Training Teacher Segment Manager, Twinkl
My role centres around supporting trainee teachers, which is just perfect for me. For seven years I was a School Based Tutor for trainees, and I really honed my skills during this time.
My inspiration to become a teacher
We have a history of teachers running in the family, but I also remember when I was at Primary School, there was only one male teacher, Mr Simpson. He was a bit of a novelty but at the same time a very influential male role model.
Why I chose Leeds Trinity
I chose to study at Leeds Trinity for a number of reasons. The campus was close enough to home and the institution had such a great reputation for teacher training. And my mind was made up after attending an open day and experiencing the close personal feel and approach.
My best memories from my student days
Going to Leeds Trinity really took me out of my comfort zone, as I was suddenly on my own in a new place. This gave me a chance to really ‘be myself’. I managed to do things I’ve never done before, this included playing in the Rugby Union team in my final year. During this year I was also a Senior Resident Warden and I worked in the Students’ Union bar.
The block placement the University offers in schools proved to be a massive highlight of my learning experience. My first practice as a teacher made me realise ‘I could really do it’ and that I absolutely loved it! Receiving feedback on how natural my teaching style came across was extremely fulfilling.
The skills I left with
I left Leeds Trinity with a sound understanding and knowledge of child development and the differing needs of a range of children from diverse backgrounds. I felt that I really mastered my own understanding and learnt ‘why’ certain methodology could really make a difference and break through barriers.
My career since graduating
My first role in teaching was a massive learning experience. I went for the first job that became available in 2011 but then I left two thirds of the way through my NQT year, after being advised by the Union to leave. As you can imagine, this did make me question if I really wanted to be a teacher. But the answer was a resounding yes and a positive come out of the situation at the hardest point in my career.
After I resigned, I picked up two weeks of supply work at a Primary School in Ossett. But the two weeks turned into seven years! Straight away my confidence was boosted as I became the Early Years Leader. Not only this, after I was open and honest at the beginning, the school really helped me to successfully finish my NQT year. I threw myself in to everything at this time, including being a Teacher Governor and Chair of the PTA.
After seven years, I really wanted a Special Needs role, so I started to investigate the options available. In January 2017 I started a new role at a special needs school, and this was challenging, interesting and rewarding as well as a really big step up. I was teaching children with severe medical and learning needs. I had to learn a lot, including how to provide the best possible learning environment for children with autism.
Being able to support others by working for Twinkl
I opted for a new challenge after two years of being a Special Needs Teacher. It was a very tough challenge and I thought I could deliver something better elsewhere. My role as Training Teacher Segment Manager for Twinkl started in 2020 and ensured I lost none of my passion for teaching. My role centres around providing resources for trainee teachers, which is just perfect for me. For seven years I was a School Based Tutor for trainees, and I really honed my skills during this time.
I share various material on Twitter and Facebook, including a Facebook live event every Wednesday at 8.00pm for which I take questions to answer in advance and I also orchestrate trainee teacher blogs. I have built up a big audience in a short time and it is very fulfilling to reach so many people tune in to each session.
My advice to trainees and NQTs
My new role is centred on giving advice to trainees, NQTs and RQTs. I have learned so much throughout my teaching career and I'm now in a very fortunate position to be able to help others. As you will have read above, I made mistakes, but I learned from all of them and do all I can to support others who may be experiencing similar pressures or difficulties. Teaching is a tough but rewarding career and it is really great to be able to learn from others and pick their brains when needed.