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Claire McCabe

St Mary's Christian Brothers’ Grammar School
School website:
Subject:  Mathematics.
Your place of birth: Leitrim, Co Down.
Studied at: University Of Ulster Jordanstown and PGCE at University College of St Martin Lancaster, England.
First Job: St Mary's Christian Brothers’ Grammar School.
What it taught me: My first year teaching taught me to build relationships with pupils. They needed to feel that I cared and that I was working to help them. Some were very challenging and it was very important to have written records for future reference. Classroom management was key for me as I believe that children need to know boundaries. I was new and they wanted to check I was up to the job. I was never afraid to seek help from the long-serving members of my department. I relied on the good, honest relationships that were forged among the many staff I worked alongside. Parents were important too as they play a vital role in the education of the boys. 
Family/status: Married with three children.
Best advice anyone ever gave you: "Be tough... but be fair. Have faith in yourself. You have worked hard to get here!" This was given to me by my Dad when I was recounting a bad day. Each day is a new day so go back in do what you do well and make changes to what you know didn't go well.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: You need to like young people and be prepared to get to know them. You need solid knowledge of your subject area and good organisational skills. You need to have passion. Be happy and transmit your enthusiasm to the young people in front of you. Inject humour and keep class rules simple. Laugh with the kids you teach and don't be afraid to let them know that you are still learning

As a young girl I was educated in a small rural primary school in Leitrim, Co Down. I have fond memories of both my primary and secondary education and was confident at the age of 17 that I would become a teacher. Maths was one of my favourite subjects and I knew that I had a good way of explaining it to friends who were struggling, which set me aside from my peers.
My first teaching practice had me teaching when I was meant to be observing, as I was just so enthusiastic. I knew I could do a good job. In my search for my first job, I was back to filling in forms. The hope was that my enthusiasm would come across at interview. It did and my career at St Mary’s began.
In my role as a maths teacher, I am a confident, outgoing, and highly-motivated person. I am dedicated to creating stimulating learning contexts in which pupils want to succeed and achieve their individual targets. I always keep in mind the ‘big picture’ which allows me to take a step back, reflect upon and learn from experiences. I am a good listener and can communicate effectively to different audiences. My vision is to provide a quality education so that all pupils are encouraged to and can reach their full potential within a caring, happy, and secure environment.


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