For many Irish primary teachers, exhausted and weary after a gruelling academic year, the last thing they want to face into in early July is a 20-hour professional development course. This will be particularly true in July 2021 after the challenging and unprecedented year teachers have just experienced.

However, primary teachers are professionals, always seeking to upskill themselves around the latest academic research or new curricular developments that could enhance the learning experience for children in their classes. During non-contact times, many teachers seek ways to increase their own personal knowledge and skill set in order to benefit their school communities.

We all know that one way to make the time fly by is to be engaged in a topic that you are passionate about. Many of us have experienced being lost in a great book, turning the pages and not noticing the hours disappearing. For those of us who dabble in writing, this is equally true. If you are lucky enough to get in the zone and have a flow, time becomes elastic.

Any teacher who is interested in becoming immersed for 20 hours in the writing process, story-telling, the technicalities of publishing and in turning their pupils (or themselves) into published authors, may be interested in one particular online summer course this year.

At Emu Ink we have collaborated with Marino Institute for Education to offer a course that will increase a teacher’s skill set in the craft of writing, by having her/him engage directly with the (adapted) materials they might use in the senior classes of their school. Topics covered will include story starters, setting, plot, character development, point of view, resolution and conclusions. The course also looks at publication and issues such as maintaining clean copy, editing and proofreading.

The journey from pencil to print is explored when a school community decides to engage in producing a short story and/or poetry anthology or a book on a special interest topic such as a school anniversary, The Covid Book Project or a multicultural cookery book.

If a teacher so wishes, and engages with the exercises and tasks set, he/she will have a draft of a short story written by the end of the course and, who knows, she/he may subsequently polish their gem and submit to one of the many Irish and international journals that publish short stories. They might even enter one of the many competitions that abound in this genre.

Any participating teacher will also get an insight into the place of writing in the Primary Language Curriculum (PLC), gain knowledge on how to approach prioritising the writing process in the context of School Self Evaluation (SSE) and in drawing up a School Improvement Plan (SIP) in this area.

Teachers in Special Education will also have an exposure to Immersive Reader, a proven educational tool for children with reading difficulties.

For more details and to enrol on the course visit


By Kathryn Crowley
Primary Education Specialist
Emu Ink Publishing