Limerick teachers are a class apart

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Teachers Niamh Hennessy, Christabel Lenihan, Rachel Griffin present a cheque to Margaret McCarthy, Mary Carr, Olive Dillon, of Childrens Ark School with pupils, Rebecca Hackett, Eileen Connellan, Musfiqur Rahman, Sarah Duggan
YOUNG teachers in Limerick are setting a positive example in and out of the classroom.

YOUNG teachers in Limerick are setting a positive example in and out of the classroom.

The five educators - either newly qualified teachers (NQT) or non-permanent teachers (NPT) - organised a fundraiser for the Children’s Ark School.

Based in University Hospital Limerick, it caters for the ongoing education of pupils aged from four to 19. It is a multi-denominational school based in a purpose built school in the Children’s Ark Unit.

The five teachers only formed the Limerick NQT and NPT Group last March. They raised almost €400 from a bingo table quiz in Flannery’s on Catherine Street. Rachel Griffin, Clonmacken, said the group was set up as a sub-group of INTO Limerick city branch to bring young teachers together and form an active network in Limerick.

“With some of us being newly qualified and non-permanent ourselves, we understood that there was a lack of a sense of community amongst young teachers. The support we had in college was no longer readily available. We faced new situations and with each encounter came questions and a sense of uncertainty and confusion,” said Rachel, who is joined by Niamh Hennessy, Christabel Lenihan, Laura Quirke and Zoe Fansey.

“As the group got to know each other we soon came to realise that we all had experiences to share, questions to ask and ideas to offer. We set up our Facebook page to encourage new teachers to do just that, while feeling included and supported. It has had a fantastic response with over 400 likes. We continuously share tips, stories and useful information, answer people’s queries and encourage people to voice their hopes for overdue changes and reform. We organise social events to allow teachers the chance to meet, socialise and network. Our bingo quiz night was a great success and all the money we raised was donated to the Children’s Ark School,” said Rachel Catherine Walsh, branch committee of Limerick City INTO, said: “These young teachers felt that they would like to do something to help a thoroughly deserving cause, although they do not have permanent employment themselves.”