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Blackboard Awards 2023

Kellie McAleese,  St Mary's Christian Brothers Grammar School

Subject or Primary school year: History

Your place of birth: Dublin

Studied at: QUB and Liverpool Hope University (PGCE)

First job: A local shoe shop

What it taught me: The importance of great communication skills and a lot of patience! Always look for the humour in every situation.

Family/status: Married

Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Teaching is a fantastic career and is incredibly rewarding, but it can also have its challenges. The most important advice I could give is to focus on building relationships and connections, with pupils and colleagues alike. Get to know your pupils as individuals and show that you care about them and they will work with you. Having the support, advice and encouragement of your colleagues means that you are not alone and any concerns or worries can be shared. Teaching is a journey and you truly never stop changing and learning, it is one of the reasons I love the job - every pupil, lesson and day is different to the next.

I studied History and English Literature at QUB before moving on to complete my PGCE at Liverpool Hope. I have worked in St Mary's since 2005 - which seems amazing as it has gone so quickly. During my time here I have worked as both Head of Year and my current post as Head of Department and I have loved the various challenges of supporting the pupils pastorally and designing an engaging curriculum whilst encouraging our pupils to achieve academic excellence. I have been very lucky to work in an extremely supportive department and school enviroment, with colleagues on hand to share stories with each day. I am married and mum to two young boys, who make me laugh every day.

Blackboard Awards 2023