Réalt na Mara GNS in Donacarney, Co. Meath
Bachelor of Arts and Humanities in Geography, Gaeilge and Human Development
St. Patrick’s College
Overall Student of the Year
INTO Vere Foster Outstanding Performance in School Experience
Why did you choose teaching & why Hibernia College?
From a very young age I have always wanted to become a teacher. My grandmother was a primary school teacher and from a very young age I have fond memories of my grandmother’s passion for teaching and I look forward to using the resources which she passed down to me. This factor along with having amazingly kind and inspirational primary school teachers throughout my own education truly motivated me to become a teacher.
What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME?
I completed a Bachelor of Arts and Humanities in Geography, Gaeilge and Human Development (Psychology, Philosophy and Sociology) in St. Patrick’s College initially. Immediately after I completed this degree I became very involved in the family business. From there I went on to qualify as a pharmaceutical technician. I thoroughly loved this career as you were so involved in communicating and caring for the community as well as being part of a collaborative pharmaceutical team. However, I always knew I had that underlying passion for teaching which could simply not be ignored.
Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area?
I have always had a great passion for the well-being of the children in my care, whether it be whilst substitute teaching in schools or on each of my teaching practices. My aim was to research if and how collaborative learning helped develop the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills of a child. Children nowadays have far more emotional challenges to deal with in comparison to when we grew up. I was very eager to further my knowledge and uncover various strategies to empower children with skills which would in turn help them tackle life’s many challenges.
Now that you have graduated, what are your plans?
I have been very fortunate to have secured a position in a local school. I am currently teaching an amazing group of girls in 3rd class. It is such great experience to finally have free reign with my own class to further develop my teaching skills and inspire a younger generation.
What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME.
When I began my journey of becoming a teacher, a very close friend of mine gave me a great piece of advice. That was to aim to have your lesson plans completed the weekend before where possible. This meant my main focuses during the week were my assessment records and creating resources which allowed me to get to bed relatively early each night and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
As I had been working as a full-time pharmaceutical technician in a permanent position, it was a very difficult decision for me to begin the PME as it meant I would have had to reduce my hours and income essentially for the following two years. However, although teaching can be a difficult and time-consuming career at times it has been such an enjoyable and unimaginably rewarding vocation to date. I have never looked back on my decision and therefore my second piece of advice I would give is that if you think it feels right go for it. There’s no time like the present!