Whilst I was training, I do not mind sharing that I had some challenging moments whilst on placement. The support from the tutors at Trinity helped me through these times and I firmly believe that the practical experiences I was gifted from the Trinity staff and the partner schools have shaped the Teacher I have become today.
During professional development week 2017 we welcomed back a number of alumni to speak to current students about their careers since graduating and their top tips to get ahead in a very competitive employment market. One of our returning guest speakers was Tim Hopkins, who graduated in 2005 from Education and English (Early Years) QTS. It was his first time back on campus since 2010.
Tim had some great advice for the students who attended his session ‘Take every opportunity to learn, develop and listen to the feedback you receive. We and the schools I work with recruit from placements and if we see potential and talent we have no hesitation in offering employment from placements.’
He also stressed the importance of having a CV and covering letter that stands out from the competition. Typically there can be nearly 150 applications for one job, and nearly half of all the CVs he has to go through are the same. What employers are really looking for are CVs and covering letters that really tell them about ‘you’, this will help them to easily assess if you will fit in with their establishment. Another sound piece of advice was to visit the school or company you are applying to, the more enthusiasm and interest you have for a role the more you will stand out in your application and potential interview.
On the flipside Tim also encouraged listeners to not settle for anything that isn’t right for you. Whatever job you do working with children you need to show a real passion and this must shine through. It is a very competitive industry so don’t settle for just being another teacher, be one that stands out from the crowd, that can clearly demonstrate your passion for the role and show what you can bring to the table.
After Tim’s session, Alumni Officer, Brett Arnall, caught up with him to get some more information about his time as a student at Leeds Trinity and his career to date.
What were your aspirations when you were training to go in to the education/teaching profession?
Ever since completing work experience as an A-Level student I knew I wanted to find myself in a profession where I could impassion people and pass on information in a variety of ways. Teaching is most certainly a vocation. Whilst I was training, I do not mind sharing that I had some challenging moments whilst on placement. The support from the tutors at Trinity helped me through these times and I firmly believe that the practical experiences I was gifted from the Trinity staff and the partner schools have shaped the Teacher I have become today.
Can you briefly describe your current role and what you love most about it?
My current role is a Teaching and Learning Development Manager for a family owned Childcare and Out of School Care Company. I work closely with all members of the management team and oversee and develop the educational and additional development experiences that all of our children receive during their time with us. The times I love the most is in the prolonged periods of time I spend with our children and especially the children for whom life has placed barriers or hurdles in front of them when it comes to accessing learning and education. I find the Early Years such a rewarding area to work with.
How has your time studying at Leeds Trinity helped you in your career?
I can say without hesitation without my experiences at Leeds Trinity I would not find myself where I am today. The opportunities Trinity allowed me both as an education student and as a student in general have helped me to learn those reflective skills I believe all good educators require.
What has been the best advice you have ever been given for your career?
"It is about the children. It always has been and it always will.” Alongside the fact that there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing choices.