I chose Leeds Trinity because I felt that they would offer me the most support and theory necessary to be the best teacher I can be.
Life before Leeds Trinity
I worked as an Operational Support Grade Prison Officer for the Prison Service for 8 years. I decided to change my career to get more job satisfaction. I felt like I had achieved everything I could in my position and I did not want to go for a promotion. It wasn’t until I was on maternity leave with my second child that I decided the time was right to make a change. I wanted to step away from shift work and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the spark in my own children when they learnt a new skill. I knew that this was the right way for me.
I began by going back to college to re-do my GCSE Maths, self-teaching myself GCSE Science and volunteering in a local school one day a week. Once I passed these I began my journey at Leeds Trinity. The two years at Leeds Trinity took a lot of dedication and hard work but it all paid off.
My best memories from my studies
The support from the tutors was amazing and meeting likeminded people.
The skills I left with
I left with the ability to deliver very pro-active and hands on lessons – especially in maths and science. I feel Leeds Trinity gave me the foundations I need to be an excellent teacher.
I have developed a love for maths resources which has been a hit in my current classroom. I have found that my class have a solid grasp of place value through the use of a variety of resources I was taught at Leeds Trinity.
The value of placements
The variety of the schools has helped me lots in finding out the type of school I wanted to work in. The placement schools allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them first-hand. I believe the work experience is where you find out the type of teacher you are, your strengths and weaknesses. I found that Leeds Trinity were very supportive throughout my placements and were able to guide me even when I had self-doubt.
Within my first placement I was like a rabbit in head lights, juggling family life and a classroom life was very tough. The support was amazing, I was directed to various sources to help me within the classroom, where I could turn to for help and the tutors genuinely cared about their students.
Showing my students the real me
To be inspiring to children I believe that you need to accept your weaknesses and not shy away from them but incorporate this within the classroom. I regularly involve my class in my learning journey and my failures. How can we expect children to strive to do their best and persevere without giving them real life stories to relate to?
Also, children thrive on a positive atmosphere, where it is positive reinforcement, respectful of their opinions and/or giving them space to make their own choices, regardless if these are the right choices. We as teachers have a duty to guide them in the right direct but also support them during the path is not clear.
My advice to others thinking about a teaching course at Leeds Trinity
Take the leap and accept all the advice that is offered. The PGCE year goes incredibly fast and there is a lot of information to take on board. I still refer back to the guidance offered to me during my course.