Technically, this post finally completes the purpose of the blog. It began when I started the distance-learning Teaching Artist short course with my own employers, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. And I continued it when I took my studies to the next level for the PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education.
Next week, I graduate with my Postgraduate Certificate, which qualifies me as a teacher and will also make me a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy – kind of ironic, for the scholar who in 1984 took refuge in librarianship because she couldn’t imagine herself standing in front of a class. Ironic too, because my parents were both teachers – and I was sure I would never be one.
1984-5 were pivotal years for me. I did a Graduate traineeship in a university library, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship, got a Distinction, got a job, then another job, then achieved chartership with my professional association, and conceded that I’d never finish the PhD that I had begun with such hope. I couldn’t see myself as an academic, had had no opportunities to try, and was assured by everyone that there weren’t any jobs out there anyway. Then finally burned my boats by abandoning the PhD. If someone had sat me down and asked why, or tried to persuade me otherwise, would I have listened? Who knows.
Fast-forward to 2009. I got a PhD the hard way, part-time, on a different subject which I found totally absorbing.
And fast-forward again to today. After years of delivering user education in the library, lectures about bibliography and electronic resources and papers about a wide variety of research topics, I’ve proved to myself that I can do it, and next week I’ll have a PGCert as my reminder!
I’m not going to close down this blog, though I may only add to it infrequently. I’ve read a massive amount of literature about educational matters, and it would be shame to lose all that commentary. But I’d also like to leave this post with an admonition for those who have followed it:
Don’t say you can’t do something until you’ve tried. Don’t abandon ambitions because they seem too high.
I have seven years until I can claim my pension – meanwhile, I have a lot of catching up to do!
(If you’ve enjoyed following me on this blog, you might be interested see what I’m up to now – visit ClaimedFromStationersHall.wordpress.com/– it’s the research network that I’ve recently founded, studying British early legal deposit music.)