Talks and Webinars for Educators

Mary speaks on a range of topics for educators at preschool, primary and secondary level. Please use the contact form below if you wish to enquire about Mary’s availability to speak in your school or educational setting.

Here is a sample of some of the topics she covers:

“Supporting Anxious Students”

All children worry at times, but for some children it can be a real challenge to manage their anxieties. Educators play an important role in helping children to both understand and to manage their anxiety. In this talk Dr Mary O’Kane explains anxiety in children, why it occurs, and the physical and emotional impact. She also offers educators practical advice on how to support anxious children in educational settings, helping them to manage their fears and gain confidence.

Dr Mary O'Kane giving a presentation

“Supporting Anxious Teens”

Levels of anxiety in our teenagers are rising rapidly, and Irish 11-15 year olds are the second highest in Europe to present with emotional issues. In this talk Dr Mary O’Kane explains how anxiety impacts our teenagers and explains how changes in the teenage brain makes it more susceptible to mental health issues. She also offers educators practical advice on how to support teens in the secondary school context, helping them to manage their anxiety and become more resilient.

“The Transition from Preschool to Primary School (for Preschool Practitioners)”

The transition from preschool to primary school is one of the major transitions in a young child’s life. Research has shown that children who negotiate this transition well have better long term outcomes socially, emotionally and educationally. So how should preschool practitioners prepare children for this major transition in their lives? Dr Mary O’Kane offers some very practical advice on the most important skills for children during this time, and how preschool settings can best support children in developing these skills.

Dr Mary O'Kane speaking in public

“Positive Behaviour Management”

Managing children’s behaviour in a positive way is very important in terms of supporting their social and emotional development. In this seminar, Dr Mary O’Kane discussed some of the challenging aspects of behaviour commonly faced in preschool settings. She also supports preschool practitioners in framing behaviour management in a positive way, and in practical terms considering how to best to support positive behaviour.

Dr Mary O'Kane at a presentation

“Managing Transitions Within ECCE Settings”

This workshop for preschool practitioners provides participants with an understanding of the importance of supporting transitions within the ECCE setting. The focus is on both daily transitions (such as moving from one activity to another) and regular transitions (such as moving between rooms). Transitions within the daily routine provide structure and security for children, however they must also remain flexible enough to meet children’s ever-changing needs and interests. The opportunity to design a schedule that minimises transitions and maximises the time children spend engaged in activities will be explored, particularly in relation to decreasing challenging behaviour. During the course practitioners will identify their strengths in supporting children’s transitions in the setting, while also considering ways of improving practice.

“From Worries to Wellbeing”

This workshop for educators provides participants with an overview of the impact of worries and anxiety in the lives of young children. It offers educators practical advice on how to support anxious children in preschool and primary school settings, helping them to manage their fears and gain confidence. The session also focuses on free play as the primary means by which children learn to control their lives, solve problems, get along with peers, and become emotionally resilient.

Dr Mary O'Kane with a team of educators

“Parental Involvement in Preschool Settings”

This workshop for practitioners focuses on the importance of consultation with parents in ECCE settings. The importance of respectful relationships and alliances is covered, and the need to maintain a focus on working in partnership with the child and family to empower and build the capacity of individual family units.

Dr Mary’s client list

Canavan Byrne Training; Dublin Institute of Techology; Sherpa Kids Ireland; AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity; Donegal County Childcare Committee; Donegal ETB; St. Kilian’s N.S, Mullagh; Meath County Childcare Committee; National Parents Council Primary; Alexandra College; St. Michael’s College Junior school; The Genesis Programme, Louth; Galway Childcare Committee; St Brigid’s National School Meath Hill; Barnardos; Dublin City Childcare Committee; Wexford County Childcare Committee; Roscommon County Childcare Committee; Sligo County Childcare Committee; Kildare County Childcare Committee; Tipperary County Childcare Committee; Magic Years Early Years Centre, Castleknock; Ballyfermot/ Chapelizod Partnership; Better Finglas; Early Childhood Ireland.

Please fill out the form below if you’d like to be contacted by Dr Mary.

Talks for Educators Form

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