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Blackboard Awards 2023

Mary Uí Dhaimhín, Coláiste Feirste

Subject or Primary school year: SENCo/Maths
Your place of birth: Béal Feirste
Studied at: Queen's University
First job: Casement Tuckshop
What it taught me: The value of being part of a community.
Family/status: Married with two children
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Although important, there is more to teaching than being an expert in a subject and creating lesson plans. A child will learn if they are comfortable and happy in the environment you create. Get to know your pupils and allow them to see that you are human, admit when you make a mistake and build positive relationships. A teacher is sometimes the only positive adult in a child's life and the reason they come to school each day. Identify the pupils who are struggling and let them know that you are there to support them, be an advocate for the pupils and parents who need support and you will make a positive impact.

I began teaching in Coláiste Feirste in 2008. I didn't know what to expect as I had attended English-Medium Primary and Post Primary schools. I quickly fell in love with the Coláiste Feirste and learned from the staff around me that Irish-Medium Education was special and that we go above and beyond for our pupils. I began by teaching maths and volunteered working as a Child Protection Officer and then went on to become Head of Year in various year groups. 
 I was inspired by the teachers and classroom assistants around me who had been working there long before me and saw how happy they were in their work as a result of their passion to meet the needs of all pupils, no matter what it took; visits to home to encourage children to come to school, long walks with pupils who just could not cope with the 'normal' school day and so much more. I wanted to be an advocate for those pupils and families also. Two years ago, I was appointed as SENCo and I am very proud of the work that the team in our Learning Support Centre (An t-Ionad) do on a daily basis to ensure that the needs of our pupils are catered to and that our most vulnerable pupils feel nurtured and secure at school.

Blackboard Awards 2023