I run a weekly question session on my Instagram page where I offer practical, tried and tested advice for teachers. In this section of the website you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions.
Returning to school post covid
I want to keep things as normal in my classroom. The main things that will be put in place will be the pods. My school are also investing in boxes for each child to keep their books and belongings.
- Asking/ answering questions
- Perfect Page (copies)
- Using the bathroom
- Lining up (will be done by pods with space between the children)
- Movement around the classroom
- Hand sanitisation
- Cleaning of desks etc.
The key things for me in my classroom will be focussing on
- Developing a positive classroom culture
- Building and rebuilding relationships
- Children’s wellbeing
- My own self care and wellbeing
I’ll just have two copies at one time.
Copy 1: this will be for all subjects (Literacy, Gaeilge, S.E.S.E., Arts Education etc.)
Copy 2: will be a Maths copy for Maths lessons.
This means there will only be two copies needed throughout the day and when one copy is finished it can go home and a new copy can be started. (I’d imagine we’ll get through 1 copy every 6 weeks or so.)
Personally, I don’t like the idea of books and copies going in and out of school so I’m hoping not to do homework in the traditional way this year. Instead, I’m hoping to just do small things on Seesaw to keep up home school communication e.g. take a picture of your pet/favourite room in your house (this can then be the basis for oral language/writing or Gaeilge lessons)
Parents will not be allowed into the school building for the first term. I’m going to communicate using email as this worked really well during school closures.
Newly Qualified Teachers
- The Droichead process begins when you apply to the Teaching Council. (Usually at the beginning of your contract)
- You will be supported during your first year as a teacher by a group of experienced teachers.
- Key elements: observations, cluster meetings, additional learning activity and Taisce
- You will observe experienced teachers in your school in areas that you’d like more support in (these can be subject areas or things like classroom management etc.) – minimum of 2 of these throughout the process
- One member of the PST will observe you teaching in your classroom (this will be arranged beforehand and you will ask the PST member to focus on a particular area) – minimum of 2 of these throughout the process
- These are usually held in your local education centre
- You must attend a cluster meetings each term
Additional learning activity
- This can be a course in your local education centre or online that you complete during the Droichead process
- You choose the additional learning activity in collaboration with your PST
- This is a portfolio of ideas/reflections/ things that work/ things you’d like to change that you keep throughout the year
- You can keep this in any format that works for you. Some options include; instagram page, powerpoint, folder, notebook etc.
The Professional Support Team (PST) are a group of experienced teachers who will support you through the Droichead process. The PST have completed training with the National Induction Programme.
You need a contract of a minimum of 60 days to complete Droichead. If your contract is longer than 60 days then Droichead will continue for the duration of the contract.
Droichead is an induction programme for newly qualified teachers.
- Short term planning – weekly for each subject (Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, History, Geography, Science, Art, Music, Drama, S.P.H.E., P.E.)
- Long term planning – for each subject for each term
- You can have 2 terms; September to December and January to June
- Or 3 terms; September to December, January to Easter, Easter to June
- Cuntas Míosúil
Jobs and Contracts
Standard Application Form
You can apply for any positions advertised as long as they don’t mention supplementary/main panels.
Permanent positions – you will be paid every fortnight throughout the year
Temporary/Fixed term positions – you will be paid every fortnight throughout the year (including the holidays if your contract started before the 1st working day in November)
Substitute positions – these are usually to cover leave e.g. maternity leave. You will be paid fortnightly for the duration of the contract. You will get holiday pay in a lump sum and this is calculated based on a percentage on the days you have worked throughout the year.
This is a panel which is set up in each diocese for permanent teachers or teachers with C.I.D. who have lost their jobs (this is usually due to smaller numbers and the school then loses a post). The panel is set up for these teachers to get permanent positions in their area. Any permanent jobs first go to the main panel, then the supplementary panel and finally open competition.
If there are more teachers on the main panel than permanent jobs available, teachers on the main panel may take temporary/fixed term positions.
The supplementary panel comes into effect after the main panel is cleared. You can build up supplementary panel rights by each day you work and are paid by the Department of Education.
- Teaching council registration
- Point on the pay scale (depends on when you graduated) and contract until the end of the school year
- Salary over the last year
Once you meet the criteria, you can apply for supplementary panel rights. The supplementary panel application form is usually released in November/December each year and deadline for application is usually at the beginning of December. If you meet the criteria you will be notified the following April/May (usually.)
You are not guaranteed a permanent position from the supplementary panel and quite often there are more people on the panel than permanent jobs available.
C.I.D. is a contract of indefinite duration. This is a contract that you get after working for in excess of 2 years in a school. The first and second year can be fixed term or substitute contracts but the contract for the third year must be fixed term covering a career break, secondment or your own hours.
Teachers who are granted a C.I.D. have the same rights as permanent teachers and are placed on the seniority lists in their school.
My top 5;
- A set of whiteboards
- A Visualiser (Hue HD Pro is the one I have)
- Sharpies (coloured for displays and black for outlines in art)
- A lot of whiteboard markers
- Staple remover/Stapler (for displays)
I have a MacBook Air and would highly recommend it. I’ve used a MacBook for the last 6 years (I had a MacBook Pro for 6 years and now have the Air)
Only issue is storage on the Air – I do a lot of video editing and storage is fairly limited for this. But for normal use there’s more than enough!
I have an Epson Ecotank. (Model is ET2650 but I don’t think it’s available anymore.)
It was about 200 euro but I still haven’t needed to replace the ink – running costs are really low. I’d highly recommend it.
Only thing I would like (that my model doesn’t have) is double sided printing.
Permanent Teaching Positions
There are three ways to get a permanent teaching position in Ireland.
- Apply for permanent positions when advertised
- Contract of Indefinite Duration (C.I.D.)
- Main/Supplementary panels
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We are using Seesaw where teachers upload pre-recorded videos/activities daily. We invested in Seesaw Plus in September to use for homework and so had everything set up before school closures. We also do two live classes/video calls weekly on Microsoft Teams.
I try to batch tasks so I look at Seesaw every 30-45 minutes during the school day. I find setting a timer really helpful too as it keeps me focussed.
My class tend to send in 4/5 pieces of work each every day.
I give the answers for work it out (video to talk through the tricky questions and a screenshot of the answer book).
I correct and give feedback for the Maths/Literacy/Gaeilge for each child every day.
I like and approve all other work but don’t give detailed feedback.
I use two different options for creating videos. I use a Hue HD Pro Visualiser, I use Screencastomatic to record my screen while using the visualiser. (There is an option to video record using the visualiser software but I don’t find it as user friendly/reliable as Screencastomatic).
I also use an iPad and Apple Pencil with an app called GoodNotes and screen recording.
I send a weekly overview to the parents every week. This has each subject broken into activities for each day of the week. This is what I use for my planning.
Yes! Create the activity as normal and when assigning the activity just click edit students, folders and skills, and click the name (or names) of the students you want to assign the tasks.