Here are some lesson ideas for teaching Sunday’s in the past!
Phase 1: Introduction
Phase 1: Introduction
I will explain to the students that from time to time we stop and think about our lives and wonder why things are as they are. Human Beings have a need to understand what our life, and life in general, is all about. At such times, we might listen to our favourite music, finding inspiration in the words of a song. People don’t always read between the lines with lyrics when they should because they teach really great life lessons. You may think that some of these songs are not exactly for you but maybe take a chance and listen with your heart instead of just your head, it may make a difference to you.
I will write the questions for the task on the whiteboard.
I will ask all the students to read the questions carefully.
I will split the students into groups.
I will give each group a handout.
Each group will receive a different handout.
Each handout will feature a different modern day song lyrics such as:
I will ask the groups to work together and to answer the four questions on the whiteboard using their group’s song lyrics and to write their answers on the back of their handout.
I will give the group’s ten minutes for this task,
After the time is up, I will ask each group to present their work to the class.
We will have a class discussion about each group’s work.
In Adele’s ‘Hello’, her first single in three years, the British songstress is greeting someone for the first time in years. Who exactly is on the other side of that “hello”? Judging from Adele’s other work, the obvious answer would seem to be an ex-boyfriend. It’s theoretically in the same vein as songs like “Someone Like You” and “Rolling in the Deep” from 21, her second album. The video depicts her calling an old lover. However, the song is far less literal than that. The meaning of ‘Hello’ isn’t about reconnecting with an ex-boyfriend. “Hello” is about Adele reconnecting with herself. Everyone goes through times in their lives when they lose themselves. In her Twitter announcement of 25, her third studio album and first in four years, Adele talked about growing up and finding herself again. She called 25 a “make-up record” because, as she put it, “I’m making up with myself. 25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realizing,” she wrote. So in the opening lines of “Hello,” Adele greets someone. “Hello, it’s me/ I was wondering/ If after all these years/ You’d like to meet/ To go over everything,” she sings. Taking “Hello” as a song addressed to herself, these lines become about a woman looking to rediscover who she is after years of not knowing. That jibes beautifully with 25‘s stated mission. In the chorus, Adele says hello from two different places: “the outside” and “the other side.” The former would seem to refer not to location, but to thinking a bit beyond herself to better understand who she is now. The latter is similar — it’s about a woman who lived through a very difficult relationship, as detailed in 21, and the influx of fame and came out on “the other side” of it. Much has been made of the use of a phone in both song and video form of “Hello.” In the song, Adele sings about calling someone at home “a thousand times.” On its surface, that seems odd. Why in 2015 is she calling someone on their land line? Taken as Adele trying to connect to herself, however, it makes sense. “Hello” is not a literal song. The “million miles” she says separates her from the person she’s addressing aren’t physical — they’re emotional. No one who’s been through what Adele has could possibly be in the same place psychologically. In four years, she’s grown leaps and bounds. “Hello,” and by extension 25, are an exploration of what it’s like to come together with yourself after such growth. With the release of this song, Adele seems to be saying she has met herself. Now, she’s ready to introduce this new Adele to us.
2. . Miley Cyrus- ‘The Climb’.
This song reminds me that everything I do, I do it for a certain reason because one day I will look back and remember that there were certain hardships to get where I am, but it was all worth it in the end! This song has a serious message behind it that everyone should take a little from. Miley (back in her somewhat normal days of Hannah Montana and before she discovered twerking) wrote music to inspire young girls, mainly, to overcome any obstacles they face. ‘The Climb’ sends out the message that no matter what is thrown at you, you will be able to face it and overcome it. Miley sings to the audience,
“There’s always gonna be another mountain, I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb”
Life is sometimes a game and were not always going to win. Thats an important thing to always remember when facing difficult challenges. These lyrics really bring out a great message in life. Even though sometimes we may lose never give up hope. If you set a goal for yourself, don’t base it on how long it takes you to achieve that goal but rather if you actually get there one day. Push yourself to all limits. As Miley says, “its all about what’s on the other side,” meaning it’s all about what you gain in the end.
