Category Archives: Irish Abroad

Becoming slaves to our own desires. Luke Gallagher recalls the first time that he knew he wanted to become a teacher.

As I sit in Bloomfield Restaurant having a latte with my grandparents, I cannot but reflect on my previous blog. Perhaps due to the fact that I am on holidays, I have had more time to relate my previous writing to my current situation.

Previously, I argued that my role as a primary P.E Specialist was the tip of the iceberg, as I suggested that a world of opportunities would unravel from the experience. As a result I focused on developing some of my personal achievements for the future such as: completing first aid and rugby qualifications and coaching rugby and cricket with Lions Sports Academy and Teddington Cricket Club respectively.

Although, these experiences added value to my character, I realised that I was beginning to lose sight of why I wanted to become a Physical Education teacher in the first place. It was almost as if I was working towards achieving a title rather than developing my characteristics and my ability to perform the duties of a P.E teacher to the best of my ability. By reflecting on this hypothesis, I wanted to get back to basics and get a firm understanding of the real reason why I decided to become a teacher.

When I was nine years old, I went on holidays with my parents, sister and grandparents. Each day consisted of multiple activities: having breakfast; swimming in the pool; going on excursions; eating out in restaurants. However, I will never forget one specific activity. The image of my granddad teaching me how to play pool.

Whilst playing pool with my grandad, I was fascinated by his ability to change my interest and develop it into a passion for playing the game. This experience became one of the most pivotal moments in my life, as it made me realise that I wanted to imitate my grandad’s actions and become a catalyst in developing each child’s passion for taking part in physical activity and sport for the future.

Sometimes individuals such as myself lose sight of what is important in life. We get so caught up in our work that we are blinded and become ‘slaves to our own desires.’ However, by going back to my educational roots and reflecting on the reason why I wanted to teach, it is evident that sometimes it is important for me to stop and reflect on my past goals in order for me to live in the present moment.

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Filling In The Pieces Of My Life Journey Jigsaw

As I sit here in Heathrow Airport, in the aftermath of my university graduation, I reflect upon my three years studying in St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Since moving from Ireland to England, I have grown into a more rounded individual. Not only because I have completed a University degree, but because I have developed multiple dimensions of the self, which have added to my personal identity.

From the onset, I was identified as the Paddy of the group. Personally, it wasn’t my cup of tea, as I felt that it was a stereotype that I did not want to live up to. However, little did I know, my nationality was a niche that could be further explored to make me stand out from the colourless crowd.

During the early days of my academic years, I wanted to become a Secondary Physical Education teacher, similar to almost every Irish student studying at Strawberry Hill. However, over time I broadened my horizon in to the primary education field.

By working with different companies such as Little Kickers,   J and C Academy and working in primary schools such as Drayton Green, it reassured me that I was moving in the right professional direction. This was also aided by an endless list of individuals who have positively influenced and shaped my character as an employee and as a person.

Ultimately, with the guidance of God, family and friends, I was invited to graduate at Westminster Cathedral, Central London, where trumpets were blowing and crowds flocked in from all parts of England and the world to watch this momentous event.

I am proud to say that I studied at St. Mary’s University Twickenham and that I will always be a Simmie. However, now that another piece of my life journey jigsaw has been filled, it is time to look forward to the future and prepare myself for the next academic year. Then it will be time to start my new chapter as an Irish primary physical education teacher in London.