Why Become a Teacher?
Children will always need and deserve excellent teachers. It is their right as individuals, it is the expectation of their parents and it is necessary for the future prosperity of our society. At St Mary's University College we believe that our mission is to prepare excellent teachers who in turn can lead and inspire our children in a life of learning and who will pass on the beliefs, values, knowledge and skills necessary for leading a life of full participation in society.
Teaching is more than merely a job: it is truly a vocation. Teachers must believe in their vocation and the importance of their responsibilities for the future of each individual child and the well-being of society as a whole. In our teacher education courses we aim to foster teachers who have the following qualities:
• a caring attitude for children and a sensitivity to their needs
• an enthusiasm about teaching and a commitment to the value of the educational process
• a belief in the promotion of equal opportunities, recognising and celebrating differences occasioned by race, religion, gender, class and special needs
• a willingness to learn, a confidence to constructively reflect, and an openness to change and innovation
• a lively and inquisitive mind and a range of cultural, intellectual and other personal interests
These attributes reflect the core values set forth by the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI).
Irish-Medium Primary PGCE
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a one-year, full-time course leading to full recognition as a teacher by the Department of Education.
The Primary PGCE is taught substantially through the medium of Irish and is intended particularly for graduates who wish to teach in Irish-medium primary schools. The course content is based on the requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum, and students have the opportunity to gain specialist insights into educational issues relevant to immersion education.
This M-Level programme is thirty-six weeks in duration, of which eighteen weeks are spent in a variety of classroom settings where competences in professional practice are developed. Students will spend two blocks of School Experience in an Irish-medium school and one block in an English-medium school. Students will also have an opportunity to select practical experience in a special school or in a nursery. Modules have been designed to allow students to integrate the knowledge gained from clinical practice and from College-based study. It is recommended that applicants applying for this course have a high level of competence in oral and written Irish.