Below you'll find some tips and advice for students with disabilities seeking to enter a course/career in teaching.
TOP 5 TIPS
- Spend time in a school either volunteering, on work experience or just helping out.
- Find out if you are eligible for the DARE scheme, the Teacher Education colleges are now part of the DARE scheme which recognises the effect of your disability and you can get in on a reduced points basis.
- Make sure you have the right subjects to qualify. You will need to reach the required standard in Irish and Maths for Initial teacher education.
- For secondary teaching you must have a primary degree in the area you wish to teach in for example geography, plus the requisite teaching qualification. See the Teaching Council website for further information.
- Think about what supports will help you become a teacher. This may include technology and learning supports or additional time to complete examinations.
WHO PROVIDED THESE TIPS?
Suzanne Duggan is a lecturer at the Institute of Technology Tallaght and lectures on the Social Care Practice degree programme there. She teaches subjects such as Sociology, Community Studies, Social Policy and Understanding Disability.
Prior to joining IT Tallaght in 2008 Suzanne worked for many years with the National Learning Network in areas such as programme development and advocacy.
Suzanne did her degree in Sociology and English in Trinity, then did a Hdip Ed and later did a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Studies in UCD. Suzanne has always loved learning and she has done other courses including a diploma in Public Relations and a certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Suzanne taught for a number of years as a secondary school teacher and now teaches at Third Level. She has a deep interest in learning and how people learn. She is interested in the use of Technology and Assistive Technology in learning and using flexible teaching and assessment methods to ensure that students have the most positive learning experience possible.
Suzanne has a visual impairment called Stargardt Disease which means that she has lost most of her sight. While this has presented challenges and obstacles that have had to be overcome, Suzanne’s perspective is that any such obstacles can be overcome and she is able to develop a fantastic relationship with her students based on mutual respect and a strong passion and regard for the work that she does.