Resource Teaching

I have been very fortunate to (a) have a job and (b) given three resource classes of my own every week. I teach a variety of students in resource, a second year student, a sixth year and three first year students. Resource classes are one of the highlights of my week, the classes are a completely different challenge and thoroughly rewarding.

Today was my first resource class with my second year student – I also see her six times a week for History and RE classes. This student has difficulty with formulating her own opinions or answers on paper. Today we focused on gathering key words together in a Mind Map exercise on the character Scout from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Instead of me instructing the student to write the Mind Map into her copy, I allowed her assume the role of teacher, writing up her ideas on the whiteboard. I told her to imagine I was an alien who had landed on earth and was going to read her answer, so to be sure to explain everything really clearly because I was clueless on the topic, not even hearing of the book. With this sense of empowerment, it allowed her to develop her key words into sentences and give examples of scenes from the book.

Sometimes students just need to be given the time, attention and most importantly the encouragement to reach their full potential. By simply reversing the role of student to teacher, it empowers them to show off the knowledge they already know.


Dare to be

As an RE and S.P.H.E teacher, it is of great importance to me to instill confidence in students and to promote self esteem. While researching for S.P.H.E resources I came across this powerful poem which I am going to hang up in my classroom.

Dare to be –  Steve Maraboli 

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!”


Section E: Celebration of Faith

This week I have started Section E: Celebration of Faith with my second year RE class. I introduced the lesson on pilgrimage by asking students to identify a place of significance for them, somewhere, anywhere which has brought meaning to their lives. There was an array of answers from grandparents’ houses, a secret garden and Disneyland Paris! We discussed why these places are of importance, what drew the students to them. I then introduced the concept of sacred places as places of significance and religious importance. The following YouTube clip is an excellent video introducing the religious experience of Lourdes, France. The short video clip gives a short history of Lourdes and the story of the apparition of the Immaculate Conception.


Body Image

First blog post of the New Year. Hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas holidays and survived the first week back to school. The school I am teaching in has kicked off the New Year with a healthy lifestyle programme for students which coincides with the RTE programme Operation Transformation. The PE Dept in the school has chosen student ‘leaders’ and teacher ‘leaders’ to encourage and promote healthy eating and exercise to the 350 students who have joined the programme in school.

This week with my 3rd year S.P.H.E class we looked at the issue of the media’s influence on our perception of the ‘perfect’ body image or look. The following Youtube clips are excellent discussion starters for such a sensitive topic – particularly with an all girls environment. The videos look at how the media (particularly magazines and advertisements) advocate an airbrushed, false perception of beauty. These videos really engaged the class.




Timetoast is a fantastic Web2.0 tool for creating timelines – this is a great resource for history teachers like myself. In order to use Timetoast you must provide a valid email address and password and you are ready to begin time-traveling. You can pay $5.99 per month or go pro at $8.99 per month, but the best option is the one that is free – it is the most basic plan.

timetoast 2

The great thing about Timetoast is that once you have registered you have free access to all other timelines that have been created by other Timetoast users. Creating a timeline could not be simpler. To begin you choose a topic and category for your timeline eg. The life of Benito Mussolini, History – at this stage you can also upload an image. Once you have chosen your timeline topic you begin creating your timeline. You can include your timespan (start to end date) and your individual key dates giving a description for each, you can also upload a picture for each individual date.

Timetoast is an excellent resource that I will be definitely including in my history lessons. It is a create database for creating and sharing ideas.



Warning Sign Generator

I came across this handy web tool earlier where you can make your own warning signs. These signs would be perfect wall hangings for your classroom or corridors in school. You can make your own sign in a matter of moments by completing four simple steps.

1. Choose your sign’s background.

2. Choose your warning symbol.

3. Type in your message

4. Click the button to make your sign.

It couldn’t be simpler! Right click your sign to save it to your files. There is no limit to your sign making, it is 100% free and no registration required.

Here are some of the warning signs I have made.

warningsign                                               warningsign (1)