Zoe in front of her school

You tell yourself there is no going back. But maybe there is a way forward. My daughter inspired me to take things to the next level.

As one door closes...

School was a positive experience for Zoe. She stayed on in sixth form and planned to go to University, but she didn’t get quite the grades she hoped for. She still isn’t quite sure why. But Zoe is a bright, energetic woman who doesn’t waste time on regrets. She got her first job in a shoe shop aged 16, and has worked ever since, so it seemed logical to say goodbye to education and focus on the world of work and earning a salary. Zoe went into retail after leaving school, and did well, becoming store manager. At that point she began to feel a bit stuck. How could a busy person, who now had a baby, progress in life while working, and also satisfy their sense of curiosity and achieve personal fulfilment?

Another one opens

Zoe found watching her daughter learn and develop fascinating. When she saw an opportunity do a taster session in Early Years education she jumped at the chance, surprising herself by how much she enjoyed it. She joined ACL’s ‘Getting the most out of Reception’ course to help support her daughter and add to her growing professional knowledge. Zoe was working nights at Tesco’s, and logged on to her morning class after finishing her shift and doing the school run. Sometimes she’d be so tired she could hardly keep her eyes open, but she enjoyed the discussions so much she didn’t miss a week, and her tutor was always happy to advise and encourage.

Zoe was volunteering at St Michael’s Children and Family Centre’s Nurture Nursery, while completing her Level 2. She’s currently studying for her Level 3 qualification and says ‘I don’t want to run ahead of myself, but I think I might do a degree at some stage.’ Zoe’s commitment hasn’t gone unnoticed. She’s now employed by St Michael’s on a permanent basis. ‘It’s the place I first heard our daughter’s heartbeat at my midwife appointment,’ she says. ‘I never considered sending her anywhere else, and now I am there, too! I love it so much, and I’m always learning.’

‘My daughter amazes me,’ Zoe says. ‘I can’t believe how quickly she learns!’ Zoe’s daughter is equally proud of her mother. She made a congratulations card when she passed her Level 2. The future’s bright When things don’t go the way you expect, it’s easy to rule things out. But Zoe is learning something new every day, and is full of enthusiasm for the future. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Find out more about Family Learning through Adult Community Learning.

Published: 24th September 2021