Alex Ó Ceallaigh
Scoil Mhuire Junior School
TSM Modern Irish and German
Duais Ghaeilge Gael Linn
Why did you choose teaching and why Hibernia College?
From a young age, I’ve always had an interest in teaching. Many of the positive work experiences I have enjoyed involved some form of teaching. I knew it was a profession that would motivate and excite me. This motivation comes from working with young people and how important it is to give them the best opportunities within education. I was very lucky with the great teachers I’ve had over the years and the constant support from my family in becoming a teacher. I chose Hibernia College for many reasons. The opportunity to study from the comforts of your own home or anywhere in Ireland appealed to me. This was made even more appealing with the breakout of the pandemic in 2020. Hibernia College is well set up in adapting to a changing environment as it is especially suited to modern trends and keeping up with developments in technology.
What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME?
Before I started my PME, I graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Two Subject Moderatorship degree in Modern Irish and German. I then gained experience from a few different avenues. I taught beginner and intermediate Irish to adults in a local Gaelscoil. In the same Gaelscoil, I was involved with the after-school homework club. The year before I started the PME, I worked as a German-language sales agent in a telemarketing company. I also volunteered at Irish-language radio stations Raidió na Life and Raidió Rí-Rá.
Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area?
The inspiration for the research project began in our first school placement. I was inspired by the supportive work of special needs assistants (SNAs) within the school environment. I believe in the important role they play in the lives of so many students every day. This led me to choose the area of addressing inclusion for children with additional needs. The role of the SNA can help facilitate inclusion, but the research indicated that frequent training and acquired knowledge in the area will help build inclusive learning environments for all.
Now that you have graduated, what are your plans?
As a newly qualified teacher, I am looking forward to continuing my journey in education. Since graduating from Hibernia College, I have secured a position as a learning support teacher, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Through this experience, I hope to complete the Droichead framework. I’m working closely with my fellow work colleagues within the school, of whom I’m gaining a wealth of knowledge in becoming a successful teacher. I hope to continue on this path of improving my teaching as best I can.
What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME?
One of the most important things you can do is get some life experience within the sector. Try and volunteer at a school within your area and gain insight into whether this would be a job you would enjoy. If the idea of lifelong learning appeals to you, primary teaching is the job for you.