Teachers Inspire Ireland 2022
Moya mcdonnell colour

2021 Stories

Personal ConnectionThe power of being seen

She told me she was going to buy herself her own copy and that she would think of me every time she read it. My mind was blown that a fully grown human could take the time out to send a thank you card to a 7 year old.

A thank you card sent by teacher Moya McDonnell is still treasured by Claire Grogan some thirty years later.

Mrs McDonnell was Claire’s teacher in St Patrick’s National School, Stamullen, county Meath in the 1980s, a school where Claire said she was made to “feel very happy.”

“Mrs McDonnell was always positive and respectful, a trait that has stayed with me and one that I aspire to in my own life still.”

“I remember she sent a card to my house one summer after she had taught me in 2nd class, and I treasured that card forever. In fact, it's still in my memory box up in the attic, 30 odd years later.”

She had written to thank Claire for lending her Tom McCaughran books ‘Run Free’ which she used to read aloud in class that year.

“She told me she was going to buy herself her own copy and that she would think of me every time she read it. My mind was blown that a fully grown human could take the time out to send a thank you card to a 7 year old. It really instilled in me the value of being thankful, and the impact that taking the time to thank someone personally has.”

Claire is now a teacher and has brought with her from those days a love of reading, Irish “and to have fun. I read voraciously and I teach in a Gaelscoil so I think her lessons hit home.”