Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Irish Bloggers Unite!

Over the past month some of us Irish Teaching Bloggers have decided to come together to support each other in sharing our ideas and resources among teachers in Irish primary schools. In order to do this, Emer from the blog 'A Crucial Week' has organised this Blog Hop for all of us 'Teacher Bloggers'. If you follow the link to her post, you can find a list of all of the Irish Bloggers participating in the Blog Hop, along with links to their blogs. 

As part of the Blog Hop, we will each be answering a series of questions to tell you a little more about ourselves and our blogs. Keep reading to find out a little more about me and Primary School Lessons!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your teaching experience:
I'm a teacher in a medium sized school in the midlands. I have been teaching for the past 5 years and blogging since 2012. I have taught a variety of class levels including infants, 3rd, 4th and 5th class, as well as Learning Support and Resource.

What class level are your resources/ideas aimed at?
I started my first blog when I was teaching Senior Infants. Senior Infant Adventures contained a variety of resources, thematic units and lessons ideas aimed at infant classes. When I was moved into a senior class a couple of years ago I decided to create a more general blog called 'Primary School Lessons'. While I have continued to post resources and lessons suitable for infant classes, I have also been posting a variety of resources for senior classes as well as general tips and ideas which could be used in any class level.

What made you want to start blogging?
When I was completing my Probationary Year, I spent a great deal of time researching lessons online. Unfortunately there were very few 'free' lesson ideas and thematic unit ideas to be found that were created by Irish teachers (despite the huge number of teachers out there in the exact same boat as myself!). It was for this reason that I decided to start writing a blog as a way of sharing lesson ideas and experiences with other Irish teachers in a similar situation, who were under pressure and looking for inspiration.

Would you advise other Irish teachers to start a blog?
Definitely! While it is a big commitment, especially if you try to keep it regularly updated, it is definitely worth the work! Apart from being a great way to interact with other teachers, I have found that blogging has made me a better teacher. I have become more aware of my teaching, how I structure lessons and how important it is to share ideas. I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas to try out and write about.

What's your favourite free resource that you have shared?
It was always my aim to keep all resources and thematic unit ideas I have shared on my blog 'free' as a lot of them are aimed at NQTs and students on placement, neither of which have a lot of money to throw around (and teaching can be an expensive occupation!). For this reason I have a lot of 'favourite' free resources on my blog. I particularly like the Timeline of History Topics that I created recently, as I think every teacher needs a good visual timeline to put up in their classroom. I also think my thematic units on topics like 'Homes and Houses' (infants) and 'Space' (senior classes) are quite useful as they contain all the resources and details needed to teach the unit. My most popular posts are part of my Tin Whistle Series: Teaching Tin Whistle to Beginners and Tin Whistle Tunes for School Masses, the first two posts in a series that will continue into next year. When it comes to resources I've shared from other sites, I really like the range and quality of resources on sites like Teacher's PetTesBBC and Seomra Ranga and am frequently linking to them in posts.

Don't forget to check out the other Primary Teacher Bloggers on our Blog Hop - there are some excellent ideas and resources to be found. Also, if you haven't already, you can follow me on Facebook here or on Twitter here to keep up to date on new posts. I hope you are all enjoying the holidays and keep an eye out for some 'Back To School' posts over the next few weeks!

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