The Not-So-Secret Diary of a Teacher
I’m Hayley, a PME student with Hibernia College. Before undertaking the PME, I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in subjects Geography and Sociology in Maynooth University after completing my Leaving Cert. After this, I lived in Toronto, Canada and travelled for a few years. Upon my return, I created my Instagram page ‘theteacherstudent’ in 2019 to document my journey getting into the PME and my PME experience. I enjoy posting ideas for the classroom, teaching tips, desk space ideas, outfit ideas and try and help as many student teachers and teachers as I can. I really enjoy the community on Instagram as it has allowed me to connect with like-minded people from all over the world. As well as this, I am a girl guide leader with the Irish Girl Guides and I enjoy this in my spare time.
My alarm goes off…
at a different time every single day. No two days are the same when undertaking the PME. The calendar with Hibernia updates every week on a Monday and this is when on-demand session material is released. It’s worth mentioning that the calendar updates and changes quite often so you need to be really flexible. Days when I am subbing, I set my alarm at a time that suits the traffic depending how far away the school is. Schools all start at different times now due to the pandemic. Some start earlier than others but for the most part, my alarm is set generally around 7am. Nothing is straight forward when it comes to the PME, not even alarm setting!
Psst… check out our blog-post on morning routines HERE.
I am responsible for…
my college work. I am responsible for getting through the masters with Hibernia and getting all my modules completed to get a step closer to the dream job. I am also responsible for the student voice for the Autumn 2020 cohort. I was elected alongside my fellow student Ciara, to represent the student voice. This is something I am really passionate about.
My typical day...
changes. There is no ‘typical day’ when completing the PME. Much the alarm clock situation as explained above. I could be subbing or completing the on-demand session releases, completing assignments, attending webinars or face to face days. The list is endless, there is so much to do!
The best part of my job is...
is that I am working towards getting into my dream job which has been a goal of mine since I was in school. I wouldn’t say that I have a job per se, my job is to be a student for the moment. When I am subbing, my job is the teacher and in that position, I love how every day is entirely different. You could be standing in front of a group of different children every single day. The excitement from the students getting to know a new face is brilliant too. There is always so much energy in the room and I love that!
The most challenging part of my job is…
balancing everything that needs to be done. As you can tell, the life during a PME is really busy and it’s really important to use a diary to put all key dates, webinars, face to face days, personal appointments, meeting etc into it. There is so much to take in a student teacher, you’re just trying to soak it all up as much as possible. I suppose the most challenging part of subbing is getting to know students really fast and figure out a classroom rewards system that the teacher uses. This can be tough to implement if you’re only with a class for a day or so and you can’t see progression through the entire week or celebrate the ‘table of the week’ or ‘student of the week’. This is because you might not be there on the Friday to do so and even if you are, you generally leave it for the class teacher to organise themselves the way they like to do it.
Psst… If you want to learn more about how to prioritise your time, check out this blog-post about effective decision-making HERE!
I am inspired by…
my own path that has taken me to get to this point as a student teacher. I have worked tirelessly to get to this position that I am in. I have had set back, after set back such as not enough points in my Leaving Cert and not getting accepted into the PME the first time that I applied. This isn’t something that I look back on and feel sad about. Rather it reminds me that even when there is a setback, it does not define your future or your career. It’s important that we are our own motivator. You should never do something unless you want to do it. Going into a job that makes you feel fulfilled, happy, whole, content is so important to me. I am also inspired by my friends and family too. Their support is endless but at the end of the day, you need to be your biggest fan.
My number 1 tip for teachers is…
or student teachers is to start digital note taking if you can. I absolutely swear by taking my notes digitally on my iPad. I genuinely would be lost without it. It saves me so much time getting notes together during webinars and session releases. It gives me more time to listen about what is being said. It helps me learn so much and it really suits my style of learning (visual).
My favourite teaching & learning strategy is…
active learning. Actively learning by completing a task or discussing it in groups really helps in the classroom. It’s really important that students are engaged in their learning and not just passively learning. I aim for my students of the future to get a fully holistic experience of learning and that they grow up looking back at their schooling years and remember all the things they learned.
I generally make tea and relax. I enjoy calling my friends and chatting to them for hours and hours. I love going for walks too. I also absolutely love getting a coffee from Butlers – no surprise there!
The motto I live by…
You didn’t come this far, to only come this far.
A huge thank you to Hayley for sharing her not-so-secret diary – we love the motto and you’ve influenced us to try a Butlers coffee!!!
Would you like to share your diary or like to suggest a teacher, principal or education professional whose diary you would like to read?!
Contact us at email@example.com to nominate yourself or someone else – ah go on!
Go on, go on, go on!
This is always a hot topic for teachers and so important to get it right.
Here are some mistakes that teachers have shared with us when they did our EPV Summer Course on Classroom Management with Niamh Byrne, Irish Primary Teacher.
We have dipped in and out of the CPD course to learn what to do instead!
Why do we remember the words of lyrics we haven’t heard in years? Why do some experiences stick in our heads more than others? Something made them memorable!
Make your lessons stick by trying to make some aspect of it different. This could be as simple as playing music (we have played classical music when students were working independently in the past) or hooking them into the lesson with mystery tasks or controversial questions that spark debate.
When planning ask yourself: What can I do to make this lesson memorable?
Trying to keep calm when things are not going well in the classroom can be such a struggle. It is overwhelming to try and support students with their emotions and behaviours – as well as our own.
Susan Gavin, course author of EPV Summer Course “Supporting Students with Challenging Behaviour” has put a comprehensive course together to help us pre-empt issues and creating systems and ways of working that stop things escalating negatively.
Trina Golden – Primary Principal of a new school, Owenabue Educate Together in Carrigaline, Cork. Previously the Principal of Ennis Educate Together. Passionate about equality based education, additional needs, educational disadvantage and trauma informed approaches.
Okay so we’ve all been there – a job post comes up on your screen that you hadn’t seen before and the deadline is that day!
You quickly rush the application to get it in before 3pm and pray to Beyonce (she’s like God, right?) that it’s acceptable!