SpLD course led to exciting new role as specialist teacher

Nicola Wall is a Dyslexia tutor in Bridgend College, Postgraduate Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties

Postgraduate Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties graduate Nicola Wall is a Dyslexia tutor in Bridgend College. Later this year, Nici will take up a new post of Specialist Teacher in Bridgend County where she will teach primary school pupils with Dyslexia, and have the opportunity to offer advice to LSAs on specific teaching strategies. 

"My job is very rewarding as I am able to tailor my teaching to the specific needs of my individual students.  

Each student with Dyslexia will have a different profile and the challenge is to find their unique learning style in order to encourage meta-cognition and success in their independent learning.

Since being at Bridgend College, two of my current students have achieved Student of the Year (Art Department) and Most Improved Learner (Engineering Department), respectively.  

Both have become successful learners who strive to achieve to the best of their abilities. Part of my role is to ensure that I encourage, motivate and inspire such ambition in them. Through doing this, they will not view Dyslexia as a burden but as a benefit to them instead.  

My background

I was initially a secondary school teacher, a job which I loved, however, I became increasingly frustrated seeing young boys of 11 and 12 not being able to read successfully. So, in a dramatic and drastic decision, I decided ‘to retire’ from mainstream and find a job tutoring Dyslexic students.  

I was fortunate to be offered a job in Bridgend College on the proviso that I obtained the AMBDA qualification. This specific qualification can be obtained through successfully completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties at USW (course leader – Amanda Kelland). One week after completing the course, I was offered the job of Specialist Teacher in Bridgend County – my dream job!

Once one has achieved this qualification, one can appreciate how this type of course can influence one’s own teaching methods.  It can also offer wonderful career prospects within one’s own school or further afield.

About the course

The most enjoyable part of the SpLD course for me was most certainly the teaching practice element. Here I was encouraged by my tutor to think ‘outside of the box.’ She encouraged me to be creative and more importantly, to be ambitious for my students.  

I would most certainly recommend the course to anyone who wishes to improve on their own teaching methods and those who are dedicated to helping pupils or students with difficulties such as Dyslexia.  

So if you are not feeling fulfilled in your current job, even if, like me, you have reached 50, it’s not too late to change career, or specialise in something.  

Not only will your pupils or students benefit from this, but you will benefit from all the knowledge you will gain by undertaking such a course. It’s certainly not an easy course, but if you are dedicated to helping others to achieve to their full potential, then I suggest you get your name down asap. Pob lwc, bawb!"