A mother of five is on track of achieving her dream job of becoming a teacher after been being crowned Student of the Year at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
KateJubb, 50, from Hartlepool has raised her aspirations after previously failing English and working in both a sausage and crisp factory.
She has thanked Hartlepool College of FE and Teesside University for allowing her to opportunity of fulfilling her wish of becoming a teacher after years of low skilled jobs.
Kate, who left school with not many qualifications at the age of 16 said: “I didn’t do very well at school. I got a few qualifications, but I didn’t really have the focus.
“It’s taken me until about ten years ago to decide what I want to do in life and that’s teaching.”
Kate had previously taken work in a call centre, sausage factory and crisp factory.
She said: “When the call centre closed down, I realised that I didn’t have anything to fall back on. I needed to figure out what I wanted to do. I was coming back off maternity with my fifth child.
“I got up one day and I thought to myself what I liked about every job I’ve been in and that was the teaching and training element of them all.”
Kate applied for an Early Childhood Studies degree through Teesside University but was told in order to graduate she would also need to undertake further qualifications.
Kate said: “I got quite far on the back of the functional skills certificate I took, but the problem I came up against was I couldn’t complete my degree without GCSE maths and English qualifications.
“I joined Hartlepool College of FE last year after doing my foundation degree with the Open University.
“There wasn’t the emphasis on qualifications when I was a kid like there is today. Back then, functional skills were enough for most things.
“These skills are so important to me now. I’ve been pushing my children on the importance of them.
“We’ve instilled in them that you won’t get very far without education.”
Kate has a message for people to help them understand the importance of adult literacy.
She said: “It’s the best thing for everyone. Even if you only achieve them to help your kids do their homework, it’s really worth doing it.
“Maths and English have changed so much. I left school with an unclassified in English and I’ve just passed with a level 6 now. That is a massive difference.
“I’ve gone all through of my life thinking I can’t really do it and I don’t understand it, but I can. I just needed to go and learn.
“All you need to succeed is hard work and a good teacher. Someone that will listen when you reach out and support you through learning and I got that at Hartlepool College of FE.
“I loved my time here. It was quite fun, and the classes were small groups made up of mainly adults who came back to education for different reasons.
“Some were sent to study through the job they do. There were people from care homes, computer backgrounds, unemployed and all sorts.
“It was nothing like I expected. I thought it was going to be a bit like being back at school, but it wasn’t.
“It felt absolutely amazing to be awarded with the Student of the Year for maths and English.
“I haven’t won anything like that since I won the swimming cup at school and I only won that because I got my bronze, silver and gold in one year.
“It was great to be recognised for all of the hard work I’ve done, and it’s been a real boost to my confidence, and I feel like I can do anything now.
“I’ve now put in an application for a role with the College as a teaching assistant, so fingers crossed I can begin my journey in teaching.”