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Deborah Coates

Mathematics teacher

Deborah Coates left Leeds with a degree in Mathematics in 2002. She has since tried her hand at accountancy and finally settled on teaching as her career choice.

What did you do after graduation?
I worked in accounts offices in Durham for a year as I thought I wanted to be an accountant. I later decided that this was not for me and decided to study teacher training. I went back to Leeds University as I had enjoyed my degree so much. I currently work as a Mathematics teacher in Durham.

How do you use the knowledge you gained from your studies in your job?
I teach further Maths A Level so use my degree knowledge regularly, especially when students ask questions beyond the A Level syllabus.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
When the first of my students went on to study Maths at University.

What would you say to someone thinking of becoming a Maths teacher?
Teaching is a lot harder than I expected it to be, there’s a lot of paperwork you don’t see as a student, but it’s really rewarding, especially when you see a student fall in love with the subject you feel so passionate about.

Why did you choose to study maths?
I loved it at school and wanted to avoid writing essays.

What made you choose Leeds?
The School was really welcoming when I came to the open day and I loved the city. My first impressions were right – the Maths department was great and I returned to do my teacher training in 2003.

What do you think appeals most to students studying at Leeds’ School of Mathematics?
The University is in a perfect location close to the city centre and the surrounding student areas in Hyde Park and Headingley provide a mini community. The tutors were friendly and approachable.

What would you say to other students thinking of coming to Leeds University?
Do it! Leeds University is great and the city itself is amazing. I persuaded my younger sister to follow in my footsteps and study at Leeds.