Maynooth Community College
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MCC English Teacher Pens TY English Textbook ‘Beyond Words’

Elaine Campbell centered with Maynooth Community College Principal Síobhán McCauley and Deputy Principal Niamh Donohoe -Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB).

MCC Teacher Pens Innovative TY English Textbook ‘Beyond Words’

On a brisk November evening, Maynooth Bookshop welcomed a diverse audience for the launch ‘Beyond Words’. Crafted by Elaine Campbell, this ground-breaking English textbook for Transition Year is the latest addition to Edco’s school textbook releases. Elaine is an English and History teacher at Maynooth Community College and formerly taught in Coláiste Lorcáin, Castledermot. She expressed her excitement about seeing the culmination of her efforts benefitting Transition Year students nationwide.

Ursula Byrne, representing Maynooth Bookshop, introduced Elaine to an eager gathering of colleagues from Maynooth Community College, Maynooth Post Primary, neighbouring institutions, family and friends. Praising the textbook as “modern and engaging,” Byrne highlighted the selection of extracts and inclusion of young, fresh writers such as Kildare writer Louise Nealon, motivational speaker Jack Kavanagh and acclaimed Irish author Claire Keegan.

Elaine shared her inspiration for the book, citing the challenges of transitioning to online teaching during the height of the pandemic. Faced with outdated texts, she began curating materials that would captivate students in the digital realm. The project evolved during the summer of 2021, leading Elaine to collaborate with educational publishing companies who saw the potential in her innovative approach.

Speaking about the importance of her textbook, Elaine emphasised the need for inclusivity, representing diverse experiences in the classroom. She aimed to go beyond words by showcasing the richness of 21st-century Irish society through a variety of texts, including those from bestsellers and featuring non-binary individuals, diverse abilities, and minority cultures like Mincéirí traveller culture.

Elaine acknowledged the learning curve of the publishing process, noting the layers of approval and costs associated with extracts. Despite these challenges, her and Edco’s commitment to producing a modern and representative textbook for TY learners remained unwavering.

Reflecting on her journey, Elaine expressed pride in transforming an abstract idea into a tangible resource for English students nationally. ‘Beyond Words’ is now available for order from The Educational Company of Ireland (Edco) Sales and Maynooth Bookshop with further roll out Spring 2024.

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