Photo of Caoimhe Leacy

Alumni profile

Caoimhe Leacy

PME in Post-Primary Education



Creagh College, Gorey


Bachelor of Business (Hons) Degree


The John O’Connor Award for Excellence in Business Studies Teaching

Why did you choose teaching and why Hibernia College? 

Teaching had always been the plan. Having completed a Bachelor of Business (Hons) Degree, specialising in Economics, I decided to work for a year to save for the HDip. However, as the years passed, life got in the way and I felt that I had missed my opportunity. Having my little girl stirred up those feelings again — I wanted to become someone she could look up, to show her that with hard work and perseverance, she too can achieve anything she sets her mind to. So, in 2020 while the world came to a standstill, I took the leap. Hibernia College was the obvious option for me as it provided me with a medium to pursue a lifelong ambition while being able to work part-time and take care of my daughter.

What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME? 

After college, I spent two years working in finance, but I was still very much drawn to the education sector. I was lucky to get a job as a Dean of students in an international boarding school, where I spent eight years learning more from those students than I could ever thank them for. They taught me to listen, to be fun, to be compassionate, to lead by example, and to, above all, be fair. The feeling you get when you help a student to achieve a goal or overcome a struggle is why I chose to become a teacher.

Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area? 

I chose to research the impact of motivation on behaviour while exploring which strategies and initiatives best promote positive behaviour in the Irish secondary school classroom. It was an area that I had a huge interest in after my years as a Dean of students and one I felt would ultimately provide me with evidence-based strategies that could enhance my classroom practice.

Now that you have graduated, what are your plans? 

This September, I secured a maternity contract as a Business and Special Education teacher and just recently, I was successful in securing a pro-rata contract for Special Education in Creagh College, Gorey. This was also where I carried out my placements. I love working in Creagh College; it is a fantastic school to work in with a really positive learning environment, where the student-centred approach to teaching and learning is evident in the strong student-teacher relationships and in every aspect of school life. Fingers crossed, I never have to leave!

What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME?

Do it, don’t let another day go by thinking ‘what if’. It is not easy; it is a massive commitment and it is tough work. However, the two years go fast, and all the sacrifices are worth it to be able to pursue a career in teaching. I would also advise to make friends in your cohort — support each other and share resources and lesson ideas. I don’t know if I would have got through it without my Hibernia College crew.

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