Subject or Primary school year: SEN support in social communication
Your place of birth: Belfast
Studied at: The Open University, University of Ulster
First job: Afterschool and nursery assistant
What it taught me: To work as part of a team and the importance of patience and resilience.
Family/status: Married with 3 children (Erin, 12) (Ilana, 8) (Lára, 5)
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Working with children or young people is a very rewarding job but I definitely think it's a vocation. I would advise anyone thinking of a career in education to get a job as a classroom assistant or nursery assistant to gain experience in a school setting, speak to any education workers you know about the roles and responsibilities of the job. There's a lot more involved than just teaching or supporting the learning of a subject but if education is the right career path for you then it's absolutely the best job in the world. Getting to know your students personalities and interests and learning style is key and you have to adapt your approach based on that individual child but seeing them progress and succeed is the biggest privilege and what makes all the tough days worth it..
I went through Irish medium education as a child and was unsure of my career path leaving school. I kind of fell into education work as my mummy had set up a community organisation which had daycare and afterschool activities. I began to work there over the summer and quickly discovered that I loved working with children. After a couple of years working there I began working as a one to one SEN assistant in my old primary school and then after a number of years made the jump to Coláiste Feirste. I now support children in the school's new social communication classroom which I absolutely love. Each student is completely different and no two days are the same. I am currently studying a degree in Irish part time with the university of Ulster and hope to complete a PGCE once I have graduated to take the next step in my career.
Having gone through Irish medium education myself, I really value the opportunity that I've had to give back to and help develop the sector and that I hope to continue work in this sector moving forward.