I’m sure we have all heard that life is about always taking chances. I really think these lyrics explain how no matter a situation the end result is always worth it. Miley says that no matter what even if she does not know it, the struggle and obstacles will always be a remembrance for her. Most of us can probably relate to this because you’re making a memory even if it seems like an issue at first, you may get something really great out of it in the end.
“Keep on movin’
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb”
Lastly, it’s so important to always keep on moving. Whether it’s a minor or a major issue lyrics can always remind you and can make you connect.
The climb is the final step to you are going through. It is the feeling of success that you actually made it, even though you felt at times that you would’nt get through it.
3. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis- ‘Same Love’.
‘Same Love’ is a great song for using for the search for meaning. “Same Love was a song that I wanted to write for a long time but I didn’t know exactly how to address the issue,” he explains. “I knew I wanted to write a song about gay rights and homophobia within the hip-hop community and the world.” Macklemore, whose uncle is gay, said it wasn’t just the issue of marriage equality that fuelled the song, but also the flagrant use of ‘gay’ as a derogative term in the hip-hop industry, and the world. A couple of years ago, Ryan and I would say ‘that’s gay’ because it’s so embedded in our culture,” he admits. “You have a conversation with a couple of people and they kinda call you out about it and all of a sudden you stop saying it.” The musician believes it’s only a matter of time before rappers and hip-hop artists stop using words like ‘faggot’ and ‘that’s gay’ as just another lyric. I think it’s happening right now… It takes a little while, but eventually you eliminate that type of vocabulary from your everyday life and I think that hopefully that is what a song like Same Love does, that it makes people second guess their language.
“From the people that come to our shows, a lot of feedback from them is, ‘I used to say those words, not I think twice, now I don’t say them any more.’ It’s really about awareness.” While more and more pro-gay music artists are coming out, Same Love marks the first time a male mainstream hip-hop artist has rapped positively about homosexuality.
Ellen DeGeneres is a fan, saying “no other artists in hip-hop history have ever taken a stand defending marriage equality the way they have.”
4. Avicii- ‘Wake me up’
This song is about finding your purpose in society. It actually has a deep, important lyrical meaning about the power of dreams. It’s okay to dream, since that can be your saving grace.
“Feeling my way through the darkness / Guided by a beating heart / I can’t tell where the journey will end / But I know where to start / They tell me I’m too young to understand / They say I’m caught up in a dream / Well life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes / Well that’s fine by me.”
That sentiment celebrates the fact that life is a journey and not just the destination and that sometimes, throwing caution to the wind is the best thing you can do. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, because dreams can and do come true. Dreaming is not a waste of time, especially if the dreams are an escape from a harsher reality.
“So wake me up when it’s all over / When I’m wiser and I’m older / All this time I was finding myself / And I didn’t know I was lost.”
The chorus is catchy, and it’s lyrically simple but powerful. Sometimes, you learn the most and find out who you really are when you didn’t even know you were looking. Blacc is essentially singing about experience making you who you are. The only way to know life is to live it. Sometimes, that requires living it in your mind, when you are bound by circumstance and can’t just take the first step of the thousand-mile journey whenever you feel like it.
“I tried carrying the weight of the world / But I only have two hands / Hope I get the chance to travel the world / But I don’t have any plans.”
Again, Blacc sings about going with the flow and moving with the wind, without any firm plans. It also suggests that the narrator might not have the chance to travel the world due his situation or station in life. Perhaps he is poor. Perhaps he is committed to a family. Perhaps he doesn’t have the means. Even so, that shouldn’t prevent him from thinking and dreaming about what could be. Sometimes, when you are in a situation over which you have zero control, the best faculty you have is your mind, and even your daydreams can help make that harsh reality a little bit better.
5. Kodaline- ‘Big Bad World’.
The speaker of this song is confused.
