Physical Geography: Interactive Map Resources

Teaching the rivers, mountains and counties of Ireland has to be one of the dullest lessons of the year. It’s difficult to get kids from Dublin to care about which one is Longford and which is Leitrim, and I’d imagine it’s the same across the country (or world, for that matter!).

Thankfully, I came across these amazing online resources this year, which completely livened up the lessons. You can do them on the interactive whiteboard, and turn it into a competition for the best time, which livens up any classroom.

Seterra has the counties of Ireland, as well as the major physical geography for nearly all of the rest of the World. The record in my class so far is 44 seconds for a perfect score!

Ireland101 covers the lakes, rivers, mountains, islands and counties of Ireland.

Click the images below to go to the above-mentioned sites and test your knowledge!

 

 

Acids and Bases

Here’s a really simple Science lesson that you can put together in an evening for a couple of euro – handy for those nights that you’re scrambling for something to do!

Materials:

  • 5 containers and 5 copper (1c, 2c or 5c) coins per group.
  • Tomato Ketchup
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Bottle of Coke
  • Water

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Procedure:

  1. Explain that the children will be investigating the best coin cleaner.
  2. Have each group predict which one they think will work best.
  3. Decide how to conduct a fair test – (same amount of each substance used, same amount of time, coins in similar condition before test).
  4. Leave coins to sit for twenty/thirty minutes (you could teach a quick lesson on acids/bases and the pH scale here).
  5. Examine coins and note best cleaner (it should be the tomato sauce as it is the best acidic, which counteracts the base, copper oxide, on the coins).

This is such a simple little experiment, but the kids loving sticking their hands in a bowl of ketchup or Coke, and you can explicitly teach the scientific method through hypothesising, designing a fair test, and writing down the materials and procedure as above!

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Computer Time (Senior Classes)

Computer time with senior classes can be a tough time slot to fill. The kids have used all the programmes already, they think they know more than you, and they don’t want to do anything that involves ‘learning’. *** face palms *** If they’re working on a project, you can get them to research that, but in my experience so far, there are plenty of weeks when you’re left wondering what you’re supposed to do with them for the next hour!

I ran an after school digital media class last year, and had to dig deep into the Internet to find activities and resources to keep them engaged and entertained. Below are some of the websites I’ve found that work best.

Canva

Canva is a fantastic free site that provides ready-made templates for birthday cards, posters, invitations, and even social media profiles. Kids can take the templates and personalise them, giving them the chance to work as graphic designers for a few weeks! Here’s a sample that I threw together to introduce the website to the kids in my after-school class:

Biteable

Biteable is a website that lets you take pre-made animated videos, and edit them in whatever way you want. You can add in footage, and change the text, colours, and music. It’s completely free, and will keep a group busy for 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately, you need an expensive upgrade to download the videos, but here’s an example from YouTube:

Kahoot

This interactive-quiz site is gaining in popularity amongst teachers, but have you considered getting students to make their own quizzes? Create an account for your classroom, and assign topics for the kids to become experts on. Have them put together their quiz and try it out on the rest of the class. They’ll be begging you to choose theirs!

WordMint

WordMint is a handy site that you can use to have kids invent their own crosswords and wordsearches, which they will love getting their friends to complete. It requires a one-off payment of €5.50, but then it’s yours for life!

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Mangahigh

Mangahigh is a great maths website which covers all areas, although it’s based on an English curriculum. You can sign up for a thirty-day trial, and get four weeks of computers without paying. If you find it really useful, you could always suggest to the principal that the school invest in the full programme.

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Code.org

Code.org is a great way to introduce your kids to coding. It takes a little bit of time to get set up, but once you create an account for the kids, it will keep them busy for weeks as they make their way through the various challenges and tasks.

Scratch

Similar to Code.org, involves kids using code to programme their own games and stories. Not as user-friendly as Code.org, but great for more advanced kids who have a little bit of experience under their belts.

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iPiccy

iPiccy is an online photo editor that you can use to teach your future Insta-models everything from cropping and filters to exposure and saturation. You can use the photos provided or have them bring in their own photos on a memory stick to work with. There’s an option to make collages too, and if you have access to a colour-printer in your school, it could make for a really nice lesson or two!

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Office Tutorials

As much fun as editing videos and designing posters can be, kids really really really need to master Word and the basic internal geography of a computer. I’m amazed by how many of my kids spend several hours a day staring at a screen, and yet can’t copy and paste an image online, or find a file after they’ve saved it. Office have a whole range of video tutorials online – this can work best if you put two kids working together, so they can follow the tutorial on one computer, and carry out the tasks on the other.

