work is different – new knowledge and new challenges.
“I highly recommend Early Years to anyone who loves working with children, participation in courses (Level 1, 2 & 3) changed my life, I gained knowledge and skills that allowed me to get a job that I love and makes me happy.
“My tutors were very supportive, with their approach to students, they made everyone feel included. Tutors individually approached each student and their needs so that everyone could fully develop their potential. I was able to go to them with any problem (also personal), they always tried to help me.”
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