38 episodes

Teachers Inspire is an Ireland-wide initiative that seeks to celebrate teachers and to recognise the transformative role they play in our lives and in our communities.
Hosted by acclaimed author Louise O’Neill, the Teachers Inspire podcast meets inspirational teachers, those whose lives they’ve touched along with researchers and educators, discussing topics including early childhood education, inclusion in education, mental health and wellbeing, teaching gifted children and STEM education.
To share your own story of a teacher who made a difference in your life, go to teachersinspire.ie.

Producer: Elaine Keogh

Teachers Inspire Ireland Teachers Inspire Ireland

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Teachers Inspire is an Ireland-wide initiative that seeks to celebrate teachers and to recognise the transformative role they play in our lives and in our communities.
Hosted by acclaimed author Louise O’Neill, the Teachers Inspire podcast meets inspirational teachers, those whose lives they’ve touched along with researchers and educators, discussing topics including early childhood education, inclusion in education, mental health and wellbeing, teaching gifted children and STEM education.
To share your own story of a teacher who made a difference in your life, go to teachersinspire.ie.

Producer: Elaine Keogh

    A million reasons to nominate…

    A million reasons to nominate…

    There is no better way to start the 2023 podcast series than with one of our most recent awardees.
     
    Louise is joined by Joe McAndrew who may have retired over twenty years ago from Banagher National School but his influence on former pupil Ann Loughney never faded.
     
    Ann tells Louise, “it wasn't hard to think of a million reasons to nominate Joe. He’s just been so inspirational to me all of my life.”
     
    Joe’s classroom was welcoming and supportive and even though it was the 1980s he never discriminated against girls. They were taught about car engines and computers just as the boys were and Ann said, ‘he never made you feel small or silly for asking any question.’
     
    Joe tells Louise about his love of technology and how, as he prepared his pupils for the changing world of technology, he shared his love of engineering, tech and science with them. 
     
    ‘I realised that in this new technological age there will be no difference, or no reason for any difference, in gender or whether you are rich or poor, or anything else….I was very anxious that everybody should be treated with fair play,’ he said.
     
    Teachers Inspire is now open for nominations for 2023 at teachersinspire.ie

    • 18 min
    Mixed or single-sex schools?

    Mixed or single-sex schools?

    Two secondary school principals join Louise to discuss one of the big questions for parents, and students, when it comes to selecting a secondary school.
     
    Louise chats to secondary school principals Alan Mynes, Ballymakenny College, Drogheda and Seán Stack, St Joseph's, Fairview, Dublin who share their experiences and discuss mixed and single-sex schools. 
     
    Seán’s father was a teacher and he attended mixed schools at primary and secondary level. St Joseph’s began to accept girls this year and he explains “there wasn't a moment that we said, oh we're going co-ed. There probably was a moment we said, well, hold on a second, why are we not looking at this?”
     
    Ballymakenny College is a mixed school but Alan went to single sex at primary and secondary level and he is, as it happens, a past pupil of St Joseph’s, Fairview!
     
    He says it comes back to “if a student is happy, regardless of whether it's co-ed or single sex,” that there are different school models and, “there's a school for everybody.”
     
    Both tell Louise about the teachers they remember fondly from their school days.

    • 24 min
    Young children and STEM education

    Young children and STEM education

    Free play and fun, Lego and Barbie all get a mention in this fascinating discussion Louise has with Prof Hamsa Venkat, the Naughton Family Chair in Early Years/Primary STEM education in DCU. 
     
    They hear from children, parents and the facilitator of a Brickx club where, without realising it, young children were solving engineering and maths problems as they designed and built amazing creations during free play using Lego.
     
    Prof Venkat says it is important to grow enthusiasm around STEM for children in early years and primary school settings as in Ireland, and other countries, she said not enough secondary school students are planning for careers that involve STEM subjects. 
     
    She also talks about the importance of supporting teachers who introduce and develop STEM learning in those settings and Louise shares her story about having a Barbie doll that said ‘math is hard.’

    • 24 min
    Dr Katriona O’Sullivan and the teachers she has never forgotten

    Dr Katriona O’Sullivan and the teachers she has never forgotten

    Her memoir ‘Poor” has been a bestseller for months, it has won two awards in recent weeks and in this episode Dr Katriona O’Sullivan joins Louise to talk about the teachers at primary and second level that she has never forgotten.
     Some showed her how to wash, another nurtured a love of reading and literature. But they also did much more: they made her feel empowered and cared for. In many ways they epitomise what Teachers Inspire is about.
     Education, and access to it, remain very important to Katriona who is a psychologist and a senior lecturer in Maynooth University.

    • 20 min
    What Teachers Inspire is all about

    What Teachers Inspire is all about

    It is time to meet another of the Teachers Inspire awardees of 2022.
     
    Ruairi Farrell is the Principal of Greystones Community College but some 15 years ago he was a Year Head in another school where he intervened after becoming concerned about a student.
     
    The student was Ciara Nolan and in her nomination to Teachers Inspire last year she said he was ‘always looking and making sure everyone was okay but when he realised I was suffering, which was probably before I even realised I had a problem, he had called me out of class one day and asked me to speak to the counsellor.’
     
    She had developed an eating disorder and while it was many years ago, she never forgot what he did. 
     
    We hear Ruairi discuss what it meant to have been nominated, the teachers that inspired him and what he has in place in his school to support today’s students, including a psychotherapist.
     
    Louise talks about having an eating disorder when she was in secondary school, attending counselling and how she thinks having a psychotherapist in school is a very positive initiative.

    • 15 min
    DCU’s Graduate Diploma in SPHE/RSE - underpinned by a rights-based and inclusive approach.

    DCU’s Graduate Diploma in SPHE/RSE - underpinned by a rights-based and inclusive approach.

    Louise is joined by Drs Kay Maunsell and Leanne Coll who, with their DCU colleagues, deliver a ground breaking Graduate Diploma in SPHE/RSE.

    The students are experienced secondary school teachers from across the country and they are the first group to study on the programme which is the only specialist teacher development programme of its kind at post primary level in Ireland. 

    Leanne and Kay tell Louise it is underpinned by a rights-based and inclusive approach and they discuss how sex education has changed since Louise was in secondary school!

    One of the students on the programme – Galway teacher Annemarie Browne – shares her experience and how she wants her students to have a positive experience of SPHE/RSE.

    Louise also hears that the future for quality comprehensive sexuality education is looking good.

    • 20 min

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