Thought-provoking video about who are we.

In this thought-provoking and eye opening video,  a variety of speakers, hailing from a diverse range of racial and cultural backgrounds, perform a spoken word piece.

‘They make¬†an important point: WE ARE NOT WHAT WE LOOK LIKE.’

There is more to us as individuals than what we look like, where we were born, what religion we practice, underneath all these layers we are the same. We are human. 

‘Who would you be if the world never gave you a label? No, we would be one!! Together! ¬†These labels blind us from seeing someone as who they really are.’

So when we judge someone based on their appearance, we are missing out on discovering the incredible being who exists under the surface. It is both a lost opportunity on our part and an injustice against the other’s right to be recognized as a whole and complete person.

‘No baby is born racist!’

As¬†the video makes clear, when we judge someone based on his or her race we are subconsciously separating ourselves from them, because they are ‚Äúdifferent.‚ÄĚ It seems quite ridiculous when it‚Äôs put that way, doesn‚Äôt it? Because of this separation, based solely on labels, we wage war against one another. It‚Äôs ignorant, and conveys how the media‚Äôs influence in keeping us separated and placing blame and hate on many other races and religions.

When you realize that these are just labels, which society has given to each and every one of us, a profound understanding occurs within you. You begin to question the lines that divide us both psychologically and even physically, on our maps. Maybe there are alternate reasons for the crises that we are facing in the world today and the labels are just a cover because we have been convinced for so long that we are all separate from one another.

‘We were meant to be free and only until we remove them all, and stop living and thinking so small will we be free to see ourselves and each other for who we truly are.’



Best teacher¬†: Richard Feynman


In this video clip, I love the way Feynman explains how fire works. He takes such obvious delight in teaching others. You can see how happy he is as his face lights up. And he makes it so clear that anyone can understand it. Students know when you like your subject or not.

If you are passionate about your subject, you encourage the students to love it too. If you hate your subject, why should your students like it?

Feynman has a lot in common with all the amazing teachers out there. You walk into their classroom and immediately feel their positive atmosphere in their classroom, the way they interact with and engage their students and their passion for whatever subject they are teaching. These teachers are not famous, but they deserve just as much awe and respect as someone like Feynman.







Junior Certificate: Section D: Religion in a changing world

xx World

Learning outcomes:

  1. The students will be able to recognise Pope John XXIII.
  2. The students will be able to discuss Pope John’s XXIII aim for the church.
  3. The pupils will be able to recognise the Second Vatican Council.
  4. The pupils will be able to identify some of the changes that occurred because of Vatican II.
  5. The students will be able to identify some areas in our world today that need to be changed by a third Vatican Council.

Assessment of Learning outcomes:

  1. The students will recognise Pope John XXIII, discuss Pope John’s XXIII aim for the church and recognise the Second Vatican Council by participating in a class discussion.
  2. The pupils will identify some of the changes that occurred because of Vatican II by working in groups and drawing a window and writing down some of the changes that occurred.
  3. The students will identify some areas in our world today that need to be changed a third Vatican Council by writing a letter to Pope Francis.

Homework task

I will give students the homework task of imagining you have attended the first mass since the Vatican II changes came in. The students must imagine how they would feel watching the new changes in mass? Do they think the changes improved the experience of mass? The students will then write a diary entry about how they felt. The diary entry must be one copy page long.


Phase 1: Introduction

Click here for the handouts for this lesson –¬†Religion in a changing world handouts.

Phase 2: Handout- Changes from Vatican II.

I will give each student a handout which will discuss many of the changes that occurred because of Vatican II.

I will ask a number of pupils to read out the changes on the handout.

I will discuss the changes with the class.

Phase 3: Pair work- Poster of the changes 

I will explain to the students that Pope John XXIII said that Vatican II was like opening a window as winds of change blew through the Catholic Church.

I will put the students into pairs.

I will give each pair a card of coloured paper.

I ask each group to design a poster by drawing window and writing down some of the ideas that blew into the Catholic Church as a result of Vatican II.

I will give the students’ five minutes for this task and I will ask the students to make sure their names are on their poster.

I will ask the pairs to display their work to the class.

The students really enjoyed this task and they made fantastic posters!

Phase 4:Group work: Write a letter to Pope Francis explaining why there should be a third Vatican Council 

I will put the students into groups.

I will give each group a worksheet.

I will tell the groups to imagine a third Vatican Council is going to be held.

Each group must imagine that their group is contacted and asked for their ideas about the church in the modern world.

The students must think about:

What is life like in the world today?

What is it like for young people in the church today?

What works well in the church?

What could be improved?


Using the worksheet, each group must write a letter to Rome.

