Colm O’Donovan

Early Years

Special Needs Assisting

Position: Tutor/lecturer MA in Inclusive Education and Special Educational Needs

“The purpose of adult education is to help people to learn, not to teach them all you know and thus stop them from learning,” – Carl Rogers.

About Colm O’Donovan

I am a committed educator with fifteen years of experience working in a DEIS primary school in Dublin 12. In my time there I have been placed in a variety of roles including class teacher, Special Education Teacher, Home School Community Liaison (HCSL) and Deputy Principal. Working in a DEIS school is hugely rewarding even if it has its own challenges. Among the many benefits are that the staff are exposed to professional development in a wide variety of areas such as emotional regulation, behaviour strategies and a huge scope of literacy and numeracy programmes beyond the reach of traditional primary education.

In particular, my time as an HSCL meant I worked much more with parents and the wider school community and through this, I gained true insight into the importance of parental involvement in children’s education. Through this role, I developed a greater interest in adult education.

In 2021/22 I completed a Post Graduate qualification in Inclusive and Special Education and was exposed to a huge amount of knowledge and skills both from my lecturers and tutors and my fellow adult learners. It brought a completely new perspective to my work and for the current school year, I took a career break from my school to explore that further.

I am now enjoying increasing my exposure to different areas in the field of education and am currently working as a lecturer/tutor with Portobello Institute and School Placement Tutor with Hibernia College among other roles.

Before becoming a teacher I worked a variety of different jobs in my 20s including four years as a sports journalist with a number of national newspapers.

Colm’s Teaching Philosophy

I am very early in my career in third-level education but I am learning a huge amount all the time from my colleagues and the adult learners I have had the privilege to teach in my courses. I aim to be a collaborative teacher at this level, and given the wealth of experience and the level of commitment any adult choosing to do a course has already shown, it would be foolish to be anything else.

I try to bring elements of my varied experience to the table and to help learners to identify their own strengths and weaknesses so we can move forward together.


  • Higher Diploma in Primary Education, Hibernia College
  • Post Graduate Diploma Inclusive and Special Education, UCD
  • Graduate Certificate in Literacy, DCU
  • Master of Journalism and Applied Communication, NUIG
  • Bachelor of Arts, UCD
  • Trained Parents Plus Facilitator, Trained in Incredible Years, Rainbows Programme, Pax Behaviour, Words their Way spelling among others

Colm O’Donovan Colm O’Donovan