Seaview Primary School
School website: www.seaviewps.org.uk
Subject: Primary Education.
Your place of birth: Newtownards.
Studied at: Stranmillis College Belfast, Queen’s University Belfast.
First job: Blythefield Primary School, Belfast.
What it taught me: I learnt how humbling and rewarding it is to be a vital part of a child’s life and learning. That children’s needs, experiences and knowledge are so diverse and often lessons don’t go exactly as planned. Also, to learn from your mistakes and ask for help!
Best advice anyone ever gave you: If you would like people to treat you with respect, then you should make sure you treat them with respect too.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity and drama that surrounds education but it is important to keep your focus on the children. Getting to know your children and showing them you care and respect them is every bit as important as the subjects you teach.
The children deserve the best version of you. It’s not always an easy job but make sure you start every day as a new day and with excitement and love. ‘They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.’ Carl W. Buehne. Also, remember the importance of self-care as it can be in the best interests of everyone in your classroom. Self-care can keep you at the top of your game and ready to handle any challenges that come up in your teaching career.
I began my teaching career as a Primary 1 teacher in Blythefied Primary School, Belfast. I was very grateful to have the support of some wonderful, experienced teachers. To this day, I try to encourage beginning teachers as I know how much I valued the support.
After a year, I moved to Seaview Primary School and am still there, over thirty years later, teaching many children whose parents I have also taught. I have mainly taught in Foundation stage and it is a joy to encourage learning and development through play and teaching and to watch the children grow and mature as they progress through the school.
I am Head of Pastoral Care and Designated Teacher for Child Protection. This has been a challenging role, especially in the last two years, but one that I immensely enjoy. I believe that the provision a school makes to ensure the physical and emotional welfare of pupils is the essential foundation upon which learning can take place.
Pastoral care is at the heart of everything we do in Seaview and I am so grateful to have such caring and supportive colleagues to assist me in supporting our families. It is such a privilege to shape young lives and there is no job I would rather do.