Hello, I’d like to introduce myself: I’m Grainne O’Donnell, Instructor at the Kumon Douglas Study Centre. After obtaining an engineering degree from UCC, I worked in London as a mathematician in investment banking and oil trading for ten years. Education is in my blood; my father was a teacher and a firm believer in the value of a well-rounded education. Through encouragement and help, he fostered a deep love for learning in our family. This has always stood me in good stead, receiving an award for the highest results in Ireland in Leaving Certificate maths, and graduating top of my class in both my Engineering Degree and Masters Degree in London. In 2008 I spent four months working in a school in Tanzania. I thoroughly enjoyed helping children develop academically and personally through positive motivation and support, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
I first came across Kumon when I was working in London and a number of colleagues had children enrolled onto the programmes. They were hugely impressed with how it taught them how to study effectively. After the birth of my third child I did a lot of research into ways I could fulfil my passion for education and I recalled the high praise for Kumon. I was inspired to open my own centre in Douglas as it’s a system which I immediately saw would hugely benefit so many.
I’ve always loved maths and would like to nurture this same passion in my students. The mastery of basic skills for a child working at their own pace could make all the difference to them. The English programme is of equal importance as good communication and critical analysis of text is vital in any walk of life.
I was excited to discover that Kumon was just as beneficial to those children who were excelling at school and would like an extra challenge as they study work ahead of their school level. What I love about Kumon is that I can work individually with all of my students and tailor their development accordingly. I will ensure that they only progress to new concepts once previous ones have been mastered.
During my career as a mathematician, I had the opportunity to interview and mentor graduates from all over the world. Students from certain countries displayed a consistently high level of mathematical understanding which hugely impressed me. It struck me that we are a truly global workforce, and our skills need to be competitive with those from other nations. Kumon is not aligned to any curriculum; rather it benchmarks students on a global level which can only be of benefit to the students.
My role as Instructor is to guide and motivate students through the programme whilst ensuring they have fun learning. It is rewarding to play a part in developing students’ ability to learn for themselves, this skill knows no bounds and I relish the challenge of helping all my students discover their potential.