Múinteoirí a Spreagann Éire 2019 2019
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I have no doubt the excellent grounding in education that I received in her care has stood to me. Having taught for 34 years myself, I now understand and would like to recognise the energy and opportunities she afforded me and many others over the years.

The countdown is on to our inaugural Teachers Inspire gala event in The Helix, DCU, on October 4th.

So for the next two weeks, we’re going to tell the stories of some of the inspirational teachers on this shortlist.

Meet Teresa Toolan of Mullaghroe National School, Gurteen, Ballymote, Co Sligo. Ms Toolan is a retired teacher and was nominated for Teachers Inspire by former pupil Frances Dodd.

“When I heard of this initiative, I immediately thought of Teresa Toolan. Miss Toolan was the principal in Mullaghroe N.S, Co. Sligo. She taught me in fifth and sixth class, but was a presence in my life before then.

“She introduced me to poetry, Yeats, Pearse, Wordsworth. I learnt the geography of Ireland in her class. I sang in the parish choir thanks to her and in the local Liturgical Festival. She drove us there in her car and always treated the children in her care to something nice. My love of reading was encouraged and good attendance awarded with prizes and books.

“I have no doubt the excellent grounding in education that I received in her care has stood to me. Having taught for 34 years myself, I now understand and would like to recognise the energy and opportunities she afforded me and many others over the years.

“She is now retired but has always maintained a lively interest in her past pupils. I believe she still influences how I treat my students. Many thanks to Miss Toolan!”

The initiative, which is focused on highlighting the enormous contribution made by teachers in Irish society, was launched by DCU earlier this year, with the support of businessman and philanthropist Dermot Desmond.

Following our appeal to the public to share their personal stories of teachers who transformed their lives and their communities, we received some 400 nominations.

Our reviewing panel – led by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese – examined all the entries, and gave a shortlist of 20. This shortlist was announced at an event in St Patrick's Campus in DCU last week.

To each of the 400 teachers nominated for Teachers Inspire – we congratulate you for making a profound impact on the lives of young people and their surrounding community.


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