Jane Machin teaches on the Foundation Degree of Children’s Development and Learning at Bracknell College.
“I grew up in idyllic villages in the north of England. Having had such a wonderful childhood, I decided that I would like to work with children.
I started my working life as a Nursery Nurse, which I studied at Reading College for 2 years, whilst working at a school in Reading. I continued to take evening A-level classes, and then a variety of other vocational courses.
Machin reflects on how a change of career and seeking out new training has impacted her skillset.
“After several years, I changed career into IT sales, eventually becoming a technical account manager for networking and communication products. Whilst in this role, I decided that I wanted to continue learning took more evening classes to train as a massage therapist.
Alternative therapy had always been something I was interested in. I studied this for 6 years, qualifying in Swedish massage, reflexology, sports massage, aromatherapy and more.
After 15 years working in IT, I started my own massage business which I continue with now. ”
She has juggled work and personal life to achieve many things, an inspiration for Higher Education students.
“I became involved at my children’s school and started working there as a teaching assistant. It was there that I discovered that I could do a work-based degree in children’s development and learning as a mature student.
I continued to work at the school, run my massage business and look after a household, with a husband, two children and two cats. Despite its challenges, I’m proud to have completed my degree with a 2:1.
Whilst deciding what I would like to do next I was approached to teach at the college, lecturing the foundation part of degree that I took there. I have now been teaching for four years and totally love it. The staff at college and the team I work with are great, and the students are fantastic. To consolidate all my knowledge and experience and share it with students, who in turn share their experience is a pleasure and a privilege.
I have always loved working with children, loved learning and I always felt that I would have liked to complete a degree. To be able to fulfil all these passions, doing a job that I enjoy is so lucky. I have just completed my Fellowship at the University of Reading. So, my background has been eclectic, always based around learning and developing and demonstrates that you can evolve and progress though learning whatever age you are.
I am so keen to inspire learners and to demonstrate that if you are determined, motivated, if you put the effort in and are dedicated to your studies, you will achieve. Personally, I will never stop learning – I am a self-professed lifelong learner, there is always something new to know and something to challenging our thinking.
I love arts and crafts such as knitting and sewing. During lockdown I have been teaching myself to reupholster armchairs. I have done three and my husband says I need to learn to do something else, as we have enough chairs now! “