Madeleine Fresko-Brown (2008)
Politics, Psychology & Sociology
Assistant headteacher, secondary education
“Every year, I take a school trip to Trinity Hall”
How do you look back on your time at Trinity Hall?
I loved my time at Trinity Hall. I got very involved in the JCR as first year rep and then vice president. Both roles provided me with lots of very fun times, great relationships with students and staff, and more of an understanding of the inner workings of the college and CUSU. I have particularly fond memories of living and socialising – I mean working – on H staircase and Bishop Bateman’s Court (BBC), Hall, the bar, Latham Lawn, and the library. Fancy dress VIVAs were a highlight of every fortnight, and our mass College wedding, complete with Haribo rings, was a joyous and memorable occasion.
How did your time at Trinity Hall impact on your career?
Three main ways I can think of – first of all, it was a fellow Trinity Haller who suggested I apply for Teach First. I applied in my second year, got a place, and never looked back. I have loved my career in English teaching so far. Secondly, every year, I take a school trip to Trinity Hall. The Schools’ Liaison Officers have been fantastic in organising tailored English-themed days for my students, several of whom have since applied or are planning to apply when they reach year 13. Thirdly, I have come full circle this year in terms of the psychology aspect of my course – as I have become very interested in how we can best use cognitive science to help pupils learn and remember more.
Do you have any advice for other women looking to work in your field?
There are plenty of women in education – but the numbers drop off somewhat when looking at senior leadership and headship positions, especially in secondary. Be brave, be yourself, and don’t be afraid to apply for positions before you feel 100% ready – plenty of men do! I’m going back to work after having my baby full-time, but I’d also love to see more women and men pushing for and looking for creative ways of working in leadership roles part time and job sharing – a few schools now have co-head teachers, which is my dream for the future.
Who are your female role models?
I’m currently feeling inspired by female head teachers who are doing this incredibly challenging job and raising a family – Carly Mitchell, Rebecca Cramer and Liz Robinson to name just a few I have come into contact with.
What is your greatest career or academic achievement to date?
Applying and interviewing for the position of assistant headteacher while on maternity leave!