Q: Hi Ms Dolan, you’ve been at Dover Court for a few years now, when did you join our school?
A: Hi! After having spent a number of years teaching in London, I joined Dover Court in 2015 as a Year 3 teacher. Currently, I am in my fifth year at the school and I am lucky to have taught children in Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4. It is hard to believe that the children I taught in 2015 are now in Year 7!
Q: Why do you love being a teacher?
A: There are so many great things about being a teacher. Each day is as different and as exciting as the last. I love how my job goes beyond teaching English, Maths and Project Work to my students. I encourage them to show independence and resilience, to be kind and caring towards each other and to respect everyone. I love meeting a new class on the first day of the new school year, and seeing how much they flourish and progress over the year. You get to know the likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses of all the children. It is great when my students break out of their shells to build more confidence, how they light up with the excitement of learning, see the look of awe and wonder when they learn something new and how they persevere with a task they find tricky. When I was teaching in Year 4, I loved organising the residential trip to Kota Rainforest. It was great to see the children there overcome their fears and develop confidence. By taking their learning outside of the classroom, they were pushed outside of their comfort zone, simultaneously developing their teamwork and leadership skills, as well as resilience and independence. One of my favourite things about having taught five different classes at Dover is the relationships that I have built with my students. Even now, lots of my old students will visit my room for a quick chat or wave and say hello when they see me around school. One of the girls I taught two years ago popped up to my room recently to give me a bag of Irish Percy Pigs. It made my day!
Q: What would you tell anyone who considers joining the Dover Court community?
A: What I love about Dover Court is the family feel to it and how everyone feels that they are an important member of the community here. Two of my cousins from Ireland visited the school recently and they said how everyone was smiling and seemed so happy. Even if it has been a particularly busy week or it has rained all day, the children and staff are always friendly. In Dover Court, there are children and staff from all over the world so it is great that you can have friends from different countries and cultures. It is also great when you find other people from the same country as you. There are lots of Irish teachers in school so it always feels like a piece of home when we spend time together.
Q: You are our Year 2 group leader and last year you won the BritCham Future Leader award. What makes you a good leader?
A: I can’t believe that was a year ago already! I am always there for my team; supporting, motivating, valuing and trusting them in what they do. I try to involve them in making decisions and appreciating the work that they do. I believe that being a good listener and having a strong understanding of emotional intelligence is key in leading effectively. I organise social events for my team so that we can all get to know each other better outside of school, improving trust and communication between us all. A few weeks ago all of the teachers and teaching assistants came over to my apartment for a BBQ. I also host an Irish night around St. Patrick’s Day where everyone needs to bring something green!
Q: Life in Singapore is very different to life in Ireland, what do you enjoy most in the Red Dot?
A: I come from a very rural part of Ireland, surrounded by fields, sheep and cows, so I love the busy life of living in a city. Even though this is my fifth year in Singapore, there are still some things that I haven’t done here so this makes it more exciting. In Singapore there is always something to do. Some of my favourite things are trying out new restaurants, going for runs along the Quays, trying a new art class like painting or pottery and exploring the quirky areas of Singapore.
Q: At Dover Court we love celebrating our diversity, both in everyday life but also through bigger events. Which is your favourite DCIS celebration?
A: I love how all different cultures are celebrated in Dover Court but my favourite has to be UN Day. I remember my first UN Day and I was just blown away by the effort made by staff, students and parents, taking great pride in wearing their country clothes and sharing their culture with the rest of the Dover Court Community. UN Day is also a great opportunity for the children to learn more about other cultures. Being Irish, the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Singapore is also another highlight for me. Dover Court had a number of students and staff represent the school in the last two parades. We hope to be there again in 2020, so please come and join us!