Breda O’Brien – SNA Studying ECCE and Montessori through Blended Learning

Early Years

Breda O’Brien is an SNA and AIM Support Worker who has recently completed Montessori Teaching to gain extra knowledge and open new job opportunities. 

She is completing her ECCE and Montessori Teaching course through blended learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Breda says she has “gained a wealth of knowledge from theory, practice and skills demonstrations. I have also gained confidence and experience through putting my learning into practice in my work placement setting.” 

During this 7-month course, classes are generally held one evening per week and are split between the practical Montessori approach and theory training, with time spent learning the theory and practising the Montessori presentation skills during each session. 

“The benefits of this method of learning are that there is less time taken up with travelling to and from college, resources are available online from the college, you have the freedom to work at your own pace and improved concentration due to fewer interruptions than in a class setting. 

“Blended learning included online classes, workshops for skills demonstrations on-site and online learning.  

“Everything required is available at your fingertips when logged into ePortobello online learning. There’s a section for each module which includes: PowerPoint presentations, theory, book chapters, assignment briefs and a section to upload assignments,” she said.  

Portobello Institute keeps class sizes small to ensure one to one tutor support for students.  

“My tutor Amy Burns was very helpful and allowed time for questions and answers on each online class. She also replied very promptly to any queries I sent by email. 

“The course was very interesting and enjoyable. There was a lot of work involved but all worth the effort to gain a greater understanding of the Montessori pedagogy. I enjoyed all aspects of the course. It was educational, making the materials and putting them into practice. 

“The experience of putting theory into practice was a great learning curve for me and it gave me great insight into how children learn at different stages of their development,” she said.

For anyone who may be unsure of blended learning for a practical subject like Montessori, Breda has some great advice for reassurance.  

“If you have young children yourself or have young nieces/nephews, introduce the materials to them as part of your practical training. Children can be great teachers!” she said. 

Find out more about our ECCE and Montessori courses here.

Find out more about our SNA courses here.

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Breda O’Brien – SNA Studying ECCE and Montessori through Blended Learning Breda O’Brien – SNA Studying ECCE and Montessori through Blended Learning