My name is Clara, I am a primary school teacher in Kildare. I am teaching almost ten years, it is hard to believe as I still feel like I am constantly learning with every class that I have. I completed my teacher training in London and came home to the Emerald Isle after 3 years. I have taught in a number of schools with varied settings since being home and have really tried to continually progress and adapt my teaching skills to suit each of the settings.
Last year, I left school in June feeling like I was facing into my toughest school year yet as I had been allocated JUNIOR INFANTS. During the summer, I completed three summer courses, trying to prepare myself for what for me seemed like a huge challenge. I had always loved teaching older children and really didn’t think my personality would suit such young children. But just a few days had passed in September and my mindset had completely changed. I loved every minute of it!
One aspect of the school year that really captured my love of teaching was Aistear. I completed a face-to-face course that summer to understand what this term, I had heard thrown around, was all about. It wasn’t until I was planning and creating Aistear play areas that I truly understood its benefits for the children and how much my teaching skills were actually needed to form its success. It was so much more that play.
One morning in September last year, I trawled the internet in search of an example plan that would help me know where to start. I came across mash.ie and purchased a plan from a vendor on the site. It helped me form a basis for the planning process but I realised it wasn’t as detailed as I needed it to be to completely get my head around a few things.
- What would the activities look like?
- What were the children learning?
- What cross curricular links were available?
- How was I going to achieve all of the above?
Through out the year, I made it my mission to keep improving my Aistear topics, plans, resources and outcomes. There is so much scope for learning for the children and I really felt an excitement in them every time we revealed a new topic especially the ones they helped me plan and prepare for.
Around Easter time, I felt I had fully adopted an Aistear based teaching methodology in my class room and my students were reaping the benefits and I, as their teacher, gained so much pleasure out of the outcomes they were achieving. It also allowed me to cover so much curriculum objectives in such a fun and engaging way. At this point, I thought back to that morning in September when I landed on Mash.ie. I decided there must be others in a similar position, daunted initially about Aistear and all the preparation involved. So I set up an account and put two or three of my Aistear plans up hoping that someone like I did, would benefit from a reference point and forge their own way of delivering Aistear in their classroom.
Thank you for reading.