It makes me feel confident that through being provided the highest quality training, I can provide the highest quality teaching.
Why I chose to study at Leeds Trinity
I chose to study at Leeds Trinity because I really liked how the course was structured, with a mix of placement and university studies. I had already studied at the University of Leeds and enjoy what Leeds as a city has to offer. Having gone to the University of Leeds, which is a huge university, I wanted to embrace change. I like how Leeds Trinity is a smaller university, it makes it less overwhelming and feels more like a community.
Choosing the University-led route
I was aware of the different pathways before enrolling and I was considering a SCITT course. However, I liked how the University-led route allows you to ease into teaching, as well as develop your subject knowledge. That way, you are being trained to not only be an excellent teacher but an excellent teacher in your specific subject. Teaching can be a very difficult profession, so I wanted to ensure I would be given the most possible support during my training year. For me, the University-led route allows for trainees to reflect on and develop their teaching practice and prepare you for a career in teaching.
The best thing about the course
The best aspect of the course was being able to apply the ‘theory’ of teaching that I learn at university into practice at my placement school. I think it is a really exciting experience to feel more confident and secure in my subject knowledge and actually feel like a History teacher. The course has definitely supported me in taking control of my own development as a teacher and allowed me to pursue topic areas of my own interest.
The SKAP (subject knowledge and applied pedagogy) sessions with a specialist tutor are incredibly useful in exploring your subject further and practical ways of teaching it. I am really impressed by the specialism and expertise of the university tutors and it makes me feel confident that through being provided the highest quality training, I can provide the highest quality teaching. I also enjoyed discussing and sharing ideas and experiences with my fellow trainees on the course, and it made me feel I am part of the wider teaching community.
Being on placement
The placements have been a really beneficial experience and given everything going on with Covid-19 and the uncertainty, I think it was great that the university ensured we had experience in schools and even when we went into lockdown, the university supported trainees to adapt to online teaching and make the most of a remote experience. The university still had opportunities for trainees to reflect and improve their practice through weekly PES (Professional Education Studies) sessions.
Throughout the lockdown placement, I was still able to have online mentor meetings and meeting with my link and subject tutor to check-in on how my placement was going and what opportunities I have had to teach online, or at least get feedback for online lessons that I have planned. At times it felt like a very unlucky year to choose to do teacher training, but despite the uncertainty that has come with training this year it has been a really valuable experience to have been able to teach both in-person and show I am capable to quickly adapt to teaching online, too.
I have absolutely no regrets about training during the pandemic, and it helped me realise how much I am capable of and how we are all able to stay motivated as part of a wider teaching community when we place our students at the very heart of why we choose to be in the teaching profession.
Preparing me for my own class
I feel my placement was excellent in easing me into getting to know classes, with the goal in mind that I will take over these classes and consider them as my own. My mentor was incredibly supportive in recognising my strengths and areas of improvement. She was really understanding of the concerns I would have as a trainee but is always mindful that I was getting the necessary classroom and teaching experience needed and that my timetable progressively grew with more classes.
I think placement is crucial in getting that classroom experience and just immersing yourself into the world of teaching. It has been great to work with other staff members, both in and outside of the History Department and placement makes you realise what a vital source of support your co-workers are.
The university has many points of support, such as your link tutor, subject tutor, and the Trinity Wellbeing team. Whilst training was different due to Covid-19 and there being a national lockdown, I felt we were still supported during remote teaching and the university responded swiftly in providing a contingency plan on how to continue to develop our teaching from home during the second part of our placement.
We were also kept informed with frequent updates from the university on what the plan of action is and what we are expected to be doing during the lockdown placement, so we were never left in the dark and unsure of where the placement is going.
My advice to anyone thinking about a teaching course at Leeds Trinity
I would say apply right now! I can assure you that you will feel supported at Leeds Trinity and the university responds quickly to any of your concerns and equally, to any great and positive experiences you will have, too!
I believe Leeds Trinity delivers high-quality teacher training; your subject tutors are specialists in their field. Many tutors will have a vast amount of teaching experience as well, so they know exactly the experiences trainees will face, and the difficulties, so tutors are there to help you recognise and overcome them.
Leeds Trinity has been fantastic in supporting trainees with finding their first teaching job, there have been a whole host of workshops on applications and Q&A sessions with newly qualified and experienced teachers. In short, Leeds Trinity will ensure you are not only an excellent teacher, but an excellent teacher in your specific subject and that you feel confident in delivering high-quality teaching whether in the classroom or online.