Home News Full-circle moment for nursery teacher turned lecturer

Full-circle moment for nursery teacher turned lecturer

Chichester lecturer Debra Laxton has told of her delight at seeing two of her students graduate – particularly because she also taught them when they were just three years old.

As an Early Years teacher, Debra taught Erin McKeown, now 21, and Issy Hudson, 22, at Chichester Nursery School, helping them learn to play, paint and puzzle. Now, nearly 20 years later, Debra is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Chichester, where she recognised the women when they joined her course.

Debra said: “We met quickly when they started University because they took the early years subject study modules with me. I certainly remembered them as young children and what they used to be like.”

Erin and Issy both graduated last week from their degrees in BA (Hons) Primary Teaching with Early Years.

Erin, who has just started teaching at a local primary school said: “I was given a big book when I left nursery school which contained work and pictures from my time there, including pictures of my key worker, Debra. When I saw Debra I instantly knew it was her. It was a nice beginning to my University journey and felt ‘meant to be’ – she’d begun my education and was finishing it, helping me to achieve my dream of being a teacher and following her passion for Early Years.”

Issy, who now teaches a year two class at a school in Hampshire, said: “I didn’t instantly remember Debra until my Mum put the clues together and in our second lecture in first year I went to speak to Debra about it and had a full-circle moment. Everything then became so natural, and I felt so at ease from the relationship we built when I was a young girl. It was an amazing feeling to know that I started my education with her and have finished my final years studying with her.”

Debra teaches a range of Education programmes including primary teaching where she is a tutor for the early years subject study modules. She is also part of the University of Chichester Academy Trust education development team supporting school improvement. Debra is passionate about the importance of reflective practice and supporting trainee teachers and education studies students to develop the knowledge, skills and experience to develop practice and improve the experiences and outcomes for children in their care.

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