‘Maybe I’m wrong or maybe I’m right’.
We have to grow up and go out into the world by ourselves and fend for ourselves. We have dreams of what we want our live to be like, and we try to make these dreams come true but sometimes life gets in the way.
‘We go out on our own
It’s a big bad world outside
Carrying’ our dreams and all that they mean
Trying to make it all worthwhile.’
The speaker then starts questioning life. Is there a God? Maybe we will live until e are old or maybe we will die young. We should live everyday like its our last and enjoy life.
Or maybe don’t care
Shit, maybe there is no god in the big white clouds up there
Maybe live long
Or maybe die young
Or maybe live every day like it’s your last day under the sun.
6. 30 Seconds to Mars- ‘Closer to the edge’.
This song is about living, taking risks for what you want and what you believe, and not regretting it, It makes you who you are. And you shouldn’t be ashamed of the decisions you make in your life. It is a very beautiful song. It’s about how he lost himself from all the hate and sadness inside of him. He wanted to erase all of that and not remember it, but then he found the truth. He wanted to live his life with no regret, happy with all his choices, and not focus on the things he thinks he needs in order to be happy. The sun (happiness) is born and dreams die because he no longer is seeking for something to happen for him to be happy and fulfilled with his life. He is closer to the edge because he is almost completely transformed into someone who is internally fulfilled.
7. Black Eyed Peas -‘Where is the love?’.
This song is a classic.The song is about exactly what the title is asking. Where is the love? The bible says: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Look around you. Think about the relationships you have with people. Is it really love?
This song is telling us what this world of ours is turning into without love, true genuine love. It states all these awful things that are going on in the world. Not to bring you down nor to make you feel guilty BUT to open your eyes. To love people. Not just your family, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend. To selflessly love everyone else as well.
It is about the disintegration of society’s values.
“But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah”
Racism is being expressed in violent/humiliating methods nowadays.
“As I’m gettin’ older, y’all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin’
Selfishness got us followin’ our wrong direction”
Materialism is getting more common. Making money seems to be the most important thing in people’s minds now.
“Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema”
It seems that the youth are easily influenced by the media. This leads to the rise in juvenile crime and violent acts.
8. Beyonce- ‘I was here’.
Life is about being remembered for the positive impacts that you have had on others in the world and the things you have done to make it a better place rather than how rich, famous or successful you were. We should live life to the fullest so we do not have any regrets and that means that when we have the chance to do good and choose not to because of its “inconvenience” in our lives, that will remain with us and is not the piece of ourselves that we wish to leave behind on this earth. This song emphasises that Beyonce wants to do positive things in peoples lives. She has achieved to point of more than what she thought, but she still wants 2 do more. The 2nd verse reminds us that she wants to be remembered for her good deeds. She wants to make a difference and make her mark on the world. It reminds me think of how valuable life is and how we all impact the world somehow. She wants to leave her footprints in the sands of time.
7. Beyonce- ‘Pretty Hurts’.
This song is an assault on the pressures that women face to attain physical perfection in life. It has a really strong message. The singer plays a beauty pageant contestant whose name “Miss Third Ward,” is a reference to the Houston neighbourhood where she grew up. Miss Third Ward does everything in her power to look flawless but she still can’t achieve perfection.
“Well I think we definitely wanted to speak to as many women as we could and all the pain and struggle that we go through as women to maintain this impossible standard of beauty,” Matsoukas explained to MTV News. “We wanted to give it a darker edge and take it there and not give you the Disney version of that struggle. And Beyoncé was more than willing to go that far with it. And I applaud her for that.”
It was Beyoncé herself who suggested that Miss Third Ward loses in the competition. “Originally, I had her win and I had it meant nothing,” Matsoukas said. “And then she didn’t want to win. And then, actually, the woman who wins is an albino woman. And we thought it was really important and interesting to break those ideas of what the classic beauty standards would be and to do this with this beautiful albino woman, I thought was really great. And to show ‘Yeah she’s not perfect, she doesn’t always win and you put your best foot forward and you may still lose.'”
