Progress every day

A former maths teacher from Turkey, Selma was determined to gain further qualifications, skills and experiences, while making a valuable contribution to the British education system. After gaining several ESOL Level 1 qualifications, Selma passed her interview with a local school and was accepted as a volunteer classroom support assistant. Step by step on her journey with the WEA, Selma is moving towards her final goal of re-entering mainstream education.  

I think we should all aspire to progress every day, however small or big.

I was a successful maths teacher in Turkey, working with middle school students and then giving private lessons after school to gifted students. I prepared several medal-winning students for mathematics Olympiads, which were very prestigious awards in Turkey. Teaching and helping others were always my passion. 

Then, in July 2017, my life was turned upside down. My family moved suddenly to the UK and I entered a world I knew only through the movies. I’m a talkative person and I could speak to nobody. It was like being a baby again. I don’t want to remain in the balloon of a Turkish community abroad – I want to understand and contribute to my new country. One of my friends advised me to look into the WEA education program for English learning. I knew that learning English was the only way to integrate into the community and get back into teaching. 

I excelled at each level and soon felt more confident. My social life quickly improved. I could talk again! Some of my Turkish friends were impressed and have since registered with the WEA for their own English courses.  

The teacher assistant course was especially helpful. Due to the Covid-19 situation, the course was online, but it ignited my interest for the UK education system. I’m determined to work again in mainstream education or set up my own tuition centre. I am currently tutoring Turkish family children and volunteering in schools. The satisfaction of watching young students progress makes the pain of relocation fade away.  

My motivation comes from own parents, who always taught me to bring out my best. I think we should all aspire to progress every day, however small or big.  

In particular, I would like to thank Mrs. Nusrat Bhatti, my tutor at the WEA, who has always believed in me and coached my development. Her impact on my life cannot be overstated.  

Winning this award gives me amazing encouragement and motivation to follow my dreams. There are many other winners out there who deserve this award, so I feel fortunate to be chosen. This is definitely a stepping stone to greater things.

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