Resized ciarand
Blackboard Awards 2024

Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh

Coláiste Feirste
Subject or primary school year: Teaching Irish to kids with additional/special educational/social/personnel needs, motor vehicle studies, occupational studies.
Your place of birth: Belfast.
Studied at: Ulster University Coleraine, St Mary's University College Belfast.
First job: Substitute teacher at Coláiste Feirste. 
What it taught me: Ní bhíonn an rath, ach mar a mbíonn an smacht.
Family/status: Engaged with two beautiful daughters, Aida (5) and Radha (8 months). 
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Ensure you are passionate about working with children and young people. Working in a school environment with young people is so rewarding and enriching and each day brings its own challenges.

You will experience highs and lows, good days and not so good days. But understand that a teaching career isn’t just about teaching a curriculum in a classroom. It’s about building positive relationships with young people, taking time to learn about their interests, their worries, their loves, and also understanding the challenges they face in their lives.

Finally, prioritise pupils' learning and be willing to go the extra mile in order to help them succeed inside and outside the classroom. 
As a child I attended Bunscoil Phobal Feirste and to develop my interest in the Irish language I moved on to Coláiste Feirste, which was a really positive experience. I played Gaelic football and hurling for Pádraig Saírséil CLG and the school before moving to Coleraine University where I obtained a degree in Irish Language and Literature.

Following the successful completion of my PGCE at St Mary’s, I obtained a teaching post in the Learning Support Unit in Coláiste Feirste where I have been teaching for this past nine years. Outside of teaching, I take many of the school Gaelic football sides and recently managed Laochra Loch Lao Senior Ladies' Footballers. I have also been coaching the Sarsfields Under-6 girls' footballers for this past two years.

I feel very fortunate to have received an enriching Irish medium educational experience and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work in such an enriching and thriving environment every day. 

Blackboard Awards 2024