Pam Norris is proof that hard work and determination really do pay off. Now 42, Pam admits to having had ‘too much fun’ when she took her A Levels aged 18, which meant she missed out on university first time round.
Pam had always wanted to become a teacher, but believed that it was too late for her to get the right qualifications. When a colleague told her about the Foundation Degree in Learning Support however, she could see a very real opportunity ahead.
“At 38 I realised that this was my last chance to achieve my teaching ambition,” she said. “I am now more focused and have a totally different work ethic to when I was younger.”
Studying part time over three years at Halesowen College (an Associate College of the University of Worcester), Pam did her Foundation Degree; re-taking her Maths and Science GCSEs at the same time. She is now in her fourth year of study, doing her top up Year at the University, which will complete her degree in Education Studies. All this whilst working as a teaching assistant and being mum to four children, now aged 10, 13, 17 and 19.
Pam says that having a clear goal has been a great motivator for her throughout her studies, but admits that combining work, studying and a family has meant a lot of changes to the family’s daily routines.
“I am very lucky that I have such a supportive husband,” she said. “Communication, forward planning and flexibility have been key - we have to review our diaries every 48 hours to make sure we keep on top of everything.”
Pam has applied for the Primary PGCE 2016/17 at the University which will complete her five year learning journey; but she says it won’t end there, as in the future Pam would like to study for her Masters and work her way up to Senior Leadership.