Tiarnán De Hál
Coláiste Pobail Ráth Chairn, Kells, Meath
Bachelor Business Studies – Trinity College, Dublin
John O’Connor Award. awarded by the Business Studies Teachers’ Association of Ireland
Why did you choose teaching & why Hibernia College?
I chose teaching because I enjoy a challenge, which is something that the teaching profession certainly provides. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for camaraderie, through working as part of a team; the opportunity to work within the energetic environment provided by young people; as well as the opportunity to participate in further research, exploration and learning. It’s a truly vibrant field of work that allows for ongoing social interaction, which enhances ongoing opportunities to grow and develop.
I also chose teaching because my experience of substitute teaching, that I commenced a number of years ago, led me to believe that I could make a positive contribution to the profession, in a capacity that I prefer to refer to as a ‘facilitator of learning’.
What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME?
Following completion of my undergraduate degree in Business Studies, I worked in a variety of roles in a number of businesses – which included managing a mushroom farm. However, the sudden death of my wife and daughter following a car accident a number of years back prompted a considerable change of direction. This change of direction, which incorporated lots of work on personal development, including an appreciation of the importance of ‘cumarsáid trí mheán na Gaeilge’, has ultimately led to me pursuing my educational journey.
Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area?
My research project focused on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) needs of teachers, with particular emphasis on the CPD needs of teachers that are charged with responsibility for the promotion of student well-being. I focused on this area because it was one that I wished to enhance my understanding of, given that I was facing the challenge of promoting student well-being in my role as a class tutor on a daily basis throughout my studies. I sought, therefore, to deepen my knowledge of the area, so as to enhance my ability to fulfill this role to the best of my ability, through learning from others faced with similar challenges, as well as through reading the relevant evidenced-based research and literature
Now that you have graduated, what are your plans?
I plan to continue my journey in a manner that allows me further enhance my understanding of our function here as spiritual beings – most particularly my understanding of why we should proceed in any particular direction.
What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME.
Try and get a good flavour of life in the classroom/school environment in advance – through substitution work, if possible. As it’s only through gaining this experience that one gets a true taste of what life as a teacher is really like. All the webinars, lectures, study, research and onsite sessions pale into insignificance in comparison.