My name is Oonagh McAlister, and I am a Primary School Teacher from a small town called Ballymoney, which is located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. From 2018-2022, I attended Stranmillis University College, a college of Queens University Belfast, and in June 2022 I graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Primary Education, specialising in Religious Studies.
In September 2022, I started my first teaching post in a rural County Derry Primary School, in the townland of Mayogall. During the academic year 2022/23, I taught a Primary One/Two composite class of four/five-year-old children and this year (2023/24), I am teaching a Primary Six class of 33 nine/ten-year-old children. At school, I am also responsible for taking Netball and Line-Dancing After Schools’ Clubs.
I think the inaugural Reciprocity Project will be a great opportunity for our children to celebrate their own community and place, whilst learning about those who live abroad. Learning activities that focus on sustainability, community building, and rural resilience will undoubtedly develop the children’s empathy and will encourage a healthy questioning of personal beliefs, and the influence of their own culture and upbringing. An exposure to people from different backgrounds will broaden the children’s perspectives and will help them to develop a global mindset.