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Gemma Fallon

PME in Primary Education

School of Education

Photo of  Gemma Fallon

Location

Dublin


School

Holy Family Senior National School


Education

Bachelor of Arts in History, Trinity College


Awards

Hibernia College Research Prize


Why did you choose teaching and why Hibernia College?

I chose teaching because when I was working as an optical assistant, I realised my favourite days were when I was able to work with children. I decided to start volunteering as a girl guides leader and as an English tutor abroad and loved it. I chose Hibernia as it gave me the opportunity to work in an afterschool crèche, gaining more experience working with children, while studying at the same time.

 

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

After my degree in History from Trinity College Dublin, I worked as an optical assistant, which was great experience in the work force and it also helped me to realise I loved working with people, especially children. I moved to Stockholm and worked as an English tutor for school-aged children and loved it. I came home to apply for the PME. During this time, I trained and worked as a yoga teacher.

 

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

As a yoga teacher, my love for health and wellbeing grew and I became passionate about teaching children skills that are learned through the practice of yoga to help them deal with challenges in life and develop self-regulation. I had helped to run a yoga camp and saw the many ways yoga can be brought to school children and the benefits that came with it. I always knew I would do my research project on yoga for children and when I began to look into it more, I became interested in the way wellbeing is promoted in Irish schools and how yoga and mindfulness could contribute to it. When the pandemic began, it was clear that wellbeing would be more important than ever for schools. I wanted to research and compile a study that would outline the current situation in schools and offer some recommendations for future research and practice.

 

Now that you have graduated, what are your plans?

My plans are to get settled into a school where I can continue to grow as a teacher. In the future, I hope to study children’s wellbeing and restorative practice in schools so I can develop my knowledge and skills in the area. I am really inspired by Fiona Forman, co-author of Weaving Wellbeing, and would love to get involved in the curriculum for wellbeing in schools.

 

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

If you are considering a career in teaching and are hoping to do the PME, I would advise you to go for it! Get yourself organised with your very first teacher desk to study from at home and get stuck into the online material. Give the onsites your all as this is where you are able to learn from experienced teachers as well as your peers. Sharing ideas, stories from placement and learning from my class at the onsites are my favourite memories from the PME.