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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

Saturday 29th June 2020 was the Highland Celebration event for our newest DLITE PGDE graduates. Eight new students have graduated from the Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education DLITE (Distance Learning ITE) course.  

It was certainly a different celebration event from those in the past, with each of the graduating teachers joining with Holly Ross (DLITE Development Officer) and Aileen Mackay (Strategic Quality Improvement Officer) online to mark the completion of their course, share their experiences and aspirations for the future and congratulate their hard work, determination and success in these particularly difficult times.

Claire Granville (Evanton), Gemma Cameron (Drumnadrochit), Joanna Syta (Inverness), Julie Reilly (Alness), Kimberley Mackay (Golspie), Joy Milne (Inverness), Rachael Canavan (Thurso) and Siobhan Allan (Inverness) all have graduated from the programme of study, with all but one managing to attend our virtual celebration.

Opening remarks were given by Holly Ross, who has worked closely with the students over the duration of their eighteen month programme. While it was important to reflect on the trials of recent months and congratulate their perseverance in these troubling times, it was highlighted by Ms Ross that they have achieved their goals to become teachers by their own diligence, dedication and determination. She reminded them of their need to be flexible, which again has been challenging in recent times, but which has helped to shape them as the teachers they are becoming. “The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived” (Robert Jordan).

Congratulations were given by Aileen Mackay, who has supported the students across their course work, offering advice and guidance as well as continuing to support them as they enter their Probation year. Ms Mackay addressed the graduating teachers with a reminder of the importance of on going professional learning, relationships with their young people and their familes as well as taking good care of their physical and mental well being to become well rounded teachers. 

The celebration was completed by involving the voices of our new probationers, who all offered insightful and inspiring comments about their experiences, their thoughts and evaluations thus far. One reminded us that ‘a person is a person no matter how small. I must always remember that and build my relationships accordingly’. While another quoted that their group may be seen as the ‘pandemic probationers’ but that they here to show that there are many paths that will lead to a positive destination for our young people and I want to be part of the contribution to shaping young lives’.

We welcome our new Highland colleagues into the teaching profession and wish them all the best in their chosen careers.

MIL OSI United Kingdom