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Maths Teacher, Thirsk School

At the end of the lesson or a busy week it is so rewarding to know you have made a positive difference.

A change of career

It was actually during a PhD that I decided I had to be a teacher. Despite both of my parents being teachers, this was my eureka moment, at a time I was on a very different path. I was given the opportunity to teach undergraduates and I loved it so much that I knew that this was the career for me.

Why I chose Leeds Trinity

For my teacher training, I really wanted to be associated with a school and the Schools Direct route at Leeds Trinity offered me just this. I also really liked the fact that the first part of the course was campus-based learning. The curriculum and the timetable looked just right for what I needed.

Sarah O'Mahony in classroom.

My best memories

My best memories all come from what I miss the most about being at Leeds Trinity. These are my classmates and the staff that gave me so much support as a student. I must give ICE Lecturer, Catherine Bell, a special mention as I learnt so much from her, especially how to ‘teach’ maths.

What makes an inspiring teacher

I had an inspiring Maths Teacher when I was in year 10 of secondary school, she really helped me to overcome a big obstacle in my life. She realised that I was amazing in the lessons but not good in exams. This was due to me being dyslexic - and this was something I’d always tried to hide. With a bit of extra help that was arranged for me, I progressed from set three to set one.

I don’t hide this any more, I share it with my students. I have a few in my form with dyslexia and it is nice to be able to help them based on my own experiences.

Sarah O'Mahony next to school lockers a.

My advice to others about to embark on their NQT year

I knew that my NQT year would be challenging, but whilst it has been hard it has been very enjoyable at the same time. As teachers, we all must like a challenge and at the end of the lesson or a busy week, it is so rewarding to know you have made a positive difference.

When you have your own classroom make sure you get to know all the kid’s aspirations for the future. I want to know where they all want to be in ten years time and I get them all to write this on a poster. My focus really is on ‘them’ and helping them to visualise everything.

My advice for anyone thinking about a teaching course at Leeds Trinity

I would definitely recommend contacting Leeds Trinity and seeking advice about the courses on offer. Don’t just look at the website, speak to someone that can tell you all the details you need to know about the course you are interested in. And don’t just stop there, speak to someone who has been there and done it too.