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Gerard Larkin

Gaelscoil na Móna

Subject: Primary Curriculum through the medium of Irish.

Age: 35.

Your place of birth: Belfast.

Where You Live: Belfast.

First Job: My first-ever job was packing potatoes in the local corner shop. My first teaching job was in St Patrick’s College.

What it taught me: The importance of working hard as part of a team.

Family/status: Partnered.

Best advice anyone ever gave you: Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Teaching is a very demanding career with a heavy workload and long hours so make sure you enjoy your work.  Never underestimate the massive difference even one teacher can make in children’s lives, remember this every day, especially when the going gets tough!

Gerard was born and raised in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast.  His primary school was Holy Cross Boys’ Primary School and he attended St Malachy’s College from the age of 11 to 18. From there he went on to the University of Ulster and studied Applied Psychology for a year with a view to becoming an educational psychologist.

Gerard then took some time out and had a number of jobs, including retail management and administration.  “I returned to university education at Queen’s and studied English Language and Literature and Celtic Studies,” he says. “After graduating, I studied for my PGCE.  My first teaching role was as an Irish teacher in St Patrick’s College, Bearnageeha, where I learned a lot from a fantastic team of teachers.  This role gave me a really sound foundation for making the move into teaching in Irish Medium Education in Coláiste Feirste.”

Since 2006, Gerard has been teaching in Gaelscoil na Móna.  He is currently studying for a Masters degree in Education.  “I have learnt so much in Gaelscoil na Móna, from our principal, from amazing teachers, from the children and from the wonderful community and parental involvement,” he adds. “All the above really embody the spirit of our ethos of ‘strength in unity’: ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’.”