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Blackboard Awards 2024

Deirdre Nuttall  

St Maria Goretti Nursery School
Subject or primary school year: Nursery.
Your place of birth: Belfast.
Studied at: College (Newtownards Road) NNEB Diploma.
First job: SEN Assistant (1 year).
What it taught me: Teamwork, to observe and learn from those with more experience, resilience and understanding that I had chosen the right career for me. 
Family/status: Married, 2 children, Sarah 18 and Eoin 14.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Follow your heart and give it your all! I believe that working with children is one of life’s greatest privileges. It is both hard work and rewarding. Always be open minded to new ideas and training offered which will help you within your own role/job. Working in education is a journey within itself, especially with the ever-changing needs of the children in our care.

Teamwork is so important, together as staff and team we can provide amazing teaching and learning opportunities for all the children that have been entrusted to us each and every year. Get down to the children’s level and try to see the world through their eyes. By doing this we will be able to provide the endless learning opportunities they need every day.
I have been a Nursery Assistant in St Maria Goretti Nursery School for just over 28 years. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to work with children. I absolutely love my job and believe working with young children is such a rewarding and fulfilling vocation.

I love the fact that no two days are ever the same in nursery. You need to be always open minded and take time to listen to each other, both the adults we work with, but most importantly the children. Follow their lead, have fun, be present, you have to be able to give 100% of yourself.

Always be willing and ready to ask for help when you need it, that is what makes a great team. My own journey within St Maria Goretti NS has gone full circle as I now have the children of my past pupils in my class – yes, I know I’m getting old! To see these families returning year after year to us is amazing.

I am so lucky to be part of the best team ever. Four member of our staff came to us firstly as parents who then went back to college, joined us as students and are now members of staff. Our parents, community, parish and Board of Governors are so supportive and this helps us to do the best for our children. I have excepted my nomination on behalf of all the amazing nursery/classroom assistants I have worked with.

We all learn from and support each other so much. Most importantly, thank you to all the children that I have had the privilege to work with over the past 28 years, for all the wee smiling faces, laughter and joy that you bring to school in bucket loads every day.

Blackboard Awards 2024