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Similar to the the Office tutorials, I’ve yet to meet a kid who can actually type correctly. Considering typing has already replaced handwriting in nearly all areas of life, I think it’s worth including this at the start or end of your lessons, or focusing on it for a six to eight week term. As someone who taught themselves to type, it’s a pain in the face to get there, but so worth it when you master it!

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is one of my favourite ‘Important People’ to cover in History, as he is such an inspirational character and the kids are always in awe of him!

Below are some of the resources and activities I use while teaching about ‘Madiba’ and his incredible life.

Video: This video from ‘Biography’ does a great job of introducing the children to Mandela and his life, and is kid-friendly!

Timeline Activity: This is my go-to history activity to get the kids engaged. Find 5/6 pictures of defining moments in Mandela’s life, and type up some text to go with them. Distribute the pictures and text in packs to groups, and have them match them up. This won’t take them long, so you could get them to summarise the information in a timeline or fact file activity.

Download the images and text I use, as well as some handy vocab words for a display, here

Poetry: There are a couple of famous poems surrounding Mandela that you can bring in here. They are ‘Our Deepest Fear’ (Marianne Williamson), which was read at his inauguration as President of South Africa, and ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Hanley, which was said to have helped Mandela survive his 27-year spell in prison.

Collaborative Poster: This collaborative art activity from Jenny K is always a great hit with my class. Students are given 1/2 pages each, and have to either colour in or draw and colour in the piece of the picture they are given, depending on the version you choose. The different pieces come together to make a MASSIVE poster of Mandela!

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Kahoot Quiz: This is a great way of assessing how much the kids have learned, and they absolutely love Kahoot quizzes. If you haven’t come across Kahoot, check it out (it’s pretty simple), and the link for my Mandela quiz is available here.

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There you have it – some of the ideas and resources I’ve used when teaching about Mandela. There are, of course, hundreds more – you could have the kids write a letter to Mandela in prison; write a diary entry from his point of view; incorporate some drama into the main events of his life, create an animated video using a website like Biteable – the list is endless!

I hope this has given you some inspiration and helps you in planning your Mandela lessons. As always, if you have any questions or comments, get in touch @irishguyteaching!

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Persuasive Writing Ideas

I posted some persuasive writing pieces that the kids in my class typed up yesterday, and got loads of messages asking about lesson ideas and resources, so I said I’d put together this blog post to hopefully help somebody out.

The PDST has a really-useful document on genre writing, which gives a great seven-step approach to teaching any genre, which I recommend using. I’m going to squash those into four steps for this post.

  1. Familiarisation & Framework: Children exposed to writing in the given genre, and analyse a piece to discover features and structure.
  2. I Do: Teacher writes a piece and thinks-aloud.
  3. We Do: Teacher uses students’ ideas, opinions and edits to write another piece.
  4. You Do: Students plan, write, edit and present their own pieces.

Familiarisation & Framework

Give students a piece of persuasive writing, and analyse it. The main features you should be able to pull out are:

  • Clear Title (‘We Should Not Have to Wear a Uniform’, ‘Donald Trump is a Terrible President’ etc.)
  • Connectives (first, also, moreover, etc.)
  • Persuasive Language (it should be obvious that, clearly, there can be no denying, etc.)
  • Rhetorical Questions (‘Who wants to live in a world like that?’ ‘How many more times must this happen?’ etc.

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‘I Do’

Teacher Think-Aloud: Once we had pulled a list of features out from these pieces, I opened up a new document in Word on the board, and typed up a piece on homework in front of them, talking them through it as I went (you may need to have this prepared beforehand – I’m lucky enough to be a very fast typist!).

I then went back and edited the piece, talking aloud again about using more emotional language, stretching the sentences out, using rhetorical questions etc.)

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‘We Do’ 

Cut and Code: Take a piece of persuasive writing, and jumble up the sentences. Students work in groups to  cut sentences out, rearrange them, and then code the features previously mentioned using a key (highlight connectives in red, rhetorical questions in yellow, etc.)

Walking Debates: Call out a statement (e.g. everyone should own a dog), and have the kids choose a corner of the room (agree, disagree, not sure etc.). I find this can be quite noisy and unproductive, so you might want to try picking one table at a time, and probing them to explain their reasons why.

