Lighting a Fire! All things Teaching and Learning with The Teaching Council

The podcast series Lighting a Fire! All things Teaching and Learning with The Teaching Council began in November 2020. The series is designed to stimulate conversations on education, share information and connect with teachers. In each episode we interview people from across the teaching community. 

Our FÉILTE 2022 panel discuss the theme 'Respect, Remembering, Reflecting and Reimagining'

First broadcast: November 2022

In this episode, Acting Director of the Teaching Council, Phil Fox, moderated the FÉILTE 2022 panel discussion on the year's theme ' Respect, Remembering, Reflecting and Reimagining'.

Panellists include Rachel O'Connor - President of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals and Principal of Ramsgrange Community School, ClíonaChiosáin– Primary teacher and Múinteoir Clíona from RTE Jr, Caitlin Faye Maniti – Former Student of Loreto Secondary school, Letterkenny and President/Uachtarán of ISSU, David Mullins - Vice Chairperson of St Thomas’s National School Lucan Parents Association and the Director of National Parents Council Ireland and Codie Preston - Science and Biology teacher and coordinator for the Irish Schools Sustainability Network.

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposesAny expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

Talking about leadership, initial teacher education and more with Dr Finn Ó Murchú

First broadcast: June 2022

In this episode Tomás Ó Ruairc, former Director of the Teaching Council, is joined by Dr Finn Ó Murchú for a conversation about leadership, initial teacher education and much more.

Finn is Head of School of Education (post-primary) at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), Thurles, Ireland.  He lectures across a wide range of programmes and supervises research from undergraduate to doctorate levels, with a particular interest in teacher professional learning, school leadership, inclusive and collaborative practices. He has a particular interest in teacher education, team teaching (where two teachers share the teaching space) and practices that support inclusive learning. He is also Programme Co-ordinator for Postgraduate Studies in Middle Leadership and Mentoring in primary and post-primary School at MIC.

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposesAny expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

Caroline Healy (Principal) and Orla Kenny (teacher) from Scoil Mhuire, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim chat about their experience of welcoming Ukrainian children and parents to their school. 

First broadcast: May 2022

In this episode, Phil Fox, Acting Director of The Teaching Council, is joined by Caroline Healy and Orla Kenny from Scoil Mhuire National School in Leitrim. Caroline began her teaching career at Scoil Mhuire in 1983 and is the principal at the school  since 2001. Orla is a teacher in Scoil Mhuire since 1994 and the current 6th class teacher. 

Scoil Mhuire is a mixed primary school situated in the town of Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. The school has a present enrolment of 486 pupils and their enrolment is composed of pupils from many different nationalities - Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, England, Spain, USA - as well as a strong cohort of local pupils.  

Scoil Mhuire has welcomed 15 Ukrainian students since March 2022 and has a strong history of educating pupils from other countries who have come seeking employment or asylum and refuge. It is within this context that the Teaching Council invited Caroline and Orla to participate in this podcast to share their experiences of working with pupils who have arrived at their school from other countries.  

During the episode Phil, Caroline and Orla discuss the experiences of the Ukrainian children enrolling in the school, from their first day emotions to their integration with their fellow classmates. The conversation also explores the experiences of Caroline and Orla including managing language barriers, introducing the children to the curriculum and helping the families meet the local community. During the conversation Caroline and Orla offer advice to fellow principals and teachers welcoming Ukrainian children into their school for the first time. 

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposesAny expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

In conversation with Michelle Stowe, Director of Connect RP - restorative practice, professional learning communities and more!

First broadcast: April 2022

In this episode Tomás Ó Ruairc is joined by Michelle Stowe for a conversation about restorative practice, professional learning communities and much more!

Michelle Stowe taught English and Spanish for 16 years and now works as a restorative practitioner, trainer, researcher and consultant. She is currently lecturing trainee teachers on the Professional Masters in Education (PME) programme in Maynooth University. In her role as the director of Connect RP, she supports schools in growing a restorative culture that puts people and relationships at the heart of a learning.

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposesAny expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

In conversation with Dr. T.J. Ó Ceallaigh, Director of Taught Postgraduate Studies in Education at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), University of Limerick.

