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Frances McEvoy St. Kevin’s Primary School

Subject: P3 teacher.

Age: 59.

Your place of birth: Portadown.

Where You Live: Belfast.

First Job: Teacher in St. Kevin’s.

What it taught me: Understanding the children and where they’re coming from.

Family/status: Single.

Best advice anyone ever gave you: I don’t know what the best advice has ever been but I do remember in my first days of teaching a senior teacher who was head of infant’s at that stage said to me, ” I hope you’re not one of these teachers who take days off for no good reason.” I was quite taken aback but now I realise the importance of continuity and commitment for the children in a class and how important it is for their teacher to be there every day — if at all possible.

Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: To have respect for the children, their families and their colleagues and to encourage the children to have confidence and self-esteem so that they can achieve their full potential.

Frances says she has been fortunate to have spent her whole teaching career in St. Kevin’s Primary School on the Falls Road in Belfast. “It has been a most rewarding career and, as I have been there for 38 years, I have watched with interest two generations of children develop in the school and in their respective career paths.

“I have always had the best interests of the children at heart and my policy is to see them develop with confidence and high self-esteem and to be happy in their place of learning. I am lucky in that I regularly meet past pupils of mine (sometimes as parents of the children in the school at present) and they appear to have happy memories of being in my class, as I have of teaching them.” Frances says that, as she approaches the end of her teaching career, she feels blessed “in promoting the education of so many children in such a wonderful school”.  She adds: “I commend all my colleagues whom I have befriended and who have supported me throughout the years. And I would also like to recognise the kindness and generosity of the families in this community.”