9. Ed Sheeran – ‘Small Bump’.
This song doesn’t need an explanation. It is a beautiful song about the joy of pregnancy and the sorrow that comes with a miscarriage. Sheera wrote this song for a friend who had a miscarriage at 4 months. He discusses what would have happened if the baby had been born and was okay. ‘wrap my fingers around your thumb’. He also questions what happened, ‘maybe you were needed up there’.
10. Ed Sheeran – ‘All of the Stars’.
Ed Sheeran wrote this beautiful ballad for what may arguably be the saddest cinematic love story of all time, “The Fault in Our Stars.” It is the teenage version of ‘The Notebook’. The 2014 film is based on John Green’s best-selling Young Adult novel of the same name, which depicts the beautiful yet tragic love story of two teenage cancer patients that fall in love. The song is a perfect tribute to their short-lived earthly love affair that is destined to play out eternally in the stars. It can be found on the deluxe version of X.
11. Little Mix- ‘Change your life’.
This song is about some girls and how they have made a few mistakes in their lifetime. But everyday is another day to “Change Your Life” and start over again. It is also about bullying. about standing up for yourself and having confidence in your self. it is also about your dreams, if you have a dream, go for it and don’t let anybody stop you. It is about getting over what other people think because there are plenty of other people that feel the exact same way. It is about starting new and forgetting the past. It’s about people crushing your dream. But Little Mix is saying ‘Ignore it… Go for your dreams and CHANGE YOUR LIFE” If you have a dream, don’t let ANYONE bring you down. Go for whatever your dream is. You’ll get through all the criticism and the hard times. “You got the right to show the world something never seen before. We wanna hear you scream it out, you’re not alone!” That means go for your dreams, show everyone you can do it. Show everyone that you have got what it takes.
12. Demi Lovato- ‘Skyscraper’.
This is a great song. It has a very powerful message. Demi Lovato has been through a lot. She suffers with bipolar disorder and also anorexia and she had a drug problem. She spent awhile in rehab but now she has risen above it all. This song is all about fortitude and rising above the trials and tribulations that we face in our lives. Everyone is battling something and I think many people can relate to this song and find it relevant to their lives. In the first verse of the song Demi sings, “Skies are crying, I am watching”. The way Demi refers to rain is very interesting to me. The “skies are crying” creates a depressing mood. Rain is often associated with sadness and she is watching as if to manifest in this sadness. The next line “catching teardrops in my hand” represents the connection she feels to the sadness symbolized by the rain. The next line reads, “Only silence as it’s ending like we never had a chance”. I think the “like we never had a chance” part refers to the struggle you are facing. You never have the chance to be happy if you focus on your struggles and let them ruin you. Silence can be very peaceful. As you end your relationship with your struggles and pain, you will find peace. The last line in the first verse “Do you have to make me feel like there’s nothing left of me?” is a rhetorical question and emphasizes how little you can feel when people break you down until you literally feel like you are out of willpower. It’s an awful feeling and no one deserves to understand that pain. But she tells people to rise above it and be a skyscraper.
The mosque is the sacred worship place for Muslims.
I made this lesson on teaching practice last year. It went really well. All of the students’ loved it and they had a great understanding of the mosque after it!
Assessment of Learning outcomes
Convert a local building into a Mosque.
Include designs of the building (for example birds eye view) of the different rooms or different features.
And show the changes required to make the building more suitable for a mosque.
Phase 1: Introduction
Phase 2: Powerpoint and handout
I will show the students a power point of the mosque. I will go through the power point with the students. The students’ will take down the notes and copy the diagram of the features of a mosque into their copies. The power point will heighten the students understanding of what a mosque is, why a mosque is important, how Muslims show respect in a mosque and the different features of a mosque.
Click here for the power point – The_Mosque
Phase 3: Group work- Make your own Mosque
I will put the students into groups.
