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Blackboard Awards 2023

Michael Preston, Loughshore EOTAS

Subject or Primary school year: ICT and Science
Your place of birth: Larne
Studied at: University of Dundee and University of Ulster
First job: Labourer with McLaughlin and Harvey at 16
What it taught me: No matter what the obstacles are in the way the job still has to be finished
Family/status: Married to Barbara with 2 boys Paddy and Shea both in University
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Be a team player and keep an open mind at all times!

My mantra as an educator, sportsman, husband and father is that you have to give something of yourself to get something back. As Aristotle said "educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all". I am a keen rugby man and have strong ties to Ballynahinch Rugby Club as a coach and manager. The skills and qualities I have developed in sport have informed and shaped my professional career. After several years in mainstream education I found myself appointed as a teacher in Youth Justice for over 20 years. This led to my current post in Loughshore Eotas in the last two years. I have lived in a variety of places and had lots of life experiences. I am grateful for the life I have had and the lives that my own children have enjoyed. I am incredibly aware that not all young people have the same opportunities, support networks or chances in life. I am passionate about helping young people navigate their way through education and life. This has very much shaped the type of teacher I am. I meet young people where they are at and adapt accordingly. My approach is non judgemental, flexible, personal and always with humour. I have worked with some of the most marginalised, stigmatised young people in our communities. I believe in relational learning and advocating for young people.

Blackboard Awards 2023