Through the CAO I applied for PE teaching in University of Limerick. At the time I had to complete a movement and ability test but I think that has since been removed as part of the requirements. I passed that test and once I acquired the points from the Leaving Cert. I was accepted into the course.
Describe a typical day?
In secondary teaching, our day is more or less determined by the ringing of a bell every 35-40 minutes. I have 33 periods of class a week and teach both Junior and Leaving Cert. PE and Geography.
A typical day will see me meet over 150 pupils. All PE classes are double periods and Geography mainly single, except for one double at senior cycle.
During each lesson you are expected to correct homework and deliver new content. In PE you have to include a warm-up, the main body of the lesson and a cool-down. Some days time constraints or interruptions won’t allow you to complete what you have planned for so you have to adapt your lesson accordingly.
Time also has to be set aside to assess pupils in both subjects, more so in geography. At lunch or small break, I may have supervision and after school I have teams to train or study to supervise. Don’t be fooled - a teachers job does not end at 4pm!!
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
My main task and responsibility is to educate the pupils I teach. In terms of Geography they have a Junior and Leaving Cert. to sit, and in relation to PE our main goal is to fulfill the requirements of the syllabus while preparing the pupils for long-life participation in physical activity. On a daily basis I am responsible for the pupils’ welfare while in my care.
The holidays!! My colleague says “the education of our future generations”!!, that too, of course.
What's not so cool?
The mood swings of a 16 year old!! And the corrections.......
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I’m a good listener and communicator which is a big plus in teaching. Youth is on my side yet so I can demonstrate most physical skills in the PE class!
What are the main challenges?
The main challenges are dealing with diversity and mixed ability in the classroom, inclusion of all pupils in all activities and maintaining safety and high levels of participation in PE.