How I Got My Job: Teacher and Textbook Author Múinteoir Meg

Interested in Irish and teaching?

When you’re in school, it’s super hard to have to decide on your future career. There’s already hours of homework and study and you’ll soon be making decisions about college courses and what to do after school. At KISS we’re chatting to people in different industries about how they’ve landed their dream role, what they actually do, and their advice to you. This week, we’re chatting to Megan O Connor, (aka Múinteoir Meg) teacher and textbook author about her life in the classroom and beyond.

What is your current role?

I am a secondary school Irish teacher and textbook author.

Can you describe what your general day at work looks like?

This year I decided to take a break from the classroom and return to college to complete a second masters, this masters is in Scríobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge. Despite not teaching in a school this year I am still teaching grinds classes. My mornings are usually spent correcting students work and preparing notes for the evening classes. Midday I spend some time working on my textbook Croí na Gaeilge and also completing college assignments. I log onto online classes at around 4pm each evening and teach until 9:30.

How did you decide on this type of career?

I really enjoyed Irish at school as I had a fantastic teacher, Clare Grealy. My love for the Irish language developed after I spent a summer at Spleodar in Leitir Móir. It wasn’t until I began teaching placement that I realised the huge responsibility that Irish teachers have. I’ve always wanted other people to experience the Irish language in the way that I do, it is something to be celebrated.

What did you study?

After my leaving cert I studied a Two Subject Moderatorship in Trinity College Dublin. My subjects are History and Nua-Ghaeilge, I specified in Nua-Ghaeilge in my fourth year and wrote my thesis as Gaeilge! After completing my degree I went on to study a Masters in Education in University College Dublin which provided me with the opportunity to learn about different teaching methods and go on two school placements. Since completing my first masters I have attended a number of Gaelchultúr courses, upskilling is so important as a teacher.

What are the ups and downs of the role?

There are very few downs in the life of a teacher, apart from correcting huge bundles of exams. The aspect of my career that I like the most is the students. I love interacting with them, learning from them and helping them understand parts of the Irish language that they may have previously struggled with. I make a conscious effort to create a comfortable and relaxed learning environment for them. I will never forget any of my students or the joy that they bring to my life on a daily basis. I am so grateful to them.

What advice would you give to a student looking to get into your line of work?

The advice that I would have for budding teachers is to foster relationships with students, find a good mentor, keep note of every topic you cover and take care of yourself! For anyone that has an interest in teaching Gaeilge it is such a privilege to be able to teach our national language, make it fun and keep it simple.