Tajallah Rassol, a second year psychology student at Liverpool University, says that her dream of becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist is in large part down to her former Derby College tutor, Glyn Pickering.
I found it difficult when I first arrived in England from Pakistan, as a young child. Despite studying in English schools abroad, my accent and English weren’t amazing.
But I did well at school, gaining 15 GCSEs and three A Levels, including English literature/language. I then went to The Joseph Wright Centre at Derby College to do A Level psychology.
Psychology was interesting and challenging. I could never have imagined getting an ‘A’ and Glyn had a big hand in me succeeding.
I was stressed with low self-esteem, but Glyn would use his personal time to help me out. He would go through the stuff I found challenging. Not all tutors come back to you with an email reply as quickly as Glyn did – he would sometimes get back to me on a Sunday evening.
Glyn’s approach to teaching is incredible since he doesn’t just teach theory – he had amazing experiments for us to take part in during class. Furthermore, he took us on a lot of trips, such as watching court cases and to meet psychologists.
Glyn is absolutely dedicated to his students and he even helped me as an ex-student when I was stuck on a university essay. Thanks to his help I am on my way to becoming a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.
The first thing that struck me about Tajallah was her strong work ethic, although she did lack confidence in her academic work.
She was always asking questions about how to improve all aspects of her work and she learned how to build from setbacks – this really lifted her to the next level.
I have a degree in psychology from Loughborough University. After graduation, my old college Derby Collegetutor called me out of the blue to ask me if I was interested in teaching. That feeling of someone having faith in you like that, and seeing your potential, has never left me.
For the past 12 of my 20 years as a teacher I have managed A Levels. And my own teaching ethic hasn’t changed since day one. It is to promote high aspirations while making learning an enjoyable experience. I like using digital mediums and I also try to make contacts with the authors of research and invite them to the college or organise an e-lecture.
I completed my PGCE nearly 20 years ago and remain hungry for new teaching methods and techniques. My professional development included becoming a chartered psychologist and chartered scientist. I have created a website for anyone interested in psychology www.psychlite.wordpress.com