Whenever I talk about TAFE it gets a few people RTing & replying. I bet you have a similar background. I've got TAFE to thank for taking me from a pretty hopeless place to being able to dream of university & a little goddamned respect. Not just "for" me but WITHIN me.
The best TAFE teachers become mentors and eventually peers, because they're actively in practice. They see you for your potential and they don't cut you down. They give you hope. They teach you commonsense. They teach in ways that aren't lofty or wanky. You just never forget it.
I've since been to uni and I'm out the arse end of a degree in psychology now. Instead of emerging from university as someone who sees uni as "above" TAFE, I just see TAFE through the filter of my university training as the complementary strengths-based teaching it really is.
Without TAFE, all we have is universities. That is a one-dimensional tertiary education landscape. An elitist one. It'd shape a country that I don't recognise as mine. I'm capable of going into clinical practice but I don't actually want to. I just really like making stuff.
I'm not unique. There's loads of us. Forged in trauma, need a lift up to have the same crack as you. Then we get to uni & find that even in the humanities it's like walking among aliens who've never gone without anything. What do we find ourselves flung back to? Our TAFE quals.
And thank god for our TAFE quals. And our TAFE families. At least at TAFE they still remember your name when you go back. That's the difference.

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