I will give each group a card of a mosque layout. The students’ use their understanding to work together and make the Mosque and also label the correct features.
I will give the groups four minutes for this task.
I will use a countdown timer to time the groups and also motivate them.
After the time is up, the groups will present their mosques to the class.
Phase 4: Video clip and worksheet
Truetube is an excellent resource for all sections of the Religious Education syllabus. They have fantastic videos. I have chosen one of their video clip’s for this lesson.
I will then show the students a video clip about the mosque.
I will give the students a worksheet.
I will read the questions on the worksheet with the students’.
The worksheet will ask the students questions about the video clip.
I will then start the video clip.
The questions on the worksheet are are in a link below. I have written the answers here for you. I always watch a video clip and write down the answers before I show any video clips to my students’.
2. What type of clothes should be worn to a mosque? (Modest, head scarf for women and if wearing a skirt. It must be long.
3. How many times do you rinse your mouth in the wudu? (Three times)
4. Write down one of the reasons for mosques having domes? (Beauty and to keep the mosque cool and mosques had no speakers in the old days so had domes so the sound would travel around)
5. Why do women pray in a different section to men in the mosque? (To avoid distraction)
6. What sort of books is in the library? (Qur’an, books about the Qur’an, books about maths, science and languages)
Click here for the worksheet – Mosque worksheet for video clip.
Phase 5- Conclusion
The features of a mosque:
The Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
The interior of the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
The Islam Ireland website: http://www.islamireland.ie/ (Islam Cultural Centre)
Another activity to do with your class is to teach your students’ about respect mosque as it is a sacred place of worship. You can have a class discussion about celebrities that have caused controversy when they visited a mosque. It is very disrespectful to take selfies and pictures posing inside/outside a mosque as it is a sacred place.
Some examples are:
Rihanna at the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. She was asked to leave the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque after she started taking a series of photographs of her posing. She did not ask permission to take photographs. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest in the country and a popular tourist attraction that welcomes millions of visitors each year. The mosque is open to non-Muslims but the body in charge, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, ask visitors to respect religious sensitivities. This includes women wearing an abaya and shayla, which Rihanna did not wear. Some argued that Rihanna was merely covering her hair as a fashion statement and not out of respect for Islam.
A statement issued by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre said: “The Centre strives to ensure that visitors enter the mosque in a decent fashion, and refrain from behaving in any way that is inconsistent with the sanctity of this religious place. In the event of behaviour that violates the moral codes of access to the mosque, or other visit regulations – such as taking inappropriate pictures, posing in ways that are improper in the context of sacred place, talking loudly, or eating – the violators are directed in a polite manner that reflects the tolerant attributes of Islam. Usually, the visitors are appreciative of that.
“Here, the Centre refers to a recent incident, involving a singer who came for a private visit to the mosque, at a gate that is not reserved for visitors, without prior coordination with the Centre’s management and without identifying herself.
“She was directed by visitor services to proceed to the visitors’ main gate and take the guided tour, according to procedure. She left without entering the mosque, after being asked to do so, due to the fact that she had taken some pictures that do not conform with the conditions and regulations put in place by the Centre’s management to regulate visits in a way that takes the status and sanctity of the mosque into consideration.”
“While the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre always welcomes visitors and tourists from all around the world, it also calls on everyone to adhere to the moral codes of access to the mosque and to its visit regulations, which the Centre always makes sure are clear to all its visitors throughout the day.
The images attracted condemnation and praise from fans.
One Twitter user, @NNTSHA_NAT, wrote: “I love Rihanna but then posing so seductively in front of the mosque is so disrespectful.”
Another tweeter, @Ahmedcarter, wrote: “Rihanna pics at Sheikh Zayed mosque are disrespectful to the place of worship.”
@BinttAlthee tweeted: “Rihanna modelling in the Sheikh Zayed mosque is just plain wrong. Who let her in?”
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest in the country and a popular tourist attraction that welcomes millions of visitors each year.
