What about me? A personal development course for carers in Wales
What about me? A personal development course for carers in Wales

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What about me? A personal development course for carers in Wales

Learning from experience

We all experience ups and downs in life – good points and bad points. Whatever our experience, we are learning as we go. Learning is not something that stops when we leave childhood behind. Learning is lifelong. Some learning is about ourselves: the type of person we are and our strengths and qualities. Other learning is about skills, qualifications, understanding ideas and concepts, or the society we live in.

We’d now like you to move from plotting what happened, when, to thinking about what you’ve learned from these different roles and experiences, and how you’ve developed as a person over time.

Watch James, a carer and a support worker who works with carers, talk about the value of reflection.

Download this video clip.Video player: wam_intro_james_skills.mp4
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From the point of view of being a carer, reflection…time to reflect actually, is often something that people have little of, and if they’re able to come along to a course such as the one that you’re providing today, it allows them that time to think about, ‘well, yes, my life might be full of domesticity and I might have to do lots of practical jobs everyday just in order to make sure that my loved one is warm, fed, clothed, clean, medicated, etc.’ but those are also areas of life which provide you with experiences that translate to skills that you can use in future employment opportunity perhaps. So, for example, organisation, communication… they’re all things that lots of carers do all the time with a diverse range of people, but perhaps wouldn’t think to be putting them down on an application for education or indeed for employment because it’s something they do at home so it’s something they see as just being themselves, a personal attribute as opposed to something with market value, and I think that’s very important for people to be able to broaden their horizons and think in terms of ‘well, I do have value; I have many skills or …strings to my bow, so actually I will be able to go out there and promote myself and believe in myself enough to be able to do well in a more academic or indeed employment capacity.’
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Now, think again about Claire. She had her share of ups and downs. What did she learn from these experiences?

Example 1: Claire’s learning from experience

Look at what Claire says she learned from her experience:

  • Struggled to put specific times on certain points.
  • Yes I did recall feelings and memories.
  • I’ve learnt that however negative a situation that you can learn from it.
  • A positive in every negative.
  • From losing my mum, to not worry over trivial things, embrace everyone and moments – life is too short.
  • That I’m stronger than I thought as I’ve been through so much and achieved so much.
  • That I am going in the right direction now, even if I wasn’t before.

Claire reflects on how, although certain points were a struggle, she realised she is stronger than she thought and that no matter how negative a situation, you learn from it.

Here are some key phrases from Claire’s comments:

  • stronger, learn, struggled, achieved, right direction

By reflecting on her past experience, Claire has learned she is a strong individual who can learn from even negative and difficult situations, and that she believes she is moving in the right direction.


Take a moment to think about the following questions:

  • Was some of Claire’s learning unexpected?
  • Did Claire learn from bad experiences as well as good ones?

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