I attended the Hibernia College Orientation day on Saturday, the 9th of April in UCD. It was a very informative, fun and exciting day. We were greeted by the faculty who were incredibly welcoming and friendly. I enjoyed each of the presentations, particularly Programme Director ‘Mary Kelly’ who spoke about the importance of bringing all of your attributes, characteristics and personality to the teaching profession and about utilising your talents and experience previously gained such as maturity, enthusiasm, positive energy and new perspectives.
It was incredibly beneficial to meet Hibernia College Graduate ‘Zelma’ who spoke about her experience so far as a fully qualified primary school teacher. Zelma shared many inspirational ideas such as name tags ‘as gaeilge’ when learning the children’s names and also introduced us to taking a thematic approach in our teachings which ignited an excitement in us all about our new venture.
The focus on the day was not about knowledge as such (even though it is extremely important). It was about the characteristics necessary that make a great teacher, such as kindness, empathy, values and dispositions. I was highly impressed with the focus on mindfulness. We take for granted the impact that study can have on our lives. It is so important to live in each moment and to take time out to recap and rejuvenate - especially while doing such an intense course. We also met supervisor/inspector ‘Terry Allen’ who was a bubbly, charismatic character. He explained that teaching inspections are not to be viewed in a negative light, that they are actually there to encourage us and help us to become better teachers and that we shouldn’t fear them, “You cannot see the picture when you’re inside the frame”.
At the end of the day we did some group bonding activities to help us to get to know each other. One which involved building a castle out of cards which my team failed miserably at - but we had a great laugh in the process. I met so many lovely people and we are currently in the process of setting up a WhatsApp group so that we can support each other and help each other also. It was so interesting to hear about all of the different paths it took to get to where we are - from nurses and bankers to taxi drivers etc. It showed that regardless of age or background it’s never too late to change career path.
I am both excited and nervous to enter such a noble, high status profession.