St. Kilian's Community School, Bray
MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture
Outstanding Performance in School Experience and Professional Practice
Why did you choose teaching & why Hibernia College?
I have always had a love for education and effecting change in young people. This made teaching a natural career for me. I have a great love for English, and owe my own teachers a debt for giving me that love. Instilling that same passion in my students (attempting to anyway!) is incredibly fulfilling.
Once I had decided upon the path, I had to get onto it, and when researching teacher education Hibernia College’s accessible and innovative programme really stood out. The online community meant that I had constant support from my fellow students and colleagues.
What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME?
I was working as a bookseller for Dubray Books when I decided to apply for the PMEPP at Hibernia College. Through this position I had the opportunity to engage in dialogue with many Irish authors about their works, especially authors of children’s and young adult fiction. I feel that my work with Dubray Books has been a real benefit to my current position as my knowledge on children’s literature is a lot more comprehensive. I am able to advise students on books that are suitable for their age group and that they may enjoy, and have also accumulated a wide range of resources in relation to specific texts.
Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area?
My research study primarily focused on how heteronormativity influences experiences of education for students. The research dealt with questions relating to inequality of treatment or expectation within the classroom and school environment. The research study questions whether schools and teachers contribute to or reinforce inequality in relation to gender and sexuality, and whether an individual’s experience of their school environment affect their participation in education.
My interest in the area of research stemmed from both my School Experience and Professional Practice, and my previous MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture. I also feel that it is an area of great current relevance.
Now that you have graduated, what are your plans?
I am currently working in a wonderful DEIS school in Bray Co. Wicklow teaching English and my hope would be that I can continue to teach there. I have already had the most rewarding experiences within this school and have found that contributing to the extra-curricular/cross-curricular activities has really helped me to build strong relationships with my students and colleagues alike .
What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME?
It is extremely hard work! Having said that, doing the PME is one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you know it’s the career for you, then go ahead and do it.