Watching the hustle and bustle of an airport lounge, seeing people say their hellos and their goodbyes.
The past year and a half has been a very challenging time for many with travel being off the cards for most but hopefully the clouds will start to clear soon and adventures can begin to resume once again.
Where will you go? What will you do?
For the past ten years, I have been living away from the Emerald Isle of Ireland and so for the next twelve weeks as part of my #2021inquiry.
I plan to make connections to my learnings from each place I have been lucky enough to have travelled to and how it links to my teaching, learning and leading so far.
One of the questions I get asked the most is - how do I go about teaching/ living abroad?
So, I want to bring you on the adventure with me as I reflect on my time away from home and maybe give you some ideas of where you might want to travel next when things start to open back up.
Starting with my beautiful home itself - Ireland.
How do I know what I know?
What even are words? Why is that spelt that way?
What is the rule?
I have been going a wee bit crazy this year going deeper into English and how to teach it!
During my time at school I was a Maths kid. I lovedddd algebraic equations! But give me even a 30 min English session I use to walk as slow as possible with all the detours so I might miss even 1 minute of it.
I never would have thought looking back at those years that Literacy would go on to become one of my favourite subjects to teach.
I have been on a 7 year journey, looking at ways to weave "21century skills" with the knowledge needed to read, comprehend and beyond.
This year my class are 100% bilingual (EAL) and every day I am in awe of how they can hold two or more languages in their heads to navigate their world.
Let's see where I am in my Literacy journey so far....
What makes learners queue up for hours to go on a 30second ride and then go back again for more? (when some of them can't sit for 15seconds to listen to instructions)
These questions have been on my mind for years, while looking into learner engagement and how we earn it.
In my first year of teaching, I was captivated by Ken Robinson's message about creativity in schools and as the Art specialist it made me realise how many magical opportunities creativity could give.
This got me onto Richard Gerver's book Change. I love this book for many reasons but in this context I love when he talks about the vision he and his colleagues had for their school, Grange. He said they wanted it be 'Like a Disneyland of learning.'
So this has been a big part of my inquiry so far. And I am excited to share the journey with you.
Can we make our classrooms the Disneyland of learning?
I have been thinking a lot about the world at the minute and where I see myself and Empathetic Educators having an impact.
Sometimes it feels like we are in a movie that some of my very imaginative learners are writing the script for which is farfetched and at times unrealistic (I enjoy reading those stories but not living them.)
Sometimes I have these moments of clarity where I can see the direction I want to move towards, enjoying the ups and downs.
And sometimes I want to put my duvet over my head and hide until it has all passed not wanting to look at the good or the bad.
Dear Mammy and Daddy, Well that's it, today is the last day of the term before the Christmas holidays.
I am not going to lie. I can not wait for the next three weeks off.
2020 has been one hell of a ride. But I look at this photo and I think it is crazy this was us celebrating the end of my secondary school. Age 18. 10 YEARS AGO!!!! and what a ride it has been since then.
As I think about what I want to write today I am so glad I have decided to write these weekly sessions dedicated to you both because you have always been on either side of me.
Due to health or other reasons some people don't always get that and the older I get the more I realise how grateful I am to have you both.
18year old Naomi in this photo, thought she knew everything with her 6 inch, neon pink heels haha and didn't realise how lucky I was to have parents who cared so much and wanted the best for me.
I just wanted to say thank you for that. Thanks for always being by my side, physically or virtually. It's not always sunshine and rainbows in families but the older I get and closer I get to the age you had me the more I can't believe you kept it together....most of the time :P.
I am proud sometimes when I wake up and make the bed never mind having another human of my own reliant on me.
And this ties into the area I have been reflecting on this week.... confidence....