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Alumni profile

Emma Maloney

PME in Primary Education



Mercy Primary School, Birr


Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education


Hibernia College Student of the Year Award

Why did you choose teaching and why Hibernia College? 

On completion of my degree, I was interested in pursuing a career in both primary teaching and speech and language therapy. As a result, I decided to gain some experience working in a primary school abroad in the United Arab Emirates. This experience assured me that primary teaching was the career path for me. I chose Hibernia College as the blended learning approach allowed me to work as a substitute teacher and gain more experience while completing my degree.

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

I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education in Mary Immaculate College. On completion of my undergraduate degree, I moved to the UAE and worked as a primary school teacher for two years in Um Al Quwain. Following these two years abroad, I returned home and worked in a local preschool and as an afterschool leader. I later began working as a substitute teacher in local schools.

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

My research project was titled An Integrative Literature Review, Exploring the Approach to Promoting Pupil Wellbeing, in Primary Schools. My interest in this topic originally arose after subbing in a school that was taking part in a pilot programme for ‘Wellbeing Week’. This interest was strengthened as wellbeing became a greater focus in society and schools, particularly since the pandemic. As a result, I was keen to research the area and identify ways to incorporate aspects of wellbeing promotion into my own practice to enhance pupils’ wellbeing in the classroom.

Now that you have graduated, what are your plans? 

Since finishing with Hibernia College, I have been very fortunate to secure a job for this academic year. I am currently teaching the lovely Sixth Class in Mercy Primary School, Birr. I have also started Droichead, and my plan is to complete the Droichead process this year.

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

I would advise people to get some experience in a primary school and talk to other teachers to make sure it is what they want to do. If you can get some experience working as a substitute teacher, it will also be very beneficial when you start school placement. The idea of school placement can be daunting, but having previous classroom experience definitely helps to build confidence.

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