PGCE, University of Cambridge
BA (Hons), Limerick School of Art and Design
What makes a good teacher at Dunhurst?
Working with young people is such a rewarding job and a good teacher at Dunhurst will reflect this in their teaching through a positive and encouraging approach with the students best interests at heart. A good teacher has consistent core values. It is about leading by example and setting high expectations to create an enriching environment for inquisitive young minds.
What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?
It is vital that pupils respect themselves and others; saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ go a long way. Also, I would like pupils to know that the simple act of holding a door for someone else, or a smile can change a person's outlook. Within my lessons, it is important to encourage the thirst for knowledge and that students develop and express their opinions on the world around them. They should celebrate individuality in each lesson, encourage others to be themselves and not be afraid to make mistakes. Once respect, manners and empathy for others have been achieved, hard work and a positive attitude will instil positive values.
Apart from your teaching role, what else do you get involved with at the school?
I used to play camogie in Ireland and started playing hockey when I came to England. I am involved with hockey at Dunhurst and also play at club level.
In your opinion, what makes Dunhurst special?
There is a strong sense of community at Dunhurst, which creates a learning environment that is less dictatorial than a classical school environment. The teachers teach in the way they wish to teach, which allows for the teacher to tailor each lesson specific to every child. This environment means that students feel surrounded by the warm and friendly atmosphere in which they can flourish.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by my mother Tina who is a now retired teacher in Limerick. She always said to me ‘never give up’ and that stuck with me to this day. I get my work ethic from her. Each morning I wake up I remember that this day is a new start which I look forward to.
Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.
I went cage diving in Cape Town and saw Great White Sharks up close while I was underwater. It was a unique experience to be so close to such powerful animals and separated by a cage.