When I was 18 I was quite ill and because of this I didn’t do so well on my A-Levels. The result of this is that I didn’t get my University place and ended up going to college to take a HND in Business and Finance. This has always bugged me as I would have loved to go to Uni and get a Degree. I keep telling myself that one day I will, but I feel that I am missing that one piece of paper that validates me, especially in my field of work which is FE Education.
Because of this, every time I have moved into a new area of work or interest I have strived to find and take professional certifications. Firstly it was the Macromedia and then Adobe certifications around Dreamweaver and Acrobat. Then I dived head first into the world of Microsoft Certification. But every time I passed one and put the certificate on my wall I looked at it and struggled to see how I made me a better person.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, i moved into eLearning in a big way in the mid 00’s and found myself settled and finally happy knowing that I enjoyed my work and I was good at it. With this knowledge I was pushed by my manager to carry on with my certification hunt but to focus it on what I was actually good at and how it would help my career. So fast forward to 2012 and I because a Certified Member of the Association of Learning Technologists (CMALT) I didn’t realise it at the time but it is kind of big deal to be working in FE and get this certification; usually it is awarded to members of Higher Education so in many respects this is the piece of paper that made me the proudest.
Then in the summer of 2014 a new manager came to the college and drastically altered our department. Out went the notion that we were curriculum developers and in came the realisation that we were going to be eLearning leaders for the college. Wow, another change in direction I thought. Well in the 15 years of working at the college this proved to be the biggest overhaul of my work that I had ever had. I was now in a management position and for the first time was able to put any leadership skills I had to use. So what did I do? I went and looked for courses and certifications I could add to my skillset. But instead of thinking it would make me feel better, I went looking for things that would help me do my job better.
So today I am proud that I have completed and passed Google Certified Educator Level 2, to go with my Level 1 certification, which are the first steps to becoming a Google Certified Trainer. While most of the other qualifications I have completed have been based around what buttons to press to do things, the Trainer qualification pays more attention to problem solving and soft skills where I’m lacking at the moment. Its a certification which actually has relevance to my job now as I train people how to use the G-Suite. It validates that I have the experience and knowledge to help teachers to use technology better in the classroom while at the same time helping me to help and coach people better.
I’m making a commitment to myself today that by the time I turn 42 I will hold this premier title.