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Blackboard Awards 2024

Caoimhe Calpin

St Teresa's Primary School

School website:
Subject or primary school year: Head of Foundation/ Key Stage One/ Language and Literacy/ P2 teacher.
Your place of birth: Donegal.
Studied at: NUI Galway/ University of Ulster Coleraine.
First job: A summer job as a childminder of five children under the age of 10.
What it taught me: Expect the unexpected! Working with five children age ranging from 0 to 9 taught me to perfect my skills of patience and negotiation. It showed me I really wanted to work with children in the future and was perfect preparation for this.
Family/status: Single.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Try to remember those little incredible lightning moments of joy when you’re having a challenging day. Make sure you have a good work/life balance and enjoy your downtime and hobbies. You are then able to bring the best version of yourself into the classroom, making a difference to the learners in front of you. Be adaptive and realise there is more than one pathway to your desired learning outcomes. The children in front of you determine the pathway you take. Always remember the holistic picture of the children walking into your classroom every day, we don’t always know what is going on outside school for them so choose to improve their day. Being involved in the education of future generations is an honour; the impact you can have is the greatest responsibility in teaching, but also the greatest gift.

I studied English, Geography, Sociology and Politics in NUI Galway and went on to pursue a PGCE at the University of Ulster Coleraine. I have been teaching for 14 years, I have been in St Teresa’s Primary School for nine of those. There, I have been embraced by a wonderful school community and I am blessed to work alongside and learn from an incredible staff team and Principal. Over the past nine years I have been lucky enough to build a career and embrace a range of leadership roles within St Teresa’s including Leader of Language and Literacy, Head of Foundation Stage, Head of Key Stage One and Leader of Staff Wellbeing. I have enjoyed being at the forefront of school development and have introduced a range of initiatives to enhance the already wonderful experience the children of St Teresa’s PS have. This has only been possible through the support of a strong staff team and the guidance and coaching of a strong Principal and senior leadership team. Despite the challenges in the education sector at present, I am constantly inspired and driven by the shared approach of all teachers to ensure children receive the best care and education possible. I am inspired daily by the children of St Teresa’s who represent our school and their families in such an incredible manner. They make me proud to be a part of our wonderful school community and I count myself lucky to spend my days with them. In my downtime I enjoy travelling, going to the gym, going out for a nice dinner with friends and family, and I have recently taken up kick boxing. Anyone who knows me, knows my favourite thing to do is to chill out with my little dog Brucey! 

Blackboard Awards 2024