Subject or Primary school year: History
Your place of birth: Belfast
Studied at: St Thomas' & QUB
First job: Waiter in Abercorn Bar, Belfast
What it taught me: That Belfast has some very interesting characters!
Family/status: Married to Maeve and two children.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Be prepared to work hard. Teaching is a very demanding profession so be sure to make time for yourself & your family. Look after your physical & mental health. Learn from the experience and expertise of those who you will work with & never be afraid to ask for advice, guidance & support when needed. Have a sense of humour, enjoy the interaction with your pupils and never underestimate the diffence you and your colleagues make. And, join a union!
I was a pupil at St. Kevin’s, St. Aidan’s & St Thomas’ Secondary school before studying History and Politics at Queens University. A number of teachers in St. Thomas’ had been very influential & it was their encouragement & guidance that helped inform my decision to take the PGCE course and qualify as a teacher in 1993.
My first teaching job was in the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education (now Belfast MET), before I took up a post in St. Louise’s Comprehensive College in 1996. I have been teaching History in St. Louise’s ever since. Here, I have had the good fortune to work with and learn from a very highly skilled, dedicated & experienced staff who are totally committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for every pupil who enters the school. It is a privilege to be able to contribute, in whatever small way, to enhancing the life chances of these pupils. We are very fortunate to be able to work with such talented, intelligent & gifted pupils who continue to make a huge contribution to their community and to society.