Donnacha O\’Kelly from Templeogue in south Dublin has been teaching at City Language School for almost two years. Having come from a family with a background in education, it was perhaps his destiny to end up in the classroom. That he happened to come to our English Language School in Dublin is our luck. Donnacha is popular with students who have turned the difficulty they have with the pronunciation of his name into an anthem of affection (see blog title for clues). Last week we caught up with him after class to chat about his teaching background, Dublin and his love of music.
Why did you start teaching English?
I have always been interested in teaching. My Mum and Dad met in a school. They were teachers. My eldest brother is vice-principal in a school in England, my sister is a primary school teacher and I have another brother who is a secondary school teacher. It’s in the family.
For a while I had all sorts of jobs but teaching was always at the back of my head and I had to get into a job that I really hated to finally give me the push to go for it and teach. It was the greatest decision I ever made. I couldn’t compare it to any other job I had before. It’s the best job I’ve had.
Why do you like it so much?
It’s vocational. It’s what you get back from it. You’re getting fulfilled every day going into a classroom. You’re getting so much fun out of it and you’re learning so much from your students as well, so it just keeps giving back to you. You learn so much not just about the language but about people and culture and everything else. It’s a job that I love and it fulfills me.
What is it like working here at City Language School?
The staff are great and the location is great there’s so much around. It’s a great environment to be in. During the summer, there’s nowhere better than being right in the heart of the city. You can just pop over to Trinity College and sit in the sun or walk up Grafton Street and see what’s going on up there.
Do you like Dublin?
I have a great grá for Dublin and I’ve always loved it. I’m twenty-eight. As I said, I was born and raised in Templeogue but I live in Ballycullen now and from my apartment I have a great view overlooking Dublin so I can sit there for hours looking out over it.
What’s your favourite thing about the city?
It has to be the people. The characters you see everyday, like the musicians, the buskers you see on Grafton St. There are great places to go out too.
What do you do outside of teaching when you have the time?
I love music. Again, my family are very musical so I have played in bars in the past but I haven’t done it for a while. And film. I have a huge interest in film. I did a couple of courses down in Film Base (movie school) here in Temple Bar and I made a few short movies and did a few acting classes but it’s really just a hobby for now.
Donnacha used some words and phrases that might be new to you. But before you take a look, try to guess them from the context…
end up (phrasal verb) – to finally be in a place or situation.
teaching was always at the back of my head – I always thought about teaching.
in the heart of the city – right in the middle of the city where everything is happening.
grá (noun) – love [this word is an Irish word but it is often used in English to describe a love for a place or pastime].
to be born and raised somewhere – to grow up somewhere.