A gift that will be on the wish list for many teachers this Christmas is a new book written by Abbeyleix native Seán Delaney.
The book is called Become the Primary Teacher Everyone Wants to Have: A Guide to Career Success.
Although it was written for beginning teachers, one reviewer wrote that “it will be of huge interest and support to even the most experienced practitioner.”
The book discusses many topics that are of interest to teachers such as how to teach reading, how to teach mathematics and how to organise learning through play in early childhood classrooms.
It also has chapters on assessment, managing behaviour, how to run successful parent-teacher meetings, how to relate to colleagues, and how to achieve a work-life balance.
On a more controversial note, the author claims that there is little evidence to support the value of homework for primary school children.
However, he provides many alternative suggestions to the spellings and written homework that many children frequently receive.
The book is published by the prestigious UK publisher Routledge.
“It is the kind of book I would like to have had when I started teaching but I couldn’t find one like it” Delaney says.
“Teachers learn a lot of theory in college but sometimes it can be hard to remember what you learned when you need it in an actual classroom with actual children.
“In this book I tried to combine research findings with practical classroom experience.”
Seán Delaney began his teaching career in Scoil Mhuire, Abbeyleix before moving to Dublin and then to Kilkenny where he taught for several years.
Today he works as a teacher educator in the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin where he teaches courses in mathematics education and in the practice of teaching.
Each summer he teaches a mathematics summer school in the institute for primary school children.
The book was launched in Marino Institute of Education by the Chief Inspector of the Department of Education and Skills, Dr. Harold Hislop, on 29 November.
Seán is originally from Abbeyleix and he was educated there by the Brigidine Nuns and the Patrician Brothers.
He received his secondary education in the Salesian College Ballinakill (now Heywood Community School).
After leaving Heywood he went to St. Patrick’s College in Dublin to study primary teaching and later he received degrees from Harvard University and the University of Michigan.
Many teachers have commented that the book is easy to read and that it contains much food for thought.
“It’s a book I’ll be dipping into for years to come.” one teacher predicted.