Correct the Homework: Children act as a teacher to ‘correct’ a piece of persuasive writing, making suggestions and edits for an imaginary student.

Shared Writing: Give the kids a new topic (e.g. Why Every Child ‘Should Have an iPad in School’), and have them brainstorm arguments to make. Work together to compose the piece, with the kids giving the ideas and arguments, but you writing and editing as you go along.

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‘You Do’

  1. Brainstorm: The main thing here is to have a lot of sample ideas that the kids can use to come up with their own pieces.
  2. First Drafts: Kids come up with an idea, assemble their ideas, and then start writing their first draft.
  3. Edit & Redraft: I corrected these first drafts, made suggestions, and gave them back to the kids. I quickly looked over their second drafts, and then, finally, the kids typed up their finished pieces and displayed them in the classroom. It took a long time to get them to this final step, but I was really proud of the pieces they came up with in the end!

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Integration/Other Ideas

Oral Language: This is the perfect opportunity to bring in some oral debates. Keep the groups small, don’t let them pick ridiculous topics, and give them Post-it notes instead of refill pads so they can’t write the whole thing out!

Drama – TV Commercials: To mix up the monotony of all that writing, you could do a drama activity where groups have to make a one-minute advertisment to persuade you to buy a new product. This could be integrated into SPHE/Drama very easily on placement (there’s a whole strand unit for ‘Media Education’. Here are some good examples to show!

  • Coca-Cola – ‘Brotherly Love’

‘Persuasive Prize!’ Buy a bar of chocolate or other prize, and encourage students to write you a piece persuading you to give it to them. The most creative/best written piece wins the prize!

 

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I hope this gives you plenty of ideas on how to approach persuasive writing in your own class. I will post up the sample pieces I used and more resources on Mash/TPT in the next week – I’m working hard on them!

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please get in touch on Instagram @irishguyteaching or at irishguyteaching@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Teaching Money – Some Ideas

When I was making out long-term plans at the start of the year, I gave myself two weeks to cover money, thinking there would be loads to learn and lots of fun activities to try. A little closer to the time (i.e. the Sunday night before!), I realised there was only one thing in the curriculum for fifth class was ‘compare ‘value for money’ using unitary method’, that all the resources online were either in pounds or dollars, and that the chapter in the book was shockingly boring.

Somehow or another, I made it through to the end of the two weeks, but as is the general theme of this whole site, I’m writing this post to help out someone else who might be stuck in the same boat. These are some of the activities I came up!

Boom Cards

A little more interactive than just giving the kids problems to complete in their copies. I used these to introduce ‘unitary method’ (e.g. if 3 bananas are €2.10, how much does one cost?) and got the kids to complete them in pairs with mini-whiteboards. Here’s the link to the cards – they’re free but you need to create an account!

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‘Grab the Change’

I used some fake notes and coins that I got in Mr. Price for this one, but you could just bring in a big jar of change. Put the kids in groups of four or five, and call out maths problems orally, e.g. ‘I had €10 and spent half of it, then spent another €2.80. What was my change?’ Kids have five seconds to grab the right change and show it you, or someone in the group who acts as score-keeper. Limit the amount of coins you give each group to make this a lesson to remember! You can make the questions harder by adding in discounts and multipack items.

Target Boards

I love using these to revise a mixture of decimal addition and subtraction, orders of operation, word problems etc. There are two levels which let you easily differentiate for kids (make them successfully complete Level 1 before moving on to Level 2!) and you can even get them to make up their own boards if they finish early. You can grab these over on my Mash store at this link.

Come Dine With Me

You’ll need a whole load of weekly Lidl/Centra brochures for this one. Put the kids in groups of two or three and have them come up with a three-course menu for four people, with a budget of €25 (for example). It was really interesting to see how different groups went about this – just make sure you ban the calculators so they have to do the work! I got groups to rate one another’s menus in a ‘Come Dine With Me’ activity afterwards.

Using Receipts

You’ll need to gather some receipts for this one (Twinkl have some decent fake ones too!). Photocopy the receipts and ask the kids to add up much was spent on vegetables, meat, a particular product etc. You could ‘black out’ some of the prices and give them clues on how to fill them in, calculate the total amount spent in a week, or even use the receipts to fill in a simple ‘Income & Expenditure’ account. I’m working on making a resource for this idea, so stay tuned!

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Bácáil as Gaeilge!