First broadcast: March 2022

In this episode Phil Fox, Acting Director of The Teaching Council is joined by Dr. T.J. Ó Ceallaigh, the Director of Taught Postgraduate Studies in Education at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), University of Limerick for a conversation about promotion of the Irish language, hopes for the language going forward, digital education and much more!

Dr. T.J. Ó Ceallaigh is a former principal and immersion teacher. His main research interests focus on the pedagogy required for the successful integration of language and content instruction and assessment, with particular reference to language immersion and bilingual contexts.

T.J. participates actively in Irish and international immersion communities, serves as a consultant to immersion programmes, and speaks regularly at conferences. He is a co-chair of Teacher Education and Digital Technology Research and Development Community for the Association for Teacher Educators in Europe (ATEE) and is a Board Director of Integrating Language and Content in Higher Education (ICLHE), an international association of scholars who are interested in and actively contribute to the multi-disciplinary field of content and language integration in higher education.

T.J. is also a member of the European Commission Working Group on Digital Education: Learning, Teaching and Assessment (DELTA). During his five year term of office, he will assist the Commission in supporting countries with the implementation of policy reforms in line with the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027, focusing in particular on fostering high quality and inclusive digital education in Europe, while taking into consideration the digital transformation as well as the implications and lessons learnt from the COVID-19 crisis.

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposesAny expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

In conversation with Ciara O'Donnell, National Director of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST)

First broadcast: February 2022

Ciara O’Donnell is the National Director of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), the Department of Education’s largest national cross sectoral continuing professional development service. Ciara is a primary school teacher and has worked in teacher education with the Department of Education’s support services since 2005 holding a number of curricular and policy leadership roles.

Ciara’s current research interests include teacher education, educational leadership and curriculum.

In this episode Tomás Ó Ruairc is joined by Ciara O’Donnell for a conversation about curriculum, collaborative professional development, leadership and much more!

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposesAny expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

In conversation with Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Chief Executive at NCCA

First broadcast: December 2021

In this episode Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of The Teaching Council is joined by Patrick Sullivan for a conversation about curriculum, role models, engaging with communities and much more.

Patrick Sullivan has worked with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) since 2013. As Deputy Chief Executive Officer, he oversees developments in early childhood and primary education. Patrick began his teaching career in Callystown National School before taking a teaching principal’s role in Ard Rí Community National School in 2010.

 He holds a first-class masters in Educational Leadership from Maynooth University and a professional doctorate from Dublin City University. Patrick has also delivered teacher training programmes in the North-east of India as a member of the charity Global Schoolroom.

 Of utmost importance to his work is a commitment to supporting children and teachers by ensuring an inclusive and collaborative approach to curriculum development.

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposes.  Any expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

In conversation with Roddy Doyle, the opening keynote speaker at FÉILTE 2021 

First broadcast: November 2021

Roddy Doyle has written twelve novels, including The Commitments, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1993, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, Smile and, most recently, Love.  He has written three collections of short stories and eight books for children. He co-wrote The Second Half, with Roy Keane. He has also written for stage and screen. His latest book, published this year, is Life Without Children, a collection of stories, most of which are set during the Covid pandemic.

He is the co-founder and chairman of Fighting Words. He was a teacher of English and Geography at Greendale Community School, in Kilbarrack, on Dublin's northside, between 1979 and 1993. He lives in Dublin.

In this episode we revisit FÉILTE 2021 where Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council interviewed Roddy Doyle for the opening Keynote.

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposes.  Any expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

In conversation with Andy Hargreaves, Professor at Boston College and the University of Ottawa.

First broadcast: October 2021

Andy Hargreaves is a Professor at Boston College and the University of Ottawa. He is also a writer, speaker, consultant and policy adviser. Andy is the founder of the ARC Education Project of which Ireland is a member. This is a group of nations committed to broadly defined excellence, equity, wellbeing, inclusion, democracy and human rights in professionally run systems. Andy, along with Dennis Shirley, recently released the book Five Paths to Student Engagement which brings together 7 years of collaborative research on engagement.

In this episode, Andy joins Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council, for a conversation about the importance of engagement in the teaching and learning process, the future of education as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, and much more.  

