A new book by a Kilkenny teacher has just been published by the respected British Publisher, Routledge.
'Become the Primary Teacher Everyone Wants to Have: A Guide to Career Success', by Seán Delaney, is a book about primary teaching that combines the wisdom and knowledge of many scholars of teaching with the author’s experience of teaching in Kilkenny and elsewhere for several years.
Seán Delaney, who lives in Kilkenny, taught for many years in the Kilkenny School Project (KSP) National School on the Waterford Road, where he also spent one year as principal.
Although for most of the time he taught at the KSP, the school was housed in the Scouts Den on the Bennettsbridge Road, he has many great memories from that time of the children, their parents and his teaching colleagues. Twenty years ago, the KSP moved to a new, purpose-built school on the Waterford Road.
Today, Seán works as a teacher educator in the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin. The institute, which is an associated college of Trinity College Dublin, offers courses in primary teaching, education studies, early childhood education and further education.
The book covers many topics that are of interest to teachers such as assessment, parent-teacher meetings, classroom management, relating to colleagues and having a work-life balance. There are sections on teaching children in early years classes and on the teaching of reading and mathematics.
Interestingly, the chapter on homework finds that few if any researchers have found homework to be of benefit to children in primary school. Although children may welcome the result, their parents may find it difficult to believe. Delaney offers alternative suggestions to the written homework that is regular event in many homes.
Alternatives include teaching children study skills and asking children to teach something important they learned that day in school to someone at home.
In a review of the book, Joan Ward, who is a former president of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO), wrote that the chapter on communicating with parents and guardians 'is a must read for any teacher who wants to cultivate a warm, approachable and effective relationship with parents'.
The book, which sells for just under €30, would make a good Christmas present for any teacher. It is available locally in Dubray Books in the Market Cross Shopping Centre and in The Book Centre on High Street.