This was a fun activity that I did with my fifth class for Seachtain na Gaeilge last week. They absolutely loved it, and I was delighted with how much of the Irish they had retained the following day.

I took a recipe for Blueberry muffins from the BBC website online, and translated it into Irish. I then taught the kids the vocabulary (caster sugar, melted butter, oven, mixture etc.), and had them fill out a cloze exercise of the directions the day before.

On the day, I split them into two groups (buachaillí in aghaidh cáilíní!), and set out all the materials before letting them at it. I stayed with the groups and got as much Irish out of themn as possible, but tried to let them do all the actual weighing and mixing themselves.

Although this lesson was a lot of fun and definitely a class favourite, it did take a lot of preparation. As well as the ingredients listed in the recipe, you’ll also need at least one weighing scales, mixing bowls, a sieve, muffin cases and tins, and access to an oven.

If you want to give this a try for Seachtain na Gaeilge, or maybe just to incorporate some fun into your Irish lessons, you can get the recipe template (English & Irish version) here. If you do try it, please let me know how you get on!

P.S. I gave this post a try as Gaeilge below – feel free to (kindly) correct aon bhotún! 🙂

Ceacht taitneamach ab ea an cheann seo, a rinne mé le mo rang an tseachtain seo caite. Bhain siad fíor-taitneamh as, agus bhí ionadh orm an méad Ghaeilge a d’fhoghlaim siad!

Fuair mé an oideas ar líne, agus d’aistrigh mé go Ghaeilge é. Mhúin mé na foclóir Ghaeilge do na páistí (siúcra mín, im leáite, oigheann, meascán srl.), agus ansin bhí orthu ‘cloze exercise’ a líonadh amach.

Ar an lá, chuir mé na buachaillí in aghaidh na cáilíní (dár ndóigh!), agus chuir mé amach tuille rudaí a bhí ag teastáil uathu. D’fhán mé leis na grúpaí, ag spreagadh Gaeilge labhartha, ach rinne mé mo dhícheall an chuid is mó den oibre a fhágáil chucu.

Cé go raibh an spraoi againn, bhí go leor obair le déanamh roimh ré, le comhábháir agus trealamh éagsúla a cheannach agus a bhailiú.

Má tá fonn ort an ceacht seo a triail, is féidir an templéid a d’úsáid mé a fháil ag an nasc seo. Inis dom cén chaoi a n-eiríonn leat!

 

Clay Monsters

The first time I taught this lesson was one of the most nightmare-ish lessons I’ve ever had.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and on the advice of another teacher, added ‘a little bit of water’ to the clay to keep it from drying out. I also gave out the clay to the kids with nothing to go between it and the desk…

Long story short, the lesson ended with the kids exiting through the emergency door, while I cleared all the tables and got three kids to attack them with a bucket of hot water and some old towels. We did (eventually) get the clay out of the tables, but I don’t think the cleaners ever forgave me for the mess we left on (in?) the carpet

I swore that day that I would learn from my mistakes, and since then I’ve had much better results!

My top tip, before I start on the actual lesson, is to invest in jay-cloths – one per child. You can re-use them year after year, and they do a fantastic job of stopping the clay from getting stuck everywhere. I always pre-cut the slabs of clay and fold them up inside a jay cloth, which makes it easy to distribute at the start of the lesson. I’ve also heard of people using mini-whiteboards or clingfilm, but personally I find jay-cloths to be a lifesaver.

Introduction, Stimulus & Revision

Start by explaining to the kids that they will be working with clay to make monsters.

Show pictures of sample projects, and discuss how the child/artist might have made them.

Revise some basic clay-making techniques – slipping and scoring, pinch pots, and pulling forms out of the clay. The video below does a pretty good job of revising the basics (if this is your first time using clay with the kids, you may need to spend some time teaching these)

Independent Work

After you gone over all the techniques, shown them samples, and completed a demonstration, you just have to sit back and let them work it out for themselves. Leave sample pictures on the board for inspiration, and showcase students who are making a nice design or are slipping and scoring really well. Other than that, the main thing to watch out for is that the pieces the kids have stuck on have been slipped and scored properly, and aren’t too thin, or they’ll just fall off or break when dried.

Drying

If you are using air-drying clay (this is what most schools will have) then you need to let the clay dry, preferably overnight, before painting. If you’re using a kiln, you’ll need to fire the clay twice – once before painting, and once after.

Painting

Once your clay is dry, it’s time to paint! Acryclic paints work better with clay, but you can use ordinary poster paint – you’ll just have to ensure each piece of clay gets 3 or 4 layers.

