My name is Annette Ni Mhuireagain (Morgan). I completed a B. Ed. degree in Colaiste Phadraig in 1994 and was awarded Vere Foster medal and a subsequent scholarship to study for a Master's Degree in Elementary Education in State University New York which I obtained in 1995.
I taught for a few years in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath before heading to Abu Dhabi where I remained for 16 years. I returned to Ireland to north Monaghan four years ago and took up a post as a resource teacher in a mainstream primary school.
I am currently a student on the Professional Diploma in Special and Inclusive Education with ICEP and DCU School of Education. When I returned from abroad, I got a part-time job in resource and I found that despite many years of classroom teaching, I lacked background and pedagogical knowledge for teaching students with special or specific additional learning needs. My son was also diagnosed with learning difficulties around the same time, so I felt the need to up-skill myself in order to assist him at home.
Applying for the Course
The application process for the course was simple and straight forward and any minor issues I had were dealt with very promptly. Once on board it took me a while to familiarise myself with the Moddle platform but the tech people in ICEP were always available and were very helpful and encouraging.
The lectures and forums were very informative and interactive and I enjoyed learning from other teachers who were more experienced with various learning disabilities. The assignments were challenging, particularly if you haven't written academically for a long time, but the module leaders were very helpful and accessible if I needed more guidance.
I believe that I have gained a much deeper understanding of Dyslexia, General Learning Disabilities, Challenging Behaviour and Autism. I have learned how these conditions can inhibit learning and I feel much better equipped to help students who may be struggling with learning as a result of one of these or other conditions.
I have learned about up to date best pratices when dealing with these difficulties. More importantly I have a better understanding of how students with special learning needs can be included in the mainstream classroom and how I can make a difference to improve inclusive practices in my school and community.
I also feel more confident when talking to parents about their child who may be struggling, and I can recommend various options to them in terms of appropriate interventions and best practices, and also I can advise them on how they can support their children at home. Also teachers in the school now approach me with queries, so I can pass on my knowledge and understanding to them as well.
I would definitely recommend this course. It is quite intensive but very rewarding. Great for teacher mummies who are tied to being at home, but who are keen to learn more current trends and best practices in special and inclusive education.