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Profile picture of Zoe Brzezinska.

Deputy Head of Primary, British International School of Wroclaw

Being a teacher is all I ever wanted to do, and I love it as much today as I did on that very first lesson I taught.

Why I chose to attend Leeds Trinity

Choosing a university is no easy task, there are so many elements to consider – course quality, facilities, accommodation, future prospects. This is why I chose Leeds Trinity; I remember walking onto the campus for the first time and immediately feeling safe and I could see myself studying there. Everything about Leeds Trinity impressed me. The smaller campus was a big selling point for me as I came from a small town and had felt overwhelmed by the larger universities I had visited previously. Upon meeting the head of the Primary Education course, I was impressed by the teaching style, course material and the reputation.

Zoe Brzezińska international.

My best memories from Leeds Trinity and what I enjoyed most about the course

My three years at Leeds Trinity were some of the best years of my life. I have so many incredible memories, made amazing friends for life and I watched us all grow our knowledge, passion and become professionals. I also enjoyed the smaller class sizes that Leeds Trinity can offer as I felt more supported, and my progression targets were more individually met by my lecturers and my incredible progress tutor Bev.

Gaining extra experience through placements

During my degree, I completed four placements, one in a Roman Catholic primary school, two in a non-domination primary school and one in a Special Education school. These were immensely helpful in my development as a teacher. Each provided me with a unique insight and experience of different educational settings. It allowed me to observe different teaching styles which showed me the kind of teacher I wanted to be but also the kind of teacher I didn’t want to be which is equally as important. I developed my classroom confidence, subject knowledge and extended the expectations I had for myself. In each placement, your teaching time increases which was supported the entire time and meant I felt fully prepared to enter the classroom as a qualified teacher when I graduated.

How my career panned out after graduation

After leaving Leeds Trinity, I took a break from education surroundings and took a gap year by working as a restaurant supervisor and acting manager, which allowed me to develop my leadership skills and how to handle situations under pressure which would prove invaluable in my teaching.

By the end of that year, I knew I wanted to work in the international sector and began applying for jobs abroad. In the summer of 2017, I was offered a KS2 teaching position at the British International School of Cracow - Wrocław. Coming from a Polish heritage it seemed like the perfect opportunity, so I packed my bags and moved to Poland. My first year at BISC was as a Year 5 class teacher which was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking, however my training at Leeds Trinity proved as invaluable as I had thought, and I impressed both staff and parents.

Zoe Brzezińska main image 2.

My class made exceptional progress and were always happy to be in my class. Despite starting on a 1-year contract, I have continued to extend my contract at BISC, and I have now been there for 5 years. I moved to teaching Year 4 in 2018, where I have remained for the last 4 years. My training at Leeds Trinity, which included teaching all year groups meant the move was not daunting, I knew how to alter my teaching and approach to match the children’s needs.

In 2019, the Deputy Head of Primary decided to step down from the position, and a fellow colleagues suggested I applied. Initially, I was unsure as I was still very early in my teaching career but ultimately decided to apply, the worst that could happen was they said no. However, I was offered the position; my dedication to my students, organisation, eagerness to run and participate in school events and taking on private students for tutoring had impressed the heads and owners. I had formed excellent relationships with my colleagues, students and the families and they believed I was ready for the extra responsibility. I work closely with the head of primary and head of school to ensure that we are delivering a well-rounded, enjoyable, and effective curriculum but also that we are a welcoming and safe environment for all children.

Wanting to be a teacher

Being a teacher is all I ever wanted to do, and I love it as much today as I did on that very first lesson I taught. Teaching in the international sector has allowed me to meet people from all around the world, learn about new cultures, languages and travel. My proudest moments as a teacher are seeing my students who arrive not knowing a single word of English, speak full sentences for the first time, and as their English develops watching their confidence explode and their full personalities shine. It never fails to make me smile and beam with pride.

My advice to others thinking about attending Leeds Trinity

My advice to anyone considering Leeds Trinity for teacher training. Do it. They provided me with invaluable advice and experience. I would not be here today with the knowledge and experience I have, had it not been for Leeds Trinity and their incredible team of lecturers.