Bernie Cannon

Special Needs Assisting

Position: SNA tutor

“It should not matter how slow a child learns as long as we encourage them not to stop learning, each child is unique, each will learn and progress at their own pace as long as their needs are met and their independence is promoted.”

About Bernie

Currently, I am employed full time as a special needs assistant in a primary school and deliver the FETAC Level 5 and Level 6 SNA Course part-time through Portobello Institute.

I have over fifteen years of work experience in industry in a variety of different settings such as primary and secondary schools with ASD classes, leisure centres, swim academy and sports outlets. I have also managed and coached sports teams on a voluntary basis at different age levels and abilities. It was through working with children in the sports industry that I developed a passion for working with children with special needs.

I have successfully nurtured children and adults through different disciplines creating a positive environment to assist children and adults in their learning and progression. I have supported and cared for children and adults with autism and medical conditions, in a classroom setting and from a coaching point of view.

I have a solid educational foundation. I completed my Master of Business by research in 2012. I published a paper in the Irish Business Journal. This paper was developed as part of my research masters. The title of this paper is ‘A Comparative Study: The Impact of the SW3 Armband and Physical Activity Logbook in Promoting Physical Activity Adherence’. Prior to this, I graduated with a Diploma in Research Practice. In 2008, I graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Hons) with a first class honours and I was named student of the year.

I have participated in a variety of different sports at all levels but one of my most memorable achievements has been winning two All-Ireland medals for soccer at junior and intermediate level.

I am a great believer in continuous professional development and I always seek to up-skill in different areas of special needs especially with our changing environment. A recent project that I have got involved in, is an online support group for Attr Amyloidosis which is a medical condition that occurs when a protein, called amyloid builds up in a person’s organs and interferes with their normal daily body functioning. This condition is one that is close to my heart.

Bernie’s Teaching Philosophy

My personal beliefs and feelings are the centre of my teaching philosophy. I believe every student deserves a vibrant educator who is highly trained, motivated and comprehends the significance he/she plays in every child’s future. I am an advocate for children and their right to a first class education. When students are put in a stimulating culture and learning environment, with high expectations, and an encouraging lecturer, they will excel. As Mark Twain said ‘find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life’, this is exactly what I have done and love both the classroom environment assisting children and teaching students through Portobello Institute.


  • Masters of Business Studies by Research (2012)
  • Diploma In Research Practice (2010)
  • Honours Degree In Business Studies
  • Sports Coaching and Development (2008)
  • Train the Trainer (2013)

Bernie Cannon Bernie Cannon