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Blackboard Awards 2023

Nicola Fegan, St. Paul's Primary School and Nursery Unit

Subject or Primary school year: ASC 1

Your place of birth: Belfast

Studied at: St. Mary's University

First job: Argos

What it taught me: Good communication skills, working as part of a team and patience.

Family/status: Twin boys aged 10

Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: The best advice is that everyday is different and be prepared and always have a plan B. You need to have a good sense of humour and take everything with a pinch a salt. Don’t forget to ask for help when needed because it not a weakness and help others that need it.

I have been teaching 18 years primarily in the Foundation Stage. A few years ago, the opportunity arose to transition to specialist classes, and this seemed a natural progression for me giving my interest in developing SEN expertise. This will be my 3rd year teaching in FS/KS1 specialist provision. It has been the most challenging but most rewarding time of my teaching career. I love coming into work every day we have developed an amazing team of dedicated assistants and teachers.

To see this impact on the children’s social, emotional an academic attainment is so fulfilling. Having the opportunity to teach in the ASC has allowed me to develop my professional skills this has culminated in me doing my Post Graduate studies in Autism though Stranmillis University. Having twin boys, full time work and part time study means finding a work life balance is more important than ever.

Blackboard Awards 2023