I have always had a passion for art, wanting to be an artist since I was 4 years old, but the drive to teach came much later as I realised how much I valued both learning and connecting to other people. Teaching is a profession that will enable me to keep learning, growing and developing as my students do and also give me the opportunity to engage with, create and share art with others.
Both Visual Art and teaching as fields hold infinite opportunities to learn and improve. There are many aspects of my teaching that I want to improve on, and many areas I am excited to research. I would like to invest far more time in my resources and visual aids as I start my career, as these will be invaluable for me for years to come. I also intend to add to my technical skills, learning more techniques across the fields of Art and Design to give students choice and give projects the richness that comes with that technical knowledge. Myself and my peers have planned to share resources and conduct workshops for eachother based on our studio backgrounds, something I eagerly look forward to.
When I ask myself how I am going to impact students and their achievement of success, one main factor immediately springs to mind - connection. I think without connection, without empathy, without differentiation and flexibility, humility and willingness to try to get to know students, very few students will achieve what they are capable of. Teaching is not about being liked of course but without empathy, authenticity and communication it will be hard to get students to cooperate. I believe that through empathy and relationships we can build confidence in our students, build safe environments in which to create, tailor our content to the individuals we are teaching, communicate genuinely our own passion for our subject and hopefully spread it. Visual Art is such a source of beauty and color and excitement in my life, and that is something I want to share with and make accessible to as many students as possible. Part of this is diversifying the group of students that go into visual arts, showing the wide almost infinite diversity of artists, designers and craftspeople out there and the fulfilling and exciting job opportunities there are in a growing field.
Perhaps stemming from my own really positive experience in a Community School, I am passionate about creating and maintaining a genuine sense of community within the school between students and staff and within the staff both teaching and non teaching. Co operation, the sharing of experience and ideas and involvement in school life are things that I really look forward to in my future career.
Primary School Placement
St. Louise de Marillac Primary School was founded by the Daughters of Charity in Ballyfermot 60 years ago in 1958.
The Daughters of Charity established the school on Drumfinn Road and its history is intertwined with the history of Ballyfermot. .
The school caters for girls from Junior Infants to Sixth Class, with infant boys up to First Class.
While St. Louise de Marillac Primary School is a school with a Catholic ethos, providing religious education in accordance with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, they respect the diversity of cultures, religious beliefs and traditions of other groups in society and promote active partnership between home, school and the community.
Myself and a fellow student teacher were paired up for the placement to teach a class of 16 based on the themes "Family and Friends" and "Once Upon a Place". Influenced by the work of illustrator PJ Lynch and painter Lucian Freud, students explored various media culminating in a book of their artwork.
Additional Educational Needs Placement
Saint John of God Community Services clg is funded by the HSE to provide supports to people with intellectual disabilities.
Myself, two fellow BA student teachers and a PME mentor were grouped together to run a series of art classes and workshops in the Glenageary Centre. Here we were working with an active retirement group to give service users an opportunity to decorate and take ownership of their newly renovated space while incorporating lots of sensory elements.
Team Teaching Placement
For this placement, myself and another BA student teacher were paired up and were in the school once a week to mentor interested students after school. Some were considering starting a portfolio to apply for Art college, some had already started and others just enjoyed art and wanted to be there. Students all had different styles and interests so we settled on making squashbooks to display their work to unify the work for exhibition and to add some form and interest to their sketchbooks for their portfolio. We only had attendance for four sessions but the students, and we as teachers were very happy with the results.
Post Primary 1
Loreto Bray is a Catholic all-girls secondary school under the trusteeship of the Loreto Trust Board based in Bray, Co. Wicklow with 762 students enrolled. This placement was four days a week for eight weeks, partially delivered in the school and the remainder through remote learning.
Post Primary 2
St Kilian’s Community School in Bray is a mixed gender DEIS school with 458 students enrolled. It is multidenominational and caters to the young people of Ballywaltrim, Bray and North Wicklow, regardless of their ability or social and economic background. I am a past student, and I can confidently say from both sides of my experience that there is a massive focus on pastoral care, on creating and maintaining a genuine sense of community within the school between students and staff both teaching and non teaching.