Your school: The school you have been allocated to will have prepared for your arrival. It is very important to understand the ethos of the school which can be Catholic, Protestant, non-denominational or multi-denominational. The school will prepare information for you such as: year calendar, staff list, the discipline procedure, keys, wifi code, computer log-in etc. The Modern Foreign Language (MFL) department will meet with you and explain how it operates in the school. Most schools have a website. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with this.
Your contact or coordinator teacher: You will have a contact teacher who you can talk to about any issues you have. They will then be able to help you or let you know where you can get further information.
Your duties: You are an asset to every class you will interact with. It is a great opportunity for students to experience meeting and working with a native speaker. You will probably work in different contexts depending on the needs of the students: assisting in class, working with small groups and also one-to-one. It is very important for the students to get a feeling of what your country and culture is like. The teachers will work with you and you will be able to suggest ideas to complement their lessons. The school will decide on your duties. Some schools will use devices in class, so do not hesitate to ask for help if you are not familiar with the device or apps used. As an assistant, you must not replace the teacher by planning lessons or correcting work or exams. You should not be used as a dictionary and should not be asked to write sample essays, oral paragraphs or roleplays. Click here to download a list of acronyms used in the Irish Education system.
Training: You will be invited to training sessions organised by the Department of Education and Skills and your embassy or the Goethe-Institute. You are also invited to go to national association meetings and modern foreign language communities of practice. The teachers can give you details about them too. There will also be support sessions organised by the Post-Primary Languages Ireland for associates and the cooperating teachers. You will also have the support from one of the PPLI associates. They will be in touch with you to introduce themselves when you arrive.