Photo of Shona O'Sullivan

Alumni profile

Shona O’Sullivan

PME in Primary Education



Substitute teacher across a number of different schools in local area


BA in Irish and History,  University College Cork


Religious Studies Award


Why did you choose teaching & why  Hibernia College?

Since my own school days I have aspired to be a teacher. This is a reflection of my own positive and encouraging teachers who taught me the importance of being a positive role model for students in a fun, caring and safe environment. Yet, deciding between becoming a primary school teacher and a secondary school teacher was a challenge for me. After I completed my Undergraduate Degree I took a year out to help me make this decision. During this year I completed a Level 6 Special Needs Assistant Course and did work experience in both primary and secondary schools. It was during this work experience I came to the realisation that primary school teaching was the right career path for me. I then began researching PMEP courses and chose Hibernia College as the flexibility of this course allowed me to study online in my own time and gain the support of colleges at on-sites.


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

Before I started my PMEP I studied Irish and History in University College Cork for three years. After graduating from University College Cork, I then completed my Level 6 Special Needs Assisting Course.


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

My research project was entitled ‘Effective Strategies Primary School Teachers can implement in their Classrooms during Drama Lessons to Encourage Children to Participate.’ The rationale for this study was influenced by my experience of teaching this subject during my school placement. During one of my school placements I was fortunate to be teaching a class that thoroughly enjoyed drama. However, one child never wanted to participate fully in my drama lessons. I began researching drama strategies I could use to motivate this child and talking to my fellow colleagues about how to adapt my drama lessons to suit this child but none of these ideas were very successful.

When I began researching this topic for my research project I realised how under researched this primary school subject is. Nonetheless, the participants in my study helped me identify successfully practiced drama strategies that can be implemented in the classroom such as role play which encourage all children to participate in drama lessons. I am now more knowledgeable in this subject and enjoy teaching it in the classroom.


Now that you have graduated, what are your plans?

Since graduating I have been very lucky to get a lot of subbing jobs in my local area. I would love to get my DIP done this year and so I plan on trying to obtain a more permanent teaching position. I also plan on completing CPD courses and engaging in further studies to continue my learning as a primary school teacher.


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

I would advise any person considering starting a PMEP to get school experience and talk to other teachers about this career. I truly believe my prior work experience in primary schools helped me greatly during this course. I must admit I found this course challenging at times but it is important to focus on one deadline at a time. During these challenging times I turned to family, friends and my fellow Hibernia colleagues for support. Although this course is challenging you will get through it and have a rewarding job as a teacher.



Take the next step