St John of God Primary School, Kilkenny
Degree in Electronic Engineering University of Limerick
Why did you choose teaching & why Hibernia College?
I have always had an interest in teaching even though I initially pursued a different career path in Engineering. I feel that teaching is a very rewarding career and you really get the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of others.
I chose Hibernia college mainly due to the flexible nature of the programme. Having a young family meant that it was not feasible for me to return to college full time. The flexible nature of the Hibernia programme offered me the perfect opportunity to complete my studies in order to fulfill my ambition of becoming a primary school teacher.
What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME?
I initially studied Electronic Engineering in the University of Limerick and graduated in 2006 with a first class honours degree. I then proceeded to work in the electronics and telecommunications industries for over ten years. I found the work interesting and enjoyed my career. In 2015 I took on a managerial role, I felt that one of the most rewarding aspects of this job was developing the staff and watching them progress through the organisation. This reinforced my desire to teach as a profession and I finally took the plunge to commence my studies with Hibernia college in 2017. It is a decision that I’m glad I made as I am really enjoying my new career as a primary school teacher.
Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area?
My research project focused on how ICT can be used to enhance STEM education in Irish primary schools. With my background in engineering, the STEM subjects are areas that I really enjoy teaching. Having experienced working in the private sector, I have seen first hand how important STEM skills are in today’s technology driven society. There is a huge demand for STEM professionals in Ireland and around the world. I feel that equipping children with these skills from an early age will benefit them in the long run as I believe that technology is only going to play a bigger role in all of our careers and lives in general in the future.
Now that you have graduated, what are your plans?
I am currently working in a primary school in my local area where I hope to complete the Droichead process this year. Following this I am looking forward to a long and successful career as a primary school teacher.
What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME.
I would advise anyone considering starting a PME to speak to teachers or anyone they may know that has completed or is currently completing a PME in order to get a good understanding of what is involved. While it is a busy and sometimes challenging programme, it is an achievable and very rewarding process once you are willing to put the work in. For those like me who have a young family, time management is essential. You have to be organised and try to keep on top of the content as much as possible. I would highly recommend Hibernia college, the PME programme allowed me to achieve my goal of becoming a primary school teacher. The course content was informative and interesting and you also get to meet some great people along the way. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and go for it. I’m glad that I did.