Lecturer at Leeds Trinity and Senior Educational Psychologist for Wakefield Council
After graduating I went on to teach for seven years before gaining further qualifications to become an Educational Psychologist.
Why I chose to study at Leeds Trinity
I chose to study at TASC (as it was then) in 1993 to start my degree in BA (Hons) Geography and Primary Education as I wanted to be at a university where I would not just be a number but where it was small enough to get to know people well. I was also attracted to the course as it was a joint honours degree. This meant that I could get my QTS but also had the geography degree aspect if there was something else that I wanted to do.
My best student memories
I came up from Kent where it rarely snows so arriving in Leeds and the first snowfalls were really exciting. Those of us living onsite grabbed some trays and went sledging in the field, something I had not done since I was nine! I loved living in halls and we spent many hours talking, sat in the corridors. I think it was that feeling of community and everybody just being really friendly that I enjoyed most. I went on teaching practice in Bradford and, as I was one of the few that had a car, I took several others to their schools as well. It was great to swap notes at the end of the day!
My career since graduating and maintaining links with Leeds Trinity
After graduating I went on to teach for seven years before gaining further qualifications to become an Educational Psychologist. I have supported the University by attending as a business partner at some of the Leeds Trinity Business Network events in 2018/19. I have also been an alumni mentor for a student in 2019/20 prior to lockdown.
I joined the University as a Lecturer in January 2020 to teach on the MA Mental Health in Children and Young People and on the NASENCO Award and continued my work as a Senior Educational Psychologist for Wakefield Council.
How it felt to return to Leeds Trinity as a lecturer
In a really pleasant way Leeds Trinity felt just the same as it did when I first arrived. People are friendly and happy to chat in the corridors – although the topics are now work related! Even though it was 23 years since I left, the main buildings are still the same and so it is great to be able to find my way around. I have even been able to shed light on some of the features in the ‘Heritage Halls’ – many don’t know of the existence of the luggage lifts!
It has been interesting to return to teaching, as it is 17 years since I left being a primary school teacher – I must admit I had forgotten about the marking! In my role as an Educational Psychologist I have always delivered training to school staff and so this bit isn’t new but it is great to be able to get more deeply into subjects with the Masters and NASENCO students.
What I enjoy most about teaching at Leeds Trinity
I enjoy encouraging students to look critically at the world around them. I like to present them with a topic area and then have debate about the range of opinions that are out there. I think that having adults who are able to unpick situations, not jump to conclusions, is in the best interests of the young people that they work with. Knowing that my teaching might help this to happen is a privilege.
My advice for prospective students interested in the courses I teach on
I teach two Masters level courses. The key thing for both is to make sure that you put aside time to do them above the teaching time. We often have students that are juggling work and the course and making sure that you have time to keep up with everything is the challenge. It is most definitely possible and incredibly rewarding to achieve!
Finally, your ideas and experiences are valuable and are always welcome in sessions. Debate and discussions happen in a space where people feel comfortable and we need to promote this for our students and for the young people that we work with.