A newly-qualified primary teacher has proven that determination and resilience are the key to success after juggling her studies with motherhood and nursing.
After 10 years of working for the NHS, Esther Burns decided to go down a different path and pursue a career in teaching.
But going back to university, while looking after her three children and persevering with nursing shifts in various hospitals across the north and north-east was bound to be a challenging task.
However, drawn by her desire to work with children and share her knowledge, the 37-year-old was determined to overcome any obstacles – and has now graduated with a degree in primary education.
Pride at juggling work, family and study during pandemic
Mrs Burns, from Rothes, said: “Going back to studying after 10 years in nursing was a whole new thing for me, and to add the pressure of family, work life and going through the course during a pandemic was a real challenge.
“When the new lockdown began in January, I had to juggle home schooling three children with online lectures and tutorials.
“Getting online and focusing each day while ensuring each child was learning and handing in their work on time was definitely difficult at times, but I’m proud to have completed my course and done it well.”
The biggest disappointment for Mrs Burns was the unexpected cancellation of all face-to-face teaching due to the pandemic, with online teaching being a challenge in itself.
But nevertheless, she said she’s had a “fantastic year of learning and meeting new friends” and is looking forward to her probation year as a teacher in Moray.
She added: “I’m very proud to have achieved what I have within the last year. I feel amazed at what I’ve learned and how the university adapted to continue to deliver a good course.
“I enjoyed the challenge of learning, going back to reading and writing and stimulating my brain, and I think that we all learned to change quickly and to get used to change.”