Once your monsters have been painted, take pictures of the best ones and splash them all over the school website. Send them to all your teacher friends on WhatsApp to show what a fantastic teacher you are, and then treat yourself to a tub of ice-cream and a night of Netflix – you did it!

Project Work (Senior Classes)

Project work is a staple part of teaching in the senior end of primary school. When done properly, they can develop and a massive variety of skills that go way beyond the scope of the curriculum for that subject. I can’t think of any other activity students take part in that encompasses a wider variety of skills! These include:

  • Researching a topic online and using Word processing and typing skills
  • Communicating with other team members – listening, being clear and concise with their ideas, debating and discussing a variety of options.
  • Writing Skills – putting ideas into their own words, redrafting and editing, proofreading.
  • Designing  a scrapbook or poster – organising their ideas, making it visually pleasing, choosing the most important parts.
  • Public Speaking – standing up in front of a class full of peers to present and discuss their work.

In this post, I’m going to break down how I approach teaching and facilitating projects, from selecting groups, allocating computer, library and independent work time, setting expectations for oral presentations, and ensuring students are learning throughout the process.

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Structure, Frequency and Deadlines

I  do try to mix up how the kids complete their projects. If you assign five history/geography projects, all to be completed in groups of four in randomly-assigned groups, the kids are going to be thoroughly fed up by the end of the year. Here are some options you can choose from:

  • Switch between independent projects and group projects.
  • Provide choice in their projects to engage their interests (e.g. pick a country of your choice/include five of the  categories below).
  • Have the kids include an experiment or design and make a showpiece.
  • Get the students to make a PowerPoint presentation instead of a scrapbook, or use a website like Biteable.com to make an animated video on the chosen topic
  • Interactive Booklets – these are less research heavy and require a lot of cutting and colouring. I like using them straight after a project/scrapbook project as it gives the kids a nice break. See an example here.

How often you complete projects really depends on the ability and attitude of your class. I’m aiming for two per term this year, but as you can see from above, some of them are less time and energy intensive than others.

In terms of a timeframe, I normally give students three full weeks to complete the project. Any shorter and some of them don’t pull it together in time, and any longer, they don’t bother starting it for a week or two. In that three weeks, I might give one hour a week for independent work, two computer classes, and a visit to the school library.

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Assessing and Differentiating

  • Get students to write down three skills they learned when completing their work, and include these ‘personal learning statements’ at the end of their projects.
  • I always provide a rubric for their oral presentations beforehand, so the kids know exactly what I’m looking for. (Click here for a sample rubric). 
  • Provide options on how to complete the project (e.g. a 20-page scrapbook or a poster).
  • Let the students you think will struggle with oral presentations go last, so you can clearly point out what other groups did well.

Other Tips

  • If the project involves an oral presentation, spread them out over three to four days or you’re in for a looooong afternoon!
  • Be very specific on the physical size of posters! It can be a nightmare to try and display work when students hand up 12 A3 pages in an irregular shape that takes up an entire noticeboard on its own – speaking from experience!
  • If students have no access to a colour printer and genuinely need one, stick a piece of paper up on your noticeboard and set a deadline for requests. Otherwise, you can spend an hour Googling and printing images when you want to get around to talk to groups!
  • Have groups contribute one or two questions each to a test on a topic – easy way to assess and engage interest!

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I hope this was of some help to anyone completing project work with their class. If you get it set up properly, and all of your groups are working away on their own, it can make for a very enjoyable few afternoons!

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Completing the Droichead – Start to Finish (My Experience)

If you’re currently in training to become a primary school teacher, the chances are you’ve been hearing a lot of talk about the new ‘Droichead’ induction programme for NQT’s. As I completed the Droichead last year (school year of 17/18), I thought it might be helpful to give an overview of what the process looked like for me.

Naturally, this is just my experience and perspective, and yours may be different depending on your mentors, principal, school environment, and class setting. I completed the Droichead in a 32 classroom-teacher school in Dublin, in a mainstream, mixed, Catholic school.

What is the Droichead?

