BA in Gaeilge and French
Overall Student of the Year
Why did you choose teaching?
A bit of a cliché, but I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. When I was 4, I would line my dolls and teddies, putting on my best ‘teacher voice’ and tearing up the phone book for worksheets.
What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Mary Immaculate College, I did the BA in Gaeilge, French and TEFL. I acquired a real grá for Gaeilge there. Throughout my time in MIC, I worked as an EAL teacher in the Clare Language Centre.
Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area?
My research project was based on teachers’ awareness of ASD. I focused on teacher training, the diagnosis of ASD, and strategies for teaching children with ASD. My final teaching practice school really opened me up to the exceptional work done with children with ASD. With an awareness that the number of children being diagnosed with ASD is rapidly rising, I was keen to find out more.
Who do you feel has influenced your teaching?
It’s hard to list them all. I had some amazing teachers in my own primary school; St Aidan’s in Shannon. My principal then, Ger Loughnane, was my hero. He really cared about the lives of every pupil. On final TP, I was lucky enough to work with some amazing teachers in Ennis NS. Any challenging situation I come across in school, I always think what would they do. Last, but certainly not least, the staff in my current school, Our Lady Queen of Peace, with particular mention to the principal; Michael Ryan. Michael is the most benevolent principal there is, and he instils compassion and kindness across the school.
Now that you have graduated, what are your plans?
Right now, I am teaching a fabulous senior infant class and I’m just enjoying teaching for the time being.
What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME?
Children don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. You’ll help your students find important things they’ve lost every day. Sometimes it might be a pencil, or a crayon… other times it might be courage, confidence, or a smile.