It entirely altered my perspective of leading teaching and learning
Jemma Lynch, Post Graduate Student, Post Graduate Diploma in School Leadership
Having worked as a Primary School Teacher for the last thirteen years, education is something that has always been at the forefront of my mind. I have always endeavoured to constantly up-skill myself, completing various forms of continuous professional development over my years teaching, particularly in the areas of Special Education and Digital Technologies. I had known since I qualified from Froebel College of Education in 2006, that a return to formal education was always on the cards.
I researched and deliberated over what educational avenue I wanted to explore, and decided that regardless of what future pathway I chose, a knowledge of educational leadership would be an essential skill set to have. After examining all of the leadership courses on offer, a brand new course piqued my interest. With various centres nationally to complete the course, the Post Graduate Diploma in School Leadership offered both dynamic course content and an opportunity for both an educational and non-educational leadership visit to observe leadership in practice.
The course itself was by far one of the most engaging and professionally formative experiences in my career to date. It provided insights into leadership theory and practice whilst examining the national and international educational landscape.
“It entirely altered my perspective of leading teaching and learning and has led me to a greater understanding of whole school leadership development and the power of effective leadership structures”
Returning to education was not without its challenges. It was often a struggle trying to balance work and family life whilst completing readings and assignments. However blocking off a period of time to complete college work definitely helped, in addition to drawing on support from the community of learning we had established as a cohort in UCD. The blended approach to the sessions, with the combination of online and face to face, made it easier to maintain the work-life balance. Peer discussions in the face to face sessions often proved to be as valuable a learning activity as the lectures themselves as conversations took place with input from both the primary and post-primary perspective.
Completing the PDSL has afforded me the knowledge and skill set to pursue the next stage in my career and hopefully adopt a leadership role in the future. I am looking forward to the rewards and challenges of educational leadership, to teach but to always keep learning and hopefully one day inspire others to do the same.
The Post Graduate Diploma in School Leadership is available to teachers nationwide and part funded by the Department of Education and Skills. The programme is supported by the Centre for School Leadership.
The programme is a partnership between the University of Limerick, National University of Ireland Galway, University College Dublin and Waterford Institute of Technology.
For more information, please visit http://www.ul.ie/pdsl