The mosque is open to non-Muslims but the body in charge, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, ask visitors to respect religious sensitivities.
This includes women wearing an abaya and shayla, which Rihanna did not do.
“Rihanna may look gorgeous and all but she’s covering her head out of fashion not out of respect for the mosque,” wrote @NAUF_z.
But many fans backed the star, who visited the mosque on Saturday ahead of her gig at du Arena on Yas Island.
“I don’t see how Rihanna posing adjacent to a mosque in Abu Dhabi is disrespectful. If anything she’s showing respect by supporting the hijab,” wrote @mila_iggy.
Twitter user @TheDimeRamla619 also found nothing wrong with the photographs, tweeting: “I have nothing against Rihanna, I mean the mosque in Abu Dhabi is a tourist place so therefore I don’t see nothing wrong.”
User @NurulxxNisyaa wrote: “I totally respect Rihanna, though it’s not her religion she still wear a hijab to the mosque.”
Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, Cody Simpson, Shay Mitchell pictured at the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. This image caused controversy over whether it was disrespectful or not. All of the girls in the group wore traditional abayas and hijabs to be respectful.However, they did take many selfies at this sacred place of worship.
But not everyone thought their selfie, which was posted on Gigi’s Instagram account, was ‘respectful’.
One user commented: “Covering your head at a mosque/covering up generally in Islam is for modesty, and to diminish vanity. Taking a selfie of you doing that is kind of defeats the point and is a bit disrespectful at a place of worship (sic).”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Kendall, Gigi, Selena and co. That is a Mosque NOT a tourist centre. Bunch of uneducated, disrespectful idiots.”
While another added: “I love kendall and gigi but this is totally DISRESPECTFUL. A mosque is a holy place for Muslims not a tourist centre.”
Selena Gomez also caused controversy during her visit by showing leg in a picture. She quickly deleted it off her instagram. The Mosque visiting rules strictly ban all ‘intimate behaviour’ including holding hands and kissing, and states that all skirts must be ankle-length.
Croagh Patrick is a sacred mountain in Westport, Mayo. Each year, as many as one million pilgrims and visitors make the very tough trek to the top to pray at the stations of the cross, participate in Mass, do penance (in which case the rocky journey is undertaken barefoot) or just enjoy the spectacular view of Clew Bay which can be seen in my own personal pictures below.
Croagh Patrick has been a sacred site since ancient times. Before the arrival of Christianity, the Celtic people regarded the mountain as the dwelling place of the deity Crom Dubh. Neolithic art can still be seen on a rock outcropping known as “St. Patrick’s Chair” along the path to the top, and a Celtic hill fort was recently uncovered at the base of the mountain. According to Christian tradition, St. Patrick went up the sacred mountain at festival time in 441 AD. After fasting at the summit for 40 days, he banished all the snakes and demons from Ireland.
The site quickly became an important place of Christian pilgrimage. A stone oratory dating to between 430 and 890 AD was recently discovered on the summit. According to Christian tradition, St. Patrick went up the sacred mountain at festival time in 441 AD. After fasting at the summit for 40 days, he banished all the snakes and demons from Ireland. It is one of the main pilgrimage sites in Ireland for Christians. It can be studied as part of Section E of the Exam Junior Certificate Religion syllabus.
The first time I climbed Croagh Patrick a few years ago I found it to be incredibly challenging. I was not physically fit as I did not understand the significance and the benefits of physical activity. I climbed it with my uncle, cousin, two younger brothers and my father. My family are very physically active, my brothers play for our local teams, under-age for Mayo and for Connaght and my father still plays football for our local team at home. They had climbed Croagh Patrick a good few times already. At the time I thought I should probably climb with beginners but I went anyway. I am so glad I climbed it with them. It was a great bonding experience.
