The key-note address was given by Dr Kevin McDermott of the Languages Support Service. He spoke on 'The Hero's Journey', an idea taken from Joseph Campbell's analysis of narrative. Kevin examined the way that the teacher undertakes a journey with his/her pupils each year, from September to June. He looked at how we all need to provide a special space for them, between the pressures of league tables and examination tables, and the materialism of modern society. We can give no greater gift to those we teach than the gift of believing in themselves.
The other sessions were on:
- the use of Information Technology, by Chris Warren, who provided us with plenty of simple and practical ideas for class via the standard word processor, and from the Teachit site.
- teaching William Wordsworth at Leaving Certificate, by Niall MacMonagle from Wesley College, who introduced the great Romantic poet with his distinctive energy and enthusiasm.
- preparing pupils for the Junior Certificate, by Frances Rock, who took us through the papers in a clear and informative way.