Alumni Stories - Frances Neary
The education course content was broad, and I felt that it prepared students to become excellent teachers, with four years of experience that they can draw from to enrich their work as educators and enrich learner experiences.
Name: Frances Neary
Current Career: Principal - Trinity Comprehensive School in Ballymun
Graduation Year: 2000
Discipline: Education, specialised in textiles
What career path did you want to follow as a child?
I wanted to be a teacher from when I was a child.
Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?
NCAD was my number one choice, due to its excellent reputation, through conversations with students who attended NCAD and from my experience at the open day. The education course content was broad, and I felt that the content prepared students to become excellent teachers, with four years of experience that they can draw from to enrich their work as educators and enrich learner experiences.
How did you develop your career towards your current job?
NCAD training allowed me to understand the endless possibilities of solving problems and the importance of being solution focused. I adapted these skills and used them beyond the classroom and beyond art, I applied them into the world of management by using my creativity and understanding of the importance of process and sequencing to help me solve problems and build a structure to support the provision of education. Even though I am not physically creating a piece of art with my hands, I am using a creative approach in all areas of my work. This creative approach makes my job interesting, engaging, challenging and rewarding.
What is the one experience – during your time at NCAD – that has informed you most in your work to date?
My first experience of teaching art in a DEIS school in the north side of Dublin. I realised that teaching is a lot more than just delivering a lesson. So many factors must be considered and explored in order to be a successful teacher.
If you were chatting with current NCAD students today, what is the one piece of advice you would offer?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it is a strength not a weakness. Learning from mistakes will shape you. The challenging experiences I faced in college and the mistakes I made, which I had to overcome, gave me the confidence to face problems and challenges, and to be solution focused. Being confidently solution-focused will help you throughout your career and stop a bump in the road bringing you backwards rather than forwards.
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