Photo of Shane Whelan

Alumni profile


Shane Whelan

PME in Primary Education



Churchtown, Gaelscoil na Fuinseoige


Degree in Nua-Ghaeilge and German & Masters in Nua-Ghaeilge in NUI Maynooth


An Duais Ghaeilge Gael Linn / The Gael Linn Irish Prize

Why did you choose teaching & why  Hibernia College?

I had been away travelling for a few years and I spent some time in South Korea and Vietnam teaching English. When I finished there and moved on I realised that I missed teaching and wanted to go back to it. I decided to go with Hibernia as they offered the choice of starting the course in either April or September, this appealed to me as I didn’t have to wait for a year or 6 months to begin. I began immediately after returning from my travels and this meant that I didn’t feel like I was wasting any time, once I knew what I wanted to do I was very eager to get started.


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

I completed a degree in Nua-Ghaeilge and German and a masters in Nua-Ghaeilge in NUI Maynooth. I travelled and worked abroad for a number of years in various management and ESL/EAL teaching roles before I started the PME.


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

The title of my research project is ‘An investigation of Primary school teachers’ attitudes and confidence towards teaching Gaeilge and whether or not they feel that their training and the resources available to them are sufficient in order for them to teach Gaeilge?’. I am very passionate about Gaeilge and I noticed that some qualified teachers along with some of my peers had been a bit apprehensive and demotivated when it came to teaching Gaeilge. I was interested in finding out why this was the case and what could be done to support them.


No that you have graduated, what are your plans?

I was lucky enough to secure a position in an amazing school in Churchtown, Gaelscoil na Fuinseoige. I teach a Senior Infant class and I am really enjoying it, my plan is to focus on my teaching and further develop my skills over the coming year. I am in the middle of the Droichead process too and am looking forward to finishing that around April.


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

My advice to anyone considering starting a PME is to go and volunteer at a primary school for a few weeks to make sure it is what you want to do. If this is a career you really want then it can be an excellent experience and very rewarding. I would also advise anyone starting the course to expose themselves to as much Gaeilge as possible, if you aren’t comfortable with Gaeilge this is especially important, it’s not going to go away so you need to work harder at it. Gaelscoileanna would be delighted to have an extra pair of hands in the classroom, volunteer to help infants with their reading or support a teacher during stations or group work. This will give you the chance to observe teachers in Gaelscoileanna teaching ‘as Gaeilge’ all day and you will also get the opportunity to practice your Gaeilge in a natural environment.

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