Last week I did my first shift as an Education Liaison Mentor (ELM) working for the University of Derby. ELMs work with the Education Liaison team and help to deliver sessions to schools and colleges within the region and also participate in applicant days and open days at the university.
I first heard about the role when someone came to talk about it in one of my lectures at the end of my first year and it sounded like the perfect job for me. It’s very flexible and I can work as little or as much as I please which is great as it means that I can fit work in around my lectures and other family commitments that I have.
Having registered my interest, I was invited to attend a training session in October where I had to participate in various group activities and give a short presentation on a certain topic that we were given. This was a really fun and informal session and after completing this, I was offered and accepted the role of ELM.
Unfortunately, because of the million assignments I had to do last semester, I wasn’t in a position to take on any work until last week but now my diary is quickly filling up with loads of different jobs! I won’t lie; I was terrified in the run up to my first shift and was convinced that I was going to be chucked in at the deep end and left alone with a rowdy bunch of year 11s but that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
The first session that I worked was ‘Revision Techniques’ and I had the choice to either just observe or I could pick a slide that I wanted to present. My instincts were to just observe but I decided to bite the bullet and have a go and do you know what? It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I was talked through the presentation beforehand with the Education Liaison Assistant (ELA) who was leading the session and there was a paper copy of the presentation with notes that I could refer to. The kids were all really engaged and I think they found it really useful in the run up to their GCSEs.
Since then I have worked a number of different sessions and am finding it to be a really interesting experience, not all classes are as well behaved as my first one but the teachers are always close at hand to shut down unruly behaviour so it’s not too scary! Being an ELM has even got me thinking again about potentially doing a PGCE when I graduate which is a career path that I had totally discounted. All in all, I am loving the role and getting some really great experience to add to my CV.
If you think you might be interested in becoming an ELM then please email ELTeam@derby.ac.uk for more information.