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Alumni stories

Staff profile
Rachel Pawson

Rachel Pawson

Acting Second in Department and Key Stage 4 Co-ordinator




​What is your current job title and which school do you work for?

I'm currently the Acting Second in Department and Key Stage 4 Co-ordinator​ for English at St John Fisher Catholic Academy in Dewsbury. 

What made you choose to attend Leeds Trinity and what are your best memories from your time with us?

I knew Leeds Trinity had a good reputation for teacher training; a lot of my own teachers trained there! My best memories all involve the friends I made on the course. It was a fantastic group of people, very supportive and there was always someone to make light of the inevitable "mishaps" you have as a trainee teacher! I'm still good friends with a lot of them. 

How do you feel your time at Leeds Trinity has supported you in your career and life more generally?

The placement schools that Leeds Trinity are paired with are well selected and you are placed in a school that will be a challenge for you but will also suit your strengths. I had two very different experiences on my placements which allowed me to develop my teaching of a wide range of pupils, something which I have taken forward into my career. 

What is the most enjoyable aspect of being a teacher and what have been the highlights in your career so far?

GCSE results day this year was a real highlight for me. It was the results of my first GCSE class that I had taught all the way through from Year 10. One boy in my class opened his results and ran across the hall to hug me and say thank you because he was so pleased he'd got the grades he wanted in English. That moment made all the hard work worth it! 

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming a teacher?

Don't do it unless you're committed. It's not the easy "9 to 3" job that some people think! Get some experience in the type of school or age group you want to teach, that will help you determine whether it's the job for you, and it looks great on an application form.

What one piece of advice would you give to our current Education students who are about to become NQTs?

Sleep A LOT in the summer before you start! Make sure you're organised and preparing everything you can in advance.

Take at least one day off on a weekend where you don't do any school work, you'll need the rest, and it'll prevent you burning out before Christmas.