Andrew Cussen

Mathematics and Science Teacher
Mount Anville Secondary School
BSc.(with Education)

The opportunity to study in Maynooth University (MU) has been one of my fondest memories. I really enjoyed studying in the BSc. (with Education) due to our small class size and the chance to get to know everyone as a result of this. We were able to develop our own sense of a community and hence, become great friends. This really helped us when we were in larger lectures for our core subjects such as Mathematics and Biology. Transitioning into the Professional Masters of Education (PME) was at ease due to the same close net of people from the BScEd.

While studying the PME, I was offered a position with DCG Solutions Ltd. to write ten chapters for the new Junior Cycle Science book, Science Solutions. This book is currently on the market across Ireland. Due to experiences from the BScEd., I was able to avail of this opportunity with the company and was qualified to carry out the work.

I was also fortunate to receive the Microsoft Award 2018 at the end of the PME which has funded my Professional Diploma in Computational Thinking in the University College of Dublin (UCD) that I am currently undertaking. This course will enable me to be one of the first teachers to be qualified to teach Coding and Computer Science to senior cycle level in secondary schools.

Both the BSc. (with Education) and the PME have allowed me to expand my interest in Mathematics and Biology alongside Education. In the future, I hope to progress into further areas of study in Biology. During the PME course, I was able to investigate potential PhD programmes; I had previously carried out a research investigation on ‘Characterising the fungicidal activity of Armillaria mellea’ with the MU Biology Department. This gave me insights into research involved in postgraduate research leading to PhDs.   We are fortunate that the Education courses in MU enable us to explore alternative areas of study within or outside of Education.

I am currently teaching in Mount Anville Secondary School as a Mathematics and Science teacher. It is an amazing experience to be responsible for my own classes. I am grateful for all the experiences I have had in my previous education courses in MU which has eased the transition from college to the working world. I still draw on all of the pedagogical resources and methods that we investigated during the course of our studies.