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Blackboard Awards 2023

Aine Duffy, Bunscoil Phobal Feirste

Subject or Primary school year: Primary 2 Irish school teacher

Your place of birth: Belfast

Studied at: St Mary’s University College Belfast

First job: Part-time sales assistant in Spar

What it taught me: The importance of building good relationships with colleagues and how good communication and good relationships are important foundations for a positive working environment.

Family/status: In a relationship, no children.

Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Put the children at the heart of everything you do. Listen to their stories, play alongside them, praise them at every opportunity and make school somewhere they love to be. Every child is unique, they learn in different ways at different rates but they all have the ability to succeed in their own individual ways. It’s important to have an open mindset and to challenge yourself regularly to try new approaches and to listen and learn from others around you in order to provide children with the best possible learning opportunities. Teaching can be demanding and challenging at times, there is a lot of preparation and planning behind the scenes but it’s also very rewarding and comes with endless opportunities. It’s amazing to watch a child grow in confidence and progress under your care. For anyone thinking of a teaching career, I would say to go for it. Be passionate, work hard, build positive relationships and most importantly, have fun and enjoy what you do.

My parents made the decision to send my siblings and I to Bunscoil Phobal Feirste when we were young. Although, they did not come from Irish speaking backgrounds, they were incredibly passionate about our native tongue and very eager to learn Irish with us. After Bunscoil, I attended St. Dominics on the Falls Road where I completed my GCSEs and A-levels before carrying on studying Irish at University level in St.Mary’s University College. I graduated in the Summer of 2020 with a First in my BEd honours degree with Irish and was very lucky to be appointed by Bunscoil Phobal Feirste in my first year of teaching. This is now my third year teaching there and I love it as much now as I did when I was a child there. It’s a lovely feeling to be back teaching in the place where my love for learning began and I hope to provide the children in my classroom with the same cherished memories that I have of the school growing up.

Blackboard Awards 2023