Simply put, Droichead is the new way to become a fully qualified teacher in Ireland. ‘Droichead’ is the Irish word for ‘bridge’, and the Droichead scheme is there to ‘bridge the gap’ between you being a college student on teaching practice, and being a fully qualified and employed teacher with your own classroom. It replaces the old Dip/Probation Year for teachers. Image result for bridge clipart

The main difference between the two is that the Droichead is (in theory, at least) a support system put in place by the school, allowing qualified and experienced mentors (other teachers in the school) to guide you at the beginning of your teaching career. In contrast, the Dip is essentially an exam from an external inspector – a final test for you to prove yourself before being granted the status of ‘qualified teacher’.

As you can see from this ‘Timeline for Growth Phase’, the Droichead scheme is being gradually phased in, replacing the old ‘Dip’ system. This school year (2018/2019),  if you teach in a school with 16 or more mainstream class teachers, the ‘Droichead’ is the only route of induction you can take (i.e. you can’t complete the Dip). By September 2020, it is proposed to be the only route of induction for all primary schools in the country.

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Registration and Requirements

There are three prerequisite steps to beginning the Droichead process.

  1. The NQT must secure a job which meets the requirements to undertake the Droichead process. See Page 4 of this document for a full break-down, but at a basic level I would say you have to be in a contract that guarantees you 60 consecutive school days.
  2. The school must be registered for Droichead. (see a list of registered schools 18/19 here).
  3. The NQT must be registered with the Teaching Council.

Once those two steps are complete, the process is very simple.

  1. Apply to begin the Droichead process via your Teaching Council login page.
  2. Wait for an email to say that your application has been processed and approved, and download ‘Form D’.
  3. Complete Strand A and Strand B (see below)
  4. Send completed ‘Form D’ to the Teaching Council.
  5. Wait to be confirmed as a fully qualified and probated teacher!

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Strand A and Strand B

As I mentioned above, the Droichead is split into two ‘strands’:

Strand A: School-Based Induction

  1. Teach for a minimum period of 60 consecutive days. My Droichead process lasted from October to the Easter holidays, and this seems to be the timeframe most schools are sticking to.
  2. Engage in ‘Professional Conversations’ (i.e. have a number of meetings with your Support Team).
  3. Observations: Your Support Team decide how many of these are necessary. I went into two different classrooms to observe colleagues teaching a lesson, and I was observed teaching two lessons, one in October, and one in February. It is really important to note that these are not inspections – you are told in advance when you are being observed, and actually go through the lesson plan with your mentor beforehand – it is not a ‘wait for the dreaded knock on the door’ situation! My observations were absolutely fine – again, I went through my lesson plan with my mentors before the observation, so if there were any major issues with the lessons, it was as much their fault for not pointing them out beforehand as mine! They were extremely supportive, full of complements for my lessons and teaching style, and gave me solid, practical advice to carry forward with me in future lessons. I never felt like I was being judged or assessed in any way, and my PST team made me feel empowered and part of the process at all times.
  4. Portfolio/Taisce – again, this is at the discretion of the Support Team in the school, so it can really be anything. I chose to keep a diary for the year, filling it in maybe once a fortnight. Other teachers keep some ‘artefacts’ that they use to reflect on the year, start an Instagram page to document their journey, or take pictures and make a video of their learning in a visual way. This is very open-ended and can really take any shape or form that your PST team supports.

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Strand B: Additional Professional Learning Activities

  1. Attend 3 Cluster Meetings in your local Education Centre (one per term) {N.B. You need to bring your Form D to each one of these to be stamped!}
  2. Attend one other Professional Learning Activity (workshop/conference/attending ‘Féilte’ – once more, this is up to your support team, so basically it’s anything that they agree to!). I chose a PDST art course, which was on a Thursday afternoon for two hours in my education centre, and most other teachers I know of did something similar).

Overall, my experience with the Droichead was extremely positive. In comparison to the horror stories some of my friends have from completing the Dip, (which sounds like a full-year of intense teaching practice) it was practically enjoyable. The paperwork (weekly plans for every subject) was tough, and at times there seemed to be a lot of different elements to the whole process, but overall I would highly, highly recommend focusing on schools that will allow you to complete the Droichead process. I would go as far as to say that you should choose a Droichead school over a non-Droichead one, and that if you do find yourself in a non-Droichead school, you should not apply to complete probation (you have three years after graduating), and wait for the Droichead to be phased into your school.

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I really hope this was of some value to any college students out there completing a B.Ed, PME or Hibernia. If you have any questions, send me a DM at @irishguyteaching on Instagram, or email me at irishguyteaching@gmail.com. The NIPT also have a huge amount of information, FAQ’s, and other documents concerning the Droichead available here.

Thank you so much for reading!