Natasha Young - College of Education - University of Derby

Natasha Young, Early Years Teacher

What is your name and what are you studying?

I’m Natasha Young, and I completed the Early Years Teacher course at Derby when working as a Manager at Footsteps Day Nurseries. I am currently studying the part time MA Education Early Years pathway.

Why did you choose to study this course?

Jon White, pathway leader of Early Years, talked to our group six months into my study about the course and it sounded really appealing to me. In particular, I was made aware that on completion of my Early Years Teacher degree I would earn credits that count towards a Masters programme.

What have you enjoyed about the course?

I have really noticed the confidence that I’ve gained through the brilliant support of the team and staff, who are really responsive to any enquiries that I have. I’ve relished in being able to write at Masters level, which I picked up in the first term of study.

What has your experience been of the lecturers, course materials and course content?

The online library has been really helpful; I’ve used this a lot as I live in Birmingham, and so I can do everything that I need to at home. I had no expectations of the course content and I’ve enjoyed all of it. I particularly enjoyed the module ‘Practice in Education’; this isn’t a subject that came naturally to me and my hard work really paid off. For the module ‘Children’s Places’ I was awarded 80% which is a real achievement for me, and this work was published.

How have you found it fitting the course around your work and other commitments?

I work 60 hours a week as a Senior Manager for two nurseries and the University of Derby have been really accommodating to my busy lifestyle. I’ve been given a staggered approach to my assessment hand in when I’ve had extenuating circumstances, which was handled really well. It is understood that my job is always a priority.

How has the course benefited you both personally and professionally?

My rate of interviews went through the roof after commencing the MA Education course, and I believe it really helped me get my Senior Management role. 

The course has opened up some fantastic opportunities; I’ve been helping Jon White organise his VoiceS conference, which is attended nationally. This is an initiative to create a universal European teacher elective module that teachers could choose, and I’ve provided the Early Years voice. I’m excited to hopefully head to Milan next year with this conference project.

What would you say to someone thinking of going on the course?

I would advise potential students to spend time at Derby and get to know the staff before you make your decision; you’ll get a sense of the outstanding support you’ll receive. If you’re considering part time study, your full time job will not be a hindrance at all. 

"I have really noticed the confidence that I’ve gained through the brilliant support of team and staff, who are really responsive to any enquiries that I have." Natasha Young