She looked after her small children by day and studied for her degree at night – and now Nasmin Rashid has made her family proud by qualifying as a primary school teacher at Bradford College.
Nasmin has just graduated with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Primary.
She said: “I want to be a positive role model and show my children and family that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve your dreams. There is nothing stopping you.”
Dreaming of a rewarding career
It wasn’t always an easy ride for Nasmin. Despite the fact she always wanted to study and have a career, at a young age she felt that she would never be able to go into higher education. In one incident at primary school, she and two friends got into trouble. Nasmin said: “The teacher was quite disappointed but turned and said to the other two girls that they were ‘of degree material.’ I thought, why did she not say that to me?”
That feeling of not being good or smart enough stayed with Nasmin for a long time. When she was young, Nasmin dreamt of a career in which she could help people, such as social work or going into the NHS. However, she said: “My father was not in favour of further studies.
“Growing up being a female in my culture, was challenging. I always felt I did not have a voice.”
“I wanted to broaden my future”
In 2000, she gained three A levels in psychology, law and sociology. She said: “I was looking to broaden my future and see what I could do.” However, Nasmin, who is from a large family including six sisters and a brother, said: “I found it hard to break away from the traditional domestic sphere role expectations of me.”
While she went on to marry in line with her family’s expectations, the desire to study never left her.
Fortunately, she gained an unexpected source of support from her father. Nasmin said: “His mindset changed and he realised women have as much impact on society as men. He encouraged me to train and study.”
A period of reflection
When her father passed away, Nasmin began to reflect on her life. She said: “I fell into a bit of a depression. I took a couple of years to reflect and think, what am I doing?”
She had studied for a Diploma in Health Professions at Bradford College, with the desire to go on to study midwifery. However, her elder sister suggested she would make an excellent teacher.
My tutors gave me confidence
She began studying for a Foundation Degree in Supporting and Managing Learning in Education (FDSMLE) at Bradford College before taking the next step onto a BA Hons Top Up Degree. She said: “Though it was my eldest sister who gave me that much needed mental positive push to study to become a teacher, being a teacher was always at the back of my mind. But the thing that put me off teaching was the idea of observations and thinking that I was not good enough.
“I did not feel confident in my abilities and was worried of the thought of receiving negative feedback. But the observations were not like that. My tutors gave me the confidence to believe in myself and put myself in vulnerable positions, of taking feedback, which was constructive and positive. They supported and encouraged me.”
Studying throughout the early hours
She looked after her two small children during her years of studying at the college. She said: “I would be breastfeeding until 10pm, then doing my assignments until four or five in the morning, before going into college at 9am.
“I thought, this is my time. I was writing my future. It was stressful and challenging but I really enjoyed it.”
Graduating with her BA Hons Degree in Supporting and Managing Learning in Education in 2019 was a proud moment for her and her family. She said: “I am the first in my family to study and work with children.
“Life isn’t short of possibilities”
“It was a lovely feeling to be a part of that community of people who have graduated. I felt so proud of everyone at the graduation. I wanted to show my family that life isn’t short of possibilities if I could gain a degree along with working, married life and social commitments: anything is possible. I feel like I am inspiring and encouraging my family and have become confident in myself.
“If I do well, my children, my nephews and nieces will want to do well and that makes me feel proud.”
Having graduated with her PGCE in a virtual ceremony this year, Nasmin is now working as a supply teacher, supporting children with additional educational needs. She said: “I enjoy being in an environment where the aim is to help children achieve their best, and where children are safe to be themselves.
“I hope to inspire today’s young generation of tomorrow’s adults”
“Learning does not stop and each day I take it as a blessing to be in a career where I am making a positive difference to children’s lives. I hope to inspire today’s young generation of tomorrow’s adults through believing you can do it, believing you deserve it and believing you will achieve it.”
In addition, Nasmin is continuing her studies at Bradford College, working towards a Masters Degree in Education. She said: “I have absolutely loved studying at Bradford College. There is a lot of diversity and you meet a lot of people from different cultures and backgrounds. The facilities are great with support with essay writing to finding academic sources. My tutors were always welcoming.
“I am really proud of getting through four long years of study and getting a distinction for my dissertation.
A big thank you
“I would just like to say a big thank you to all the individuals who believed in me and encouraged me to do well. Bradford College will always have a special place in my heart.”
Train to be a teacher at Bradford College
Becoming a teacher in Bradford has never been easier, thanks to the wide variety of different training routes now available. Bradford College offers a host of opportunities to train and qualify.
We provide our learners with an interesting and thought-provoking range of modules, which will assist in their journey to gain employment. Education studies can lead to careers in administration, teaching and learning support within a wide range of educational settings, such as training and social care organisations.
We offer full- and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.