I had a really enjoyable Easter break. It can sometimes be hard to rev yourself back up for the last term of school. Particularly if you have a very tough class that really take up all of your energy. Or, if you have a personal issue going on and the Easter break has been very tough emotionally on you or your family.

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Spring Chicks with Attitude!

Even though it is technically Summer in Ireland, it definitely doesn’t feel like it! :)

Before the Easter break, I was very busy at school with preparation for St. Patrick’s Day, 1916 Celebrations and Easter work so I didn’t get to touch on Spring as much as I would have liked to. So I decided to do some work on it this side of April and some of our fantastic art is found at the bottom of this post.

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Today when our attention is drawn in so many different ways, mindfulness is becoming more important. Mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention to ourselves, others and the world around us. It is often said that mindfulness is a shift from a doing mode to a being mode.  – Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy 

Mindfulness is a calming practice that is helping people to live more clearly in the present moment.

We live in a busy world, and the technique of mindfulness can help us to make our work and our home lives as peaceful, calm and happy as they can be.

Mindfulness is a journey. It is something that I have to keep working on but I enjoy it and it helps me to create a good work/life balance.

The essence of the discipline is in the word – mindfulness – being mindful. (The Little Book of Mindfulness by Tiddy Rowan)

I’ve used mindfulness 11666094_829999667085316_2013786861479476583_nto help me in the school environment. At different times of the day, week, month or year, school can become very overwhelming.

One can become over burdened with huge class sizes, catering for diverse needs, meetings, planning, assessing, WSE’s, the fear of an incidental, creating resources, changing displays, putting on school plays, organizing parent teacher meetings – the list goes on.

Phew! Let’s take a breath after that! :)

I came up with the title of this blog because thinking mindfully has really helped me to teach to the best of my ability. I think that teaching is, like many other professions, a very busy job. I adopted the mindfulness practice as I always wanted the assessment, differentiation, planning, teaching and displays in my classroom to be perfect. And that’s not always possible. I would stay way later then was necessary in the evenings and then bring work home on top of that. I burnt myself out.

As a teacher, there is always going to be a list of jobs that need to be done. Always.

Mindfulness is helping me to become more practical about my workload and gentler on my reflections of my achievements. I’m learning that I can’t do it all in one week, month or term, but that that’s ok! It’s important to live outside of the classroom too. Mindfulness is helping me to be present in the moment, and to leave work at work. As teachers, we need to reenergize our batteries in the evening  so that we can refuel our students with enthusiasm and knowledge the following day.

It’s still a work in progress but I find mindfulness to be an effective tool in the school environment. And I believe that the children pick up on these positive and calm feelings too.

I adore my job and have found that thinking mindfully has allowed me to take care of my own body and my wellness, something that I had definitely put to the side. This then allows me to give my best to my precious students as well as my loving family and friends. Because let’s remember, as much as we love our job, it’s important to have a lust for life outside of the classroom too.

The Mindfulness Ireland Facebook page is absolutely fabulous. It is full of gentle, healing and encouraging quotes that are very soothing to read in the midst of this busy world that we live in. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/MindfulnessIreland/

I find the following books very effective for dipping in and out of when I need some mindfulness inspiration:

  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

(essential for all teacher’s as we do sometimes tend to flap :))

  • The Little Book of Mindfulness by Tiddy Rowan

(perfect for your bedside locker)

  • Mindfulness – a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

Tapas Feast

Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals is my favourite cooking book. I think it’s really practical, but more importantly it’s fun!! And it makes me interested in and excited about cooking! I can’t really ask for more from a cookbook.

IMG_2840This Friday, I’m sharing Jamie’s Tapas Feast recipe from the channel4 website. All of the recipe is Jamie’s!

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Let’s get reading…

Below is a list of books that I have enjoyed and other books that friends have recommended to me.

I hope you can find a title that tickles your fancy or intrigues you. Let’s revive our love of books together. Can you share some other books that you loved or are currently reading? Please feel free to suggest more. :)

  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  • It’s The Little Things – Francis Brennan’s Guide to Life by Francis Brennan
  • The Hunger Games (1,2&3) by Suzanne Collins
  • Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by  Khaled Hosseini
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Where’d you go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  • In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
  • Eat,Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Pigeon English  by Stephan Kelman 
  • Us by David Nicholls
  • Rain on the Wind by Walter Macken
  • One Day by David Nicholls
  • The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
  • A Little Love Song by Michelle Magorian
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho