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Brian Cadigan, Primary School Teacher
Education & Teaching

Brian Cadigan, Primary School Teacher

Brian Cadigan works as a National School Teacher at Scoil San Treasa in Dublin. He completed a Bachelor of Education from St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra. He is a committed teacher and is involved in sports training alongside his classroom work. His school camogie and hurling teams reached four Cumann na mBunscoil finals and won two of them.

Ask me your
first question!

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

The completion of an 'elective' course in P.E. in college helped to prepare for coaching in sport. 

The experience I gained working in summer jobs I feel showed me that life is not all about working and making money. Teaching has it's own rewards.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

Having a very good teacher in secondary school for Gaeilge influenced me in a big way. Looking back now he was a role model for me and had the biggest influence on my career choice.

How did you go about getting your current job?

I responded to an advertisement which appeared in the Irish Independent newspaper. I attended an interview in the school and the school principal rang me the following day to say I was successful in my application.

Describe a typical day?

08:00 I arrive at school to get ready for the day ahead. Day commences at 08:40
08:40 - 09:00 Assembly period when children come into class to get ready
09:00 - 10:30 Formal instruction begins
10:30 - 10:40     Children leave for small break
10:40 - 12:10    Teaching time
12:00 - 12:40    Children go to yard for big break
12:40 - 14:20    Teaching time
14:20 - 15:45     Usually hurling training after school
16:00     Leave school.
After School    Spend one-two hours at home preparing for next days lessons and correcting assignments

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Teaching a class for the duration of the year in all subjects on the curriculum. Preparing class for secondary school and confirmation (only relevant to sixth class).

What are the main challenges?

The main challenges are:

Getting the curriculum covered in a short day.
Meeting the high expectations of parents.
The constant changing of textbooks/methods of teaching.

What's cool?

Primary school teaching is very rewarding - e.g: to see a child improve in a certain area and to observe a child producing work of a high quality under your instruction.

School holidays - great to have them but they are essential for both teachers and students.

What's not so cool?

The work involved in preparing for class i.e. preparing lessons and resources 'behind the scenes'.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Organisational skills - are essential for teaching as you need to have everything ready in advance.

Social skills - I feel I am good at dealing with people and teaching is all about human interaction. 

Sport skills - are so useful in coaching school teams.  

Enthusiasm and commitment - I feel I am a very enthusiastic and committed teacher and this reflects on the children I teach.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

I needed to chose a second language besides Gaeilge in order to get into St. Patrick's College in Drumcondra. I decided to study French.

What is your education to date?

Primary School: Castlecomer Convent & Castlecomer Boys National School, Co. Kilkenny.

Secondary School: Castlecomer Community School, Co. Kilkenny - Completed Junior and Leaving Certificate Examinations.

College: St.Patrick's College, Drumcondra - completed Bachelor of Education Degree.

Currently studying in U.C.D. on a Masters in Education Programme.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

A Classroom Management course I attended in St.Patrick's College, Drumcondra. When I reflect back now one of the modules on this course was called 'learning to become a teacher'. It was very influential and significant to my work today.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Cumann na mBunscoil finals 
We reached four Cumann na mBunscoil finals since I started in Scoil San Treasa and won two of them - one each in hurling and camogie. Having put a lot of work into the re-generation of hurling and camogie in the school these events were most rewarding for me.

Confirmation 2007 and 2005
It was a great feeling to have helped the children prepare for these events on these two special days in the lives of the children in our school.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

Being well organised is essential in primary school teaching. Sporting has helped with coaching teams in the school, and patience is needed with younger children.

What is your dream job?

If all my problems were sorted and if it was possible I would love to be a professional hurler!!!

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Yes, because of the fact that I am into sport, teaching allows me the time to ensure I can attend training sessions and games all the time. In relation to progression there is always plenty of areas that you can explore from a background in education. It is a very secure job. However, It would be impossible for me at the moment to buy a house in Dublin on my salary.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Don't just go into teaching because you are looking for long holidays. To teach everyday you need to like children, be very patient and understanding. However I feel it is one of the most rewarding jobs out there.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Good organisational skills.
Having a sense of fairness.

What is your favourite music?

Chart Music

What is your favourite film?

Michael Collins

What is your pet hate at work?

A messsy classroom, and a lack of resources in some subjects.

What is your star sign?


Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

I have received training on the use of the interactive whiteboard as a tool for teaching. 

Inservice days on new (1999) primary school curriculum. 

I have participated in many courses on Gaelic Games run by the local G.A.A. Club 'Kilmacud Crokes'.

Currently I am studying in U.C.D. on a Masters in Education programme.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Obtaining work experience in a classroom for a couple of weeks. Perhaps teach a lesson a week in a classroom at different levels throughout the school.

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