“My job helping Irish teachers is 24/7, I wasn’t looking for a 9 to 5!”
“”My job helping Irish teachers is 24/7, I wasn’t looking for a 9 to 5!” – Maeve, Irish teacher manager for KS Education in Ireland!
This week, we speak to Maeve O’Beirne, Irish Teacher Manager of KS Education, who has been helping Irish teachers since 2013 with KS Ireland. Recruiter by day, cat fanatic by night, Maeve tells us about her journey of helping hundreds of Irish teachers over the past 6 years….
“When I finished my teacher training in 2008 at Mater Dei Institute in Drumcondra, I taught in Ireland for a year and a half before going abroad. When I returned home, it became very clear to me that full time permanent jobs in Ireland were in short supply, especially for my subjects- music & religion. I liked teaching, but the prospect of substitute teaching on short term contracts was frustrating and I could not live on a few months of subbing here or there, so I decided to secure a job outside of teaching. Within the next two years, I worked as a sales and product trainer for sky tv, training teams of direct sales representatives. I also worked in one of the biggest recruitment agencies in Ireland, CPL and also a multi-lingual agency, Origin Multilingual. This is where my love for looking after candidates started and I really enjoyed helping people get jobs in companies they were really interested in working for and helping them relocate to different countries too.
I loved helping candidates prepare for their interviews, prepping them until they knew everything about a specific company. I recruited for some very big clients, including Lidl & Aldi head offices, Vistaprint, HP, Xbox & Apple, amongst many others. I assisted clients in moving abroad, not only to Ireland, but to Germany, London, Holland and Portugal. It did not feel like ‘work’ to me, as I loved the faced paced and busy office environment, and I loved working overtime and being one of the top consultants within the company. It was only fitting I secure a job with a new ‘Education Recruitment Agency’ starting up in Ireland as this would combine both my University training as a teacher, but also my love for helping people.
Coming from a Religious Education teaching background, it was very important to me from an ethical point of view, that all teachers are looked after and are happy. After spending 9 months managing another education agency, I met Karla, the director of KS Education at a teaching fair in Belfast, and decided that it was a priority that I work for someone who had the same views as myself. We instantly clicked, and I could just feel that she was a good person, with good intentions, who was also going to have the same vision as me. Just 3 months later, I opened our KS Education office in Ireland, and began my journey of building up KS Ireland into what it is today.
People ask me if I miss teaching, and I have to say I don’t. My job is so rewarding, because I am not only helping Irish teachers secure jobs in schools where I KNOW they will be supported, but I have also watched friendships and relationships grow between teachers who never knew each other, until we put them in contact with each other. Helping them secure jobs together in the same areas and schools and watching them all settle in together was very rewarding. Now I know some of them would wish I would leave them alone and stop checking in with them after 2 years in a school, but I can’t help myself and love to see how they are all doing!!!! We even have a few KS couples and engagements from the past few years!!
A lot of agencies gain a bad reputation because they expect that all teachers will fit a particular area or type of school; this is where we differ. It is SO important to me as an Irish teacher, to ensure our teachers are matched with schools and areas where they will be happy and supported in their move. I was very aware of the situation for teachers in Ireland. A lack of teaching jobs meant that many Irish teachers were forced to emigrate to the UK or the UAE, those two currently being the most popular destinations among young Irish teachers. England has been a popular choice for Irish teachers, as it allows them to complete their post qualification hours for the Teaching Council of Ireland. Teachers can complete their NQT year in England in one academic year, or complete their 300 hours requirement on a shorter term contract. Primary teachers can also complete their DIP year with no additional Irish requirement upon returning to Ireland.
I knew that working as manager of our Irish office entailed being available not only from 9am to 5pm, but to ensure all of our teachers had a point of contact if anything went wrong, even at weekends. Our consultants in our UK office are equally as dedicated. I remember once, my colleague Julie drove to Kent on a Saturday, which was 1 hour 20 minutes away from her home. A teacher’s pay had been delayed by the bank on the Friday and she did not want to leave him stuck without pay for a weekend!
I can honestly say, the hours have been long and being on call on Facebook messenger and mobile 24/7 for our teachers is sometimes not easy and my husband would love to confiscate my phone at times!! But to have a job that is meaningful and where I help teachers and know that they are happy with the work we have done, is very rewarding. When one of our teachers secures a job offer in a school where they really want to work, and where you know they will have a good year, it is as good as watching one of your students get that A in their Junior or Leaving Cert!!!
I am thankful that after all of our hard work in the past 5+ years, KS Education has an excellent reputation for looking after Irish teachers. We help friends secure positions together where possible, put you in touch with other Irish teachers in schools before you interview and ensure teachers are helped with accommodation, networking, setting in, and we also ensure we are available at all times, should something go wrong. We are never willing to compromise at the hands of our Irish teachers, and that is what is the most important thing for me, as manager of the Irish office for KS Education.
We would love to help any teachers looking for advice on Teaching in England for the coming year! Just give us a shout on 0861077569 or 0906400194 or pop me an email on Maeve@kseducation.co.uk
Why not come along to one of our ‘Teaching in England’ information sessions taking place across Ireland over the next 4 months?? We would LOVE to meet you and your friends! CLICK: https://www.kseducation.co.uk/information-days-ireland/