The groups will get five minutes for this task.

After the time is up, I will ask each group  for their answers.

I will discuss each groups answer with the class.



Another task


I will tell speak to the students about how the amount of people becoming nuns and priests has dropped drastically.  I will tell the students that in August 2013, Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth welcomed twenty new seminarians, who will commence their formation for the priesthood at the National Seminary. 

I will explain to the students the term seminary: A seminary is a training college for priests or rabbis.

I will tell the students that when welcoming the new candidates, their families and friends to Maynooth, the President of the College, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, recalled the recent words of Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day in July: ¬†‚ÄúDear seminarians who are preparing for ministry: have the courage to go against the tide of the culture of pragmatism and efficiency. Be courageous! Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter.‚ÄĚMonsignor Connolly continued:¬†‚ÄúAs the Church continues to celebrate this Year of Faith may the year ahead be an opportunity for all of us to appreciate the gift of our faith, deepen our relationship with God and strengthen our commitment to sharing our faith with others.‚ÄĚ

Task: Group work: Design a Facebook page to encourage young people to join the vocations.

You can use Fakebook on Class Tools or I made my own Facebook template for use in the classroom. 


Essential ICT resources for teachers


Using Wordle, you can generate word clouds that show prominent words in any body of text. It is really simple to use.It is free too! Just enter any text that you have gathered from a website, textbook or from your students work. It basically summarises what the text is about! Wordle also allows you to change the appearance of your word cloud by the font, shape, colour and organisation.

This is a great video clip which conveys an introduction to Wordle. 


Wordle can be used as an introduction to a topic or to as a final conclusion of a topic. You can use Wordle in ANY subject!

For example for Poetry in English you can give the students a Wordle and ask them to guess what the poem is about from looking at the words on the Wordle.

Wordle can also be used as a homework task the students must put each word into a sentence.

This video clip portrays different ways to use Wordle in the classroom. 


Armoured Penguin

I love this website. It is free to use. It allows you to make your own crosswords, word searches, word scrambles, secret codes and word matches. It allows you to print your tasks straight from the website and also you can save your puzzles for future use. Armoured Penguin has a list of puzzles made by other users that you can use yourself. It is very fast and easy to use.


I never used TES while I was on teaching practice as I always made my own resources. However, now that I am working and doing a Masters I have started to use resources from TES to save time. TES is a fanastic website which allows you to share your resources with other teachers and you can use resources made by others. This website basically has resources on nearly EVERYTHING! You can use the resources straight off the bait or you can edit them yourself to suit your needs.


Sparknotes is the Holy Grail for teachers especially English teachers! Sparknotes contains a library of novels. Many which you may be using in your classroom.

For each novel  Sparknotes offers a:


Plot Overview

Character List

Analysis of Major Characters

Themes, Motifs and Symbols

A summary and analysis of each chapter

Important quotations explained

Key Facts

Study Questions and Essay Topics


It is a great resource that is free! It also contains video clips!

What would the world do without Google? What would English teachers do without Sparknotes?


You can join this website for free. Studyclix has over 5000 discussion boards which teachers can learn a lot from. You can view exam papers and marking schemes. Or you can download free Junior and Senior Cycle notes/video clips to help to deepen the students understanding of a topic. You can view the 2016 timetable for the Junior and Leaving Cert.

Class tools

This is a great resource which lets you develop fun resources for use in the classroom. You can create your games, activities, quizzes and diagrams! It is a free and you do not have to sign up to use this website. The game generator lets you design an interactive quiz. You can create a Fake Facebook page (Fakebook) for a fictional or historical character. I always use the countdown timer when I am doing group work in a class to motivate the students and to keep them aware of the time restraints. The random name picker or fruit machine is great for  when you need to pick a student or a group for a task or even when you are asking lower and higher order questions.



Quizlet is an American online learning tool created by Andrew Sutherland. You can either use the free version or a paid version. I use the free version and I think it is great!  You can sign up using your Facebook page, Google or your email. I signed up using my email and it took 1 minute! So fast and efficient! The homepage illustrates a world map and portrays a live map ofwhat each person is studying on Quizlet at any given time. The website allows you to make flashcards, tests and study games on any topic! You can organise all of your class groups. You can browse or you can create your own! Quizlet has unlimited classes! There are also discussion boards where you can get an answer to a question right away. And your students can record their own voices to remember what they are learning.



Studystack is a bit like Quizlet.  Like Quizlet you can create Free flashcards for studying.  You can create your own or use sets shared by other students and teachers. It is really easy to use and it is free to sign up! Like Quizlet, you can sign up using your Facebook page or your email.

Here is a video clip which shows you how to use Studystack.