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposes.  Any expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

In Conversation with Dr Deborah Netolicky, Head of Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s Anglican Community School

First broadcast: July 2021

Dr Deborah Netolicky has more than 20 years of experience in teaching and school leadership in Australia and England. She is currently Head of Teaching and Learning at St Mark’s Anglican Community School, Honorary Research Associate at Murdoch University, Chair of a local primary school board, and member of education advisory committees. She blogs at theeduflaneuse.com, is author of Transformational Professional Learning: Making a Difference in Schools, editor of the upcoming Future Alternatives for Educational Leadership: Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Democracy and co-editor of Flip the System.

Deborah joins Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council, and Finn Ó Murchú, Head of School (Post Primary) in Mary Immaculate College, Thurles for a chat about Professional Learning, Wellbeing, Wayfinding Leadership and much more.

Podcast Disclaimer Notice: These recordings have been prepared by The Teaching Council for general information and discussion purposes.  Any expression of viewpoints or opinions reflect the views of the individual speakers and are not necessarily those of The Teaching Council. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

Talking all things education with Clive Byrne, Director of NAPD

First broadcast: May 2021

In this episode, Clive Byrne joins Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council, and guest host Áine Lynch, CEO of the National Parents Council Primary for a chat about his career journey, his participation in the Wellbeing for All group, the school community, school leadership and much more.

Clive is the Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), a role he has held since 2008. In his role as Director of NAPD, Clive has written and presented on the role of the school leader as an agent of change in Irish education and has been an outspoken advocate for reform of curriculum and assessment to make Ireland’s system fit for purpose.

He previously served two terms as President of the European School Heads Association and as a Council member of the International Confederation of Principals (ICP). He was appointed to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and served two terms, being Chair of the Board for Senior Cycle during the final term.

Clive is due to retire this summer and may we take this opportunity to wish him the very best in his next chapter and thank him for his valuable contribution to education.

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

Talking Education, Wellbeing for Teachers and Learners and Donegal dreams with Dr Niall Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children in Ireland

First broadcast: April 2021

Dr Niall Muldoon is Ireland’s Ombudsman for Children and has worked in the area of Child Protection for over 20 years. In this episode, Niall joins Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council, and guest host, Angela Lynch, Principal Advice Manager at the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN), to chat about what drives him in his role as Ombudsman, the Wellbeing for Teachers and Learners Group, and what education means to him.  

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

In conversation with Ciara Reilly – communities, COVID, and learning through the porous walls!

First broadcast: February 2021

Ciara Reilly is an Assistant Lecturer in Digital Education at the Marino Institute of Technology, and is well known to many teachers around the country through her contributions on Twitter via #edchatie.

Ciara joins Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council, and Brian Fahy, primary teacher on secondment and Communications Associate in the Teaching Council, for a chat about her career journey including her pioneering work with Kathleen Byrne in bringing Teachmeet to Ireland, navigating the ups and downs of working online in the current climate, and what learnings we can take forward when life returns to normal.

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

FÉILTE tackles the perennial issue of inclusion in education

First broadcast: January 2021

We are revisiting FÉILTE 2019 in NUI Galway, where Dr Finn Ó Murchú stepped in at the last minute to host a panel discussion on Inclusive Education. The focus of the discussion is not only about additional needs or special education needs, but rather it looks at the wider area of inclusion – socio economic diversity, access to our education system for all teachers and all learners. 

Although this discussion took place in 2019, we know that inclusive education is always relevant. Perhaps now, more than ever, we are looking at ways to include everyone in the school community while COVID rages through our communities. 

Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director and CEO of the Teaching Council, hosts a panel discussion with members of the education community: Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children, John Cunningham, student in NUI Galway, Nada Khaled-Abdo, teacher, Dr Finn Ó Murchú,  Head of School, MIC Thurles. 

Listen now on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, is a keynote speaker at FÉILTE 2020!

First broadcast: December 2020

Listen to the Mary Robinson interview from FÉILTE 2020! Former President of Ireland talks to Tomás Ó Ruairc about COVID, climate change, the importance of teachers and more! Listen on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!

Creating safe and supportive spaces in schools and education for LGBTI+ teachers and students

First broadcast: November 2020

In our first podcast for ‘Lighting a fire! All things Teaching and Learning with the Teaching Council’ , Moninne Griffith, CEO of BeLonG To! joins Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council and guest host Máirín Ní Chéileachair, former primary principal and Director of Dublin West Education Centre to discuss about supporting LGBTI+ Students. Find us on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and more!