Early Years & Montessori
“Nobody ever finished up where they started – you are never too old to realise your full potential”
Working in the Early Years sector is like a second life for me. I worked in the sales industry for years and always knew there had to be something more fulfilling for me out there. In 2005 I took that chance through a FETAC level 5 course in Early Childhood Studies, and you could say I caught the bug. So here I am 15 years later with a Level 5, 6, and 8. Two level nines – one in Public health and health promotion and one in Early Years Education, level 10 is the next step.
I have vast experience built up over the past 15 years working in this area from preschool practitioner to lecturer. I work with Cork Institute of Technology as an Early Years Placement Supervisor also at present and have done so for the past 5 years. I began my journey with Portobello 3 years ago after a change meeting with Iryna on the train from an Early Childhood Ireland conference in Dublin, and the rest they say is history. Working with Portobello is a great experience the team are so supportive and welcoming. The best interests of the students are always to the forefront and immense work always goes on behind the scenes to ensure this.
Denise’s Teaching Philosophy
My approach is that all students realise the importance of their place in a child’s learning. The first 6 years of a child’s life are perhaps the most important. It is a time when the seeds are set so it is important that they are watered appropriately. Early Years Practitioners are at the centre of a child’s early years, with the family and peers they are the most influential, therefore it is vital that they are aware of all areas pertained to early years care and education. I lead the Debating children and Childhood module, and this is an area that I love to teach. The policy, practice and ideas of childhood that have shaped our views of the constructions of childhood are fascinating and it is an area that continues to change with more people and governments becoming aware of how inequality and poverty effects the child’s life chances.
Just as children learn differently, I am aware that this is the same for adults. No two people are the same and no two people learn the same. It is therefore my role to ensure that I am there to support all students in the learning experience making it a positive one for them. I believe in being available for queries, questions, supports and anxieties at all times. I am aware of the life constraints on the students as many are juggling work, family and study so therefore being available for students in the evenings as well as during the day is important to me. I love to see students both young and not so young getting excited about the module and engaging fully with the supports provided by Portobello.
Master’s degree in Public Health (Health Promotion Pathway)
Master’s degree in Early Years Education
BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
FETAC level 5 Early Childhood Care and Education
FETAC level 6 Preschool Management
Placement Supervisor with Cork Institute of Technology’s Early Childhood Education and Care degree course.
Community Health and education Development Worker with the Traveller Community in North Cork.
National Treasurer of OMEP Ireland – early years research network.
Assisted with the inclusion of Traveller culture in the audit of Aistear in conjunction with NCCA