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Teacher of students with severe learning difficulties, Coventry LEA

My advice to a prospective student would be - go for it! You will have fantastic support, interesting courses and resources to acquire the skills and qualifications to help you gain your dream job or career.

Why I chose to study at Leeds Trinity

I chose to study at Leeds Trinity as it offered the course I wanted to study, within a small campus, which had a family feel. I returned to study for my PGCE three years after graduating as I liked Leeds Trinity and it offered the course I wanted to do again, as well as having a great reputation.

My best memories from being a student

I have many memorable experiences from both times I studied at Leeds Trinity. The Geography field trips and placement within Leeds and Barnsley Councils were really enlightening. I particularly enjoyed working with the Countryside Team and going out and about with the Park Rangers. I also really enjoyed the research projects and developing a greater understanding of ecology.

Whilst studying for my PGCE I gained some experience of teaching English to some visitors from Spain. I also really benefitted from my placement within an inner-city school and loved gaining experience of the more challenging children and supporting their needs. The social side of studying at Trinity Leeds enabled me to make some lifelong friendships.

Julie Reid main image.

Overcoming challenges

The main challenge that I had to overcome was believing in myself that I could achieve. Some of my secondary education experience wasn’t positive overall and I was told by some teachers that I wouldn’t gain any qualifications. This was one of the reasons I wanted to become a teacher so that the kids I teach would never be made to feel that way.

How my time at Leeds Trinity prepared me for my career

My studies prepared me with the qualifications and training to enable me to teach a range of children. It gave me the confidence to go abroad and teach primary education in schools. I have been able to acquire experience of teaching a wide range of different ages and in different educational settings - such as Pupil Referral Units, special education and a variety of primary schools across Yorkshire, Lancashire and Coventry.

Teaching students with severe learning difficulties

I have been teaching in a Secondary Special School for students with severe Learning Difficulties since 2008. I love teaching Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) students who I feel so blessed to be able to work with. My faith led me to my current job.

My career highlights

The highlights of my career so far have been the experience I’ve gained from living and working in Israel between my time at Leeds Trinity as well as teaching in Kuwait for four years, straight from qualifying as a teacher. It enabled me to learn about different cultures and I gained vast experiences of travelling to different places in Asia and the Middle East.

The children I teach in my current job is where my heart lies. I became so frustrated by the education system which I felt was failing children, especially those with Special Needs. So, when I received an unexpected letter through the post asking if I had ever considered working in a special school, I responded and never looked back

My advice to anyone thinking about training to be a teacher at Leeds Trinity

My advice to a prospective student would be - go for it! You will have fantastic support, interesting courses and resources to acquire the skills and qualifications to help you gain your dream job or career.