I had always heard fantastic things about the teacher training courses offered by Leeds Trinity University from primary and secondary teachers that I worked with whilst doing my undergraduate degree. Leeds Trinity was always seen to be the best way of preparing to be a Newly Qualified Teacher with its combination of pedagogical training and school experience.
Our History PGCE cohort was small but we made some fantastic friendships that have lasted for the last three years and counting. As well as that, they were a great source of support and advice whilst we were going through the same training. We still try to see each other during the school holidays (one person I see a lot more…) and make time to catch up for drinks and gossip.
From a professional point of view, it was probably my first placement. Whether or not it was done on purpose, it was a perfect match as I'm still there today.
How do you feel your time at Leeds Trinity has supported you in your career and life more generally?
The first twelve weeks of pedagogical training were a fantastic springboard into teaching and gave me a really strong foundation to become the teacher that I wanted to be. It is a real shame that current government policy is removing that option for so many other prospective teachers.
It also taught me how to organise my time well. This is one of the most important things a teacher can learn as in order to meet all the deadlines and expectations to do your job well. As well as that it's vital that you make time to do other things; whether its meeting friends or playing sport, you need something to take a break from teaching and children.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of being a Teacher and what have been the highlights of your career so far?
I genuinely enjoy going to work every day. It's hard work and drives you insane, but it's absolutely worth it. I enjoy getting up every morning, planning lessons, interacting with children and I'm even starting to enjoy marking!
My favourite part of every year is results day. I have really enjoyed going in for the last two years on A Level and GCSE results day to celebrate the hard work of our students. It makes everything that you do over the year completely and utterly worth it.
I also really enjoy residential and have taken advantage of lots of opportunities to develop my experience. I am currently organising a four day residential to Berlin with Years 12 and 13.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming a Teacher?Get as much experience in schools as possible. Learn how to manage your time. Retain your sense of perspective. It's a great job and an important job but it's only a job.
Oh, and do it!
Stay organised and on top of your planning and marking to avoid late night planning panics. One bad lesson isn't the end of the world – you don't have time for tears, there's another class coming in. Listen to advice, but be true to your training and your standards. Be the teacher you want to be and that your students deserve.
What one piece of advice would you give to our current Education students who are about to become newly qualified teachers?