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Why 1 to 2 years relevant teaching experience is key for Irish teachersy


John Gorman – Irish Head Teacher

The stats in terms of newly qualified graduates gaining full time employment in the Irish system, in Northern Ireland it is 5% and in Southern Ireland it is 8% of new graduates annually go into full time positions.

With this in mind, one of the biggest difficulties that a young Irish teacher faces coming out of college is being called to interview.  Shortlisting for interview, there are strict criteria in relation to this with various selection boards.  In order to be selected the key things are qualifications and experience.  Very often, young Irish graduates do not get called to interview in the early years due to a lack of relevant teaching experience. 

Therefore, it is vital that teachers gain experience in their own subjects, teaching their own classes.  In order to do this the UK offers a great option, because it is a directly transferable experience to the Irish system and particularly aligned now to the new Junior Cert programme with the AFL assessment techniques, the active teaching methodologies.

This UK experience can be directly aligned to the new Junior Cert programme and many of the Leaving Cert programmes as well, in terms of project based material. Experience gained in the UK is highly relevant.  One year gives new teachers a fighting chance, two years give teachers a strong chance of at least being called to interview and possibly interview success.  It is relevant experience that is highly valued across the Irish system by Irish school selection committees.

Young Irish teaching graduates need to ensure that their formative years as new teachers are well spent gaining great experience in supportive schools. Learning from experienced teachers and institutions in their specialist areas.