My name is Bernie Tobin. I live in Dublin, Ireland. I have been a primary school teacher for the past twenty six years. While I have been a mainstream class teacher, much of my career has been spent working with children in need of additional support teaching. Many changes have occurred in the area of special education over that time, which has afforded varied learning opportunities and experiences for me. It has involved working closely with the Principal, teaching colleagues, special needs assistants, parents and outside agencies to encourage involvement, professional development and mutual support in seeking to remove barriers to learning and to promote participation in all aspects of the school.
I have been privileged to work in a school which encouraged the staff to work together; building on our expertise, providing sources of stimulation and enrichment that fostered our professional development, and encouraging positive attitudes to the introduction of new ways of working. In addition to this, I was fortunate to be accepted on the M.Sc. in Education and Training Management programme at Dublin City University (2000- 2002), which enhanced my own learning and my work with my teaching colleagues.
For the past two years now, I have been working as a Deputy Principal in a newly opened primary school in a new Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) in West Dublin. Many of our school population are learning English as second language. This is a challenging situation for the staff, most of whom are newly qualified teachers, for the parents and for children of our school. I look forward to the future and hope to undertake a PhD study on my role in the development of the school as an enquiring and learning community.