I studied Philosophy, English Literature, Psychology and Italian at University College Cork. I previously had a sojourn (two years) studying Physics, which was joyous and character-building but didn't satisfyingly tackle life's profounder questions in the way Philosophy later would.
After completing a proper two-year M.A. in Philosophy (1st Class), I was accepted at Durham University for a PhD programme in the Philosophy of Mind/Psychiatry. This drew on the Phenomenology of Heidegger as a starting point. I had the honour of being a Tutor and occasional Lecturer here for five years. Fabulous.
As a student of human nature, I love to travel. I have had the great fortune to have travelled to many absurdly beautiful places - Venice, Budapest, Vienna, Transylvania (twice for that extra vampire thrill) Salzburg, Iceland, Norway, Hull. Somewhat distasteful of being the 'mere tourist' I spent some months living in Northern Italy, three years in Spain, and over 10 years in England's green and mostly pleasant land.
I started my educator journey teaching English in northern Spain for three years. I then taught Political Philosophy, Ethics, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion, Medical Ethics, and more, at University College Cork, Durham University, and adult education courses in Newcastle. I've taught Philosophy and R.S. at Secondary Level since 2009.
I take an evidence-informed approach to teaching and learning, for example, applying insights from cognitive psychology on memory to make learning 'stick'. I train colleagues in evidence-informed approaches to teaching, learning, as well as to leadership.
I have been in senior leadership since 2015, leading across multiple teams and projects. These range across curriculum, pedagogy, mental health, research-informed practice and more. I use best practice evidence from Harvard Business Review and leadership literature to raise my leadership game, and that of others.
At Durham University I was the Managing Editor and Book Reviews Editor for their Philosophy journal. At second-level I lead the Philosophy & R.S., and the Business & Economics Departments. I became an Associate Assistant Headteacher in 2015, and an Assistant Headteacher in 2018
I am a trained Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) and School Mindfulness Lead. I lead on the introduction of Mindfulness to my current school, and am a qualified trainer. I have always been interested in madness and mental health, and teenagers today, especially girls, are under severe pressures. I introduced Mindfulness practice as an evidence-based approach to help students manage anxiety, and to hone their focus and attention.