Profile picture of Joe Matthews .

Teacher, Grove House Primary School

The placements that Leeds Trinity organised for me were essential in helping me become the teacher I am today.

Why I chose to study at Leeds Trinity 

I chose to study at Leeds Trinity because of its well-established reputation as a leading teaching institution. Their strong connections with local schools made the teaching placements much less daunting. 

Joe Matthews main image.

My best memories from my studies

The best memories I have from studying at Leeds Trinity are the relationships I was able to form while on the course. My course mates were all so friendly and there was a real sense of camaraderie and that we were all on this adventure together. Through their consistent support and guidance, I built many positive relationships with the staff at Leeds Trinity who I still keep in contact with now. Most importantly I was able to form strong relationships with the children I taught on placement. 

Ultimately, I chose to teach because I am enthusiastic about the development of young people and studying at Leeds Trinity gave me my first opportunity to develop and nurture a number of young people, which is something that I will forever be grateful for.   

The skills I gained from studying on the course 

Obviously I learnt skills directly associated to the practice of teaching such as pedagogy and behaviour management. But I think more importantly I learnt skills such as effective communication that I can use not only in the classroom but in my wider life. My experience in the classroom really developed my confidence which I would be nowhere without today. 

The value of the placements

The placements played a critical role in developing my practice as a teacher. Leeds Trinity gave me contrasting placements which allowed me to see a wide spectrum of children. This experience, while it was tough at times, made me so much more aware of issues that surround education and exposed me to the real world of teaching. It may sound strange, but the only way to become better at teaching is to just go out and do it, so the placements that Leeds Trinity organised for me were essential in helping me become the teacher I am today. 

Ongoing support

There are always people who I feel extremely comfortable to contact, whether that be concerning university work, placement issues or more recently support as an NQT. The transition is not easy from student teacher to NQT but I feel really well supported which is making that transition a lot smoother. 

The makings of an inspiring teacher

I think an inspiring teacher is someone who cares about the progress of their students and passionate about the development of young people. I also think an inspiring teacher is someone who doesn’t seek to make every lesson perfect because that is not possible, a great teacher is someone who is just consistently good. 

My advice to others thinking about a career in teaching

Don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go exactly how you want them to. I have had plenty of times where I have wanted the ground to open up and swallow me up, but it is important that you learn from those times so that your next lesson is better. Be proactive and seek help, people are there to support you and you don’t look like a failure if you ask for help, Rome wasn’t built in a day and no one is expecting you to be the perfect teacher from day one.