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DWEC Podcast: Teachers Themselves

An Original Podcast for Educators

"Teachers Themselves" is an engaging podcast designed specifically for educators in Ireland, and beyond. The first episode went live on September 4th 2023. Season 2 is now available wherever you find your podcasts!

Whether you're a seasoned teacher looking to enhance your teaching practices, or a new educator seeking guidance and inspiration, "Teachers Themselves" provides a platform for professional growth and fosters a community of like-minded educators. Join us as we explore the art and science of teaching, inspire each other, and shape the future of education, one episode at a time.

Hosted by DWESC Director, Ultan Mac Mathúna, and featuring insightful guest speakers, all educators themselves, this podcast offers conversational episodes focused on sharing teaching experiences, exploring the latest trends in education, and fostering a community of passionate educators.

Tune in to "Teachers Themselves" and unlock your full potential as an educator. Together, let's empower ourselves and our students for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. Your journey towards excellence starts here.


Teachers Themselves is a DWEC original, produced and created by Dublin West Education Centre and produced by Zita Robinson.

“No written word, no spoken plea, can teach our youth what they should be, nor all the books on all the shelves,

it’s what the teachers are themselves.” John Wooden

Season One Guests

Patrick Kirwan

Patrick Kirwan founded the Irish Schools Sustainability Network in March 2021. The network has run a series of national initiatives including the Climate and Nature Summit, 5 Minutes of Sustainability, and Bitesize Biodiversity. Patrick is now running place-based training for teachers on climate and nature education in Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore, Co. Waterford where he teaches.

Fiona Forman

Fiona Forman is an author, speaker, facilitator and trainer in the area of well-being and Positive Psychology in education and parenting. She holds an M.Sc. in Applied Positive Psychology (the science of well-being) from the University of East London. Having spent many years as a primary teacher, she is passionate about placing well-being at the heart of education, and she has seen first-hand the benefits that this brings to the entire school community.
Fiona is the co-author of Weaving Well-Being, an SPHE programme which is now in use in the majority of primary schools in Ireland. She is the author of the Welcome to Well-Being & Wired for Well-Being programmes, which are also widely used. Fiona is also the parent of 2 young adults, which has deepened her awareness of the need to equip and empower young people with the skills they need in order to build resilience and flourish and thrive in life.

Shannon Ahern

Shannon Ahern is an enthusiastic and dedicated educator specialising in mathematics and science at St. Declan's College in Cabra. With a passion for STEM education, Shannon is committed to transforming the learning experience for learners. Her zeal for mathematics is particularly noteworthy, as she believes in making maths not just educational, but also engaging and enjoyable for both learners and educators alike.
Recognising the power of social media in modern education, Shannon established an Instagram account, Craic Matamaitic (@craic_matamaitic), as a platform to connect with fellow maths teachers. Through this vibrant online community, she shares an array of innovative ideas, practical tips, and valuable resources aimed at making mathematics education more dynamic and fun without the added stress for teachers!
In November 2022, Shannon's creative journey took an exciting turn when she discovered ChatGPT. She quickly realised that ChatGPT was the ultimate tool she needed to enhance her creativity and develop her engaging resources in even less time. ChatGPT, proved to be an invaluable asset in Shannon's toolbox, enabling her to create lessons that not only play to students' interests but pique students' interest and make them curious to learn.

Mary McKenna

Primary teacher since graduation in 1982. Set up Ireland's first Autism Early Intervention class in 1999. Other roles include:
Early Years Autism Consultant at the Children’s Clinic, Sandycove, providing post-diagnostic support to young children and their families.
Consultant and lecturer with Special Educational Needs (SEN) programmes in Irish universities. These include Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Froebel College of Education, Maynooth, and St Angela’s College of Education, Sligo.
Regular delivery of online and in-person courses in Dublin West Education Centre (DWEC) and Marino Institute of Education. These include ‘Teaching Autistic Children: Where to Start; What to Prioritise; How to Thrive’, and ‘Understanding Autism: Supporting the Child and the Teacher’
Lecturer and part of the national Autism team for National Council for Special Education (NCSE) since 2010. Duties included providing in-school support to teachers of autistic students, and ongoing delivery of a full-day seminar, ‘Teaching Young Autistic Children’.

Magdalena Landziak

Magdalena works as a Special Needs Assistant in a primary school in Co. Limerick for over 7 years supporting children with additional needs. She is an Editor and Publisher of AMYGDALA – the First National Magazine for SNAs. She created this magazine to support and empower SNAs. She has a deep understanding of the unique challenges that special needs assistants face, and through the magazine she makes sure that the SNAs have the tools they need to serve those who depend on them. The monthly publication is dedicated to providing the latest information, resources and strategies in the field in special education. Magdalena graduated from UCD finishing the National Training Programme for SNAs receiving a Certificate in Inclusive School Support. She has a teaching background from Poland. She is running an Instagram page called @sna_zone where she provides helpful information for fellow SNAs and parents, advocating for autism and other disabilities. She was delivering webinars through Tralee Education Centre and Le Chéila Online Learning and Dublin West Education CentreArea. Recently she started her Masters in Inclusive Education and SEN.

John Williams

Chairperson Dublin West Education Committee. Former Principal Divine Word NS. Executive member of Nordic Principals Forum(NOFO). Former National Council member of IPPN. Independent Assessor for Dublin Diocese interview panels. Webinar designer for INTO on job applications and applying for In School Management positions.