An Aistear Tale

Hi everyone,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...

2019 Updates to The Primary Language Curriculum

This article will discuss what to expect from the release of the Primary Language Curriculum for Infants – 6th Class due in September 2019, and will provide some guidance in how to use and plan with it. I am currently teaching First Class and have used the 2015 Primary Language Curriculum (PLC) for teaching and planning for the past two years. It seemed very daunting at first, but once I got my head around the terminology in the new curriculum, it became no more challenging than using for the 1999 curriculum. For those who haven’t used the PLC before, below is a very simple explanation of the terminology that I used to help me transition from the 1999 curriculum in my planning and teaching: Elements are listed instead of Strand Units. Learning Outcomes are listed instead of the Content Objectives of the 1999 curriculum. Progression...

iPads in the Primary Classroom

I'm very lucky that we have a set of iPads in our classroom for the children to use throughout the day. The iPads always begin as such a novelty for the children and are a hassle as they end up being so overexcited about the fact that they will have the use of an iPad that they can be careless and irresponsible with them. However, after a bit of training, they are a great asset to have in the classroom. During our first week  I spent a lot of time talking about the rules of the iPad. We have a school policy that each child had to read and sign, so as a class we discussed every rule and why it was in place. The main reason for all our rules were to keep ourselves and each other safe so this point was really being hammered home to the children. In the classroom we have our school rules on display and I also put up a set of the iPad rules so that...

10 Tips for Interviews

While job interviews can be stressful, there is a lot you can do in advance to make sure you are prepared and that you give yourself the best chance possible at getting the job. The following are 10 tips that should help you put your best foot forward and make sure you impress the interview board.Punctuality - Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get to your interview, particularly if it is in a location you have never been before. If possible, it would be a good idea to go to the school the day before to check where it is if you are unsure. Arrive at least 10 minutes early so you have time to settle yourself and you are not arriving flustered when you are called in to your interview.Professionalism - Dress appropriately and professionally. Be polite, shake hands with the interviewers at the beginning and the end of the interview and...

Top ten tips for supporting children with ASD in the classroom

Top 10 tips to support children with Autism in your classroom1. Build good relationships. Strong relationships between students and teachers is key in any classroom. Get to know your student and find out what they love, build their trust by showing them that you understand and want to help them in any way that you can. Your student will respond much better to you once that trusting relationship is in place.  2. Create a safe environment. A classroom can be a busy and noisy environment for any child. Setting up supports for the child with Autism can avoid sensory overload and meltdowns. Create a calm corner in the classroom away from the hustle and bustle, maybe include headphones, calm down strategies, deep breathing visuals and some sensory toys.  3. Use visual schedules. Visual schedules help children with Autism as it allows them to predict...

Senior Infants

Hello everyone, 

Just wanted to introduce myself. I am an NQT who will have Senior Infants this year. I am very excited to meet them this week. I have been into my school trying to sort out my classroom, and plan on sharing any resources I make with you all. 

I worked in learning support over the past two years so I'm really looking forward to the change in pace now. 

 

I will be writing more blog posts soon I hope, and I will be adding resources whenever I can!

Back to School Preparations

I always feel the children coming into me are such 'babies'. The 5th class children that I have just said goodbye to are matured and ready for 6th class, where as the children coming into me are little 4th class children. "They can't do anything! Last year's class weren't this bad", are a few of the complaints my fellow staff members will have to listen to from me for the first few weeks. We'll get into the swing of things soon enough hopefully!I do try and switch off for summer as I find teaching takes up all my time during the year. I'm a divil for getting lost in a rabbit hole of Twitter and Pinterest ideas about teaching. So I'm slowly beginning to wean myself back on in preparation for my new band of kiddies next week.I'm a stickler for organisation, so I make sure that in terms of classroom prep I have all drawers/trays/areas labelled in my...

Group Work and Noise

Group work and active learning, buzzwords and they will always be buzzwords and so they should be! Group work has an integral part to play in the Irish classroom. It is one of the key methodologies of each Curriculum subject but how do we do it?My first advice is to establish some ground rules…Why? Because, things can and will get out of hand in a pretty vocal and disruptive way that prevents the children from learning and also prevents the teacher from carrying out the lesson objective. What type of rules would benefit group work? They will no doubt be personal to you as a teacher and also personal to your classroom. It depends on if you have the “noisy but hard working” class or the ” quiet and unmotivated” class… Noise is fine but noise is not fine if it leaves some of the children and adults in the classroom with a headache and...

CowCow.com Stamps

I recently shared some images on my Instagram and Facebook accounts about stamps I have designed and purchased from cowcow.com. I had a lot of interest from followers about these and people were asking about my designs.  I originally designed and purchased these stamps back in 2016 and they are still going strong! I am now teaching in a school where I am called Múinteoir XXX so the original stamps don't have the same effectiveness. I also wanted ones that give more constructive feedback to save me from constantly writing the same comments over and over. I have found the children respond quicker to stamps (well at least they read them!)I contacted cowcow about sharing these designs. The only way was to set up a store. After a bit of time, googling and editing, I managed to put something together. Check it out here. One of the offers I availed of...