Leeds Trinity impressed me from my first visit. It was small but everything was on campus.
What made you choose to attend Leeds Trinity and what are your best memories from your time with us?
Leeds is where both sets of my grandparents lived and where my parents grew up and my elder brother was studying in Leeds too. The city had and has such a buzz about it and a fantastic music scene as well. Leeds Trinity impressed me from my first visit. It was small but everything was on campus and I also had the chance to combine French and Media, this presented me with the best of both worlds.
My best memories include my first day and fresher's week, Belgian Summer Schools, presenting the radio show on a Monday, meeting the Erasmus students and parties at Principal House. There are too many to mention!
How do you feel your time at Leeds Trinity has supported you in your career and life more generally?
Françoise Convey's French (with input from John Sagar and Alan Foale) then Simon Greens' teaching sessions all inspired me personally and professionally. They were all spirited teachers who taught from the heart. All of them would share personal stories and go off on a tangent to ensure you were aware of everything they were passing down. Their passion for the subject has now formed part of how I teach.
Could you give a little bit more information on your involvement with Leeds Trinity as an alumnus?
It is always a pleasure to return to Leeds Trinity with my professional hat on. The Carol Service is always in the calendar and I even had the pleasure of making a surprise appearance with our school Jazz Band when the drummer didn't turn up.
The Belgian Summer School I did gave me my first taste of combining sport, music and drama with trips to theme parks, discos and a talent show at the end of the week. It even meant that I was invited to Belgium to do a similar job during the Easter holidays.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of being a Teacher and what have been the highlights in your career so far?
Apart from obviously, the holidays, the best part of teaching must be sharing a success. Be it as part of a sports team, a musical production or just a student who is struggling getting the right answer, there is so much joy to make it special. Tears and tantrums are everywhere (but mainly in the staffroom) but elsewhere there'll be someone making their first flapjack, a kid going to their first pantomime, someone realising they can't really see fish while going through the Channel Tunnel, so many priceless moments...But meeting a dad who tried to grow his hair because he no longer supported LUFC, before declaring he only came to Parents Evening because of the free tea and biscuits has to be up there!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming a Teacher?
Only do it if you are fully prepared to get fully involved. You need a thick skin and the perseverance to say "No" when it matters. Don't go into it for the money but do it because you want to act in the interest of others. Even if it means Danny gets an E in French, it may be his greatest triumph. (Ski trips during French Exchanges are a bonus though...)
What one piece of advice would you give to our current Education students who are about to become NQT’s?
It's still hard after 16 years so don't think you'll have it sussed after 5. Education is constantly changing, sometimes for the better, but be open-minded and be very open to surprises. Students are usually home by 4.00pm and so can you too if you organise your time accordingly.