Climbing Croagh Patrick was exhausting and also very dangerous as it is a mountain with slippy fields and rocks falling sliding down the mountain. It is amazing to see the amount of people that climb Croagh Patrick on any given day especially on Reek Sunday. I found Croagh Patrick to be an allegory for life. Climbing Croagh Patrick was as much a mental challenge as a physical one. Physically it is intense hard work that must be done but it’s up to the mind to override the urge to quit. When I came near to the top of Croagh Patrick, my body felt like I could not climb any more. I was so close to the top but yet I gave up, my father gave me a pep talk and brought it all into perspective for me. Do I give up when life gets hard? No! Do I give up when I have loads of work to do? No! He will never realise the effect that pep talk had on me. After his advice, I pushed myself to keep going. I would not give up no matter how much agony my legs were in! In fact at the end when I could see the summit in my sights I picked up my speed and gave it all I had. I said a prayer as soon as I reached the top. Climbing Croagh Patrick reinforced in me the important idea that, in life, it’s about the journey, not the end result! Also I realised the importance of empathy and the significance of accepting help off others. Like I said earlier, my father and my two younger brothers are incredibly athletic and fit. (They play 3 to 4 football matches a week). The opposite to me! They found Croagh Patrick very doable but they never complained to me that I was slowing them down. In fact they had empathy for me and they realised how hard it was for me. They offered me so much support.When you see people going through a hard time, offer them support. Be there for them! Do not give up on them!
As a religion teacher, as I walked up Croagh Patrick, I felt Jesus pain. But I also felt Jesus triumph when I reached the top of the mountain. It was a spiritual journey for me.
The students’ will learn resilience, empathy, life lessons and they will also exercise. Life can be hard, we must teach our students’ to not give up when times get tough. It will improve the students’ communication skills as they must really help each other to push each other to reach the top of the mountain. Exercise releases endorphins (the happy hormone) which improve your mood. Bressie really endorses mental health fitness.
Exercise is brilliant for a healthy mind and for helping stress/anxiety. It relaxes you, distracts you from your worries and it clears your mind. School is very stressful. I know I am only five years out of secondary school and I have a younger brother who has just started his junior cert so I understand the struggles teenagers face today. They are living in a highly pressured world. They need a break.
Exercise also produces serotonin which aids sleep. Exercise is also good against the battle against obesity. The National Health survey showed 30 per cent thought children aged between five and 15 were most at risk for obesity, while a further 30 per cent said those aged between 15 and 30 were most at risk of becoming obese. A healthy body equals a healthy mind. It is a fact that exercise in early teens cuts risk of diabetes. Leaving Cert students who continue to play sport while studying for their exams are more likely to go on to third- level education than those who don’t.
Bullying is a huge problem in schools all over the world. It is something that happens everyday. It is not just not an issue that should be dealt with on Anti-bullying week but all year through. As teachers we must be educated about bullying. How else can we help if we don’t understand? You can use the content in this blog post to simply educate yourself, to use in your Religion, SPHE class or for anti-bullying/friendship/health week in your school.
What is Bullying?
First of all, we need to define bullying.
Spunout defines bullying as the on-going abuse of another person through physical or mental torture. To make matters worse this torture is often conducted in the presence of others. The humiliation felt by the victim is hard to understand if you have never been bullied. If it happens over a long period of time it can have devastating effects on a young person’s mental health. In Ireland 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health issues.
“Bullying is defined as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.” Department of Education & Skills ‘Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools’ (Dublin: 2013)
“Bullying is a behavioural problem which affects the lives of thousands of school children and their families. The humiliation, fear, frustration and social isolation and loss of self esteem which children experience when bullied results in absenteeism from school, poor or deteriorating schoolwork, personality change, illness, depression and unfortunately sometimes suicide. Bullying knows no boundaries of age, sex or socio-economic background. It can take many forms; it can be short term or continue over long periods, even years.”
Anti-Bullying Centre, ‘Bullying at School; Key Facts” (Dublin: 2001)
“Cruel, abusive behaviour which is persistent and pervasive and causes suffering to individuals which is severe and sustained”
K. Rigby, ‘Bullying in Schools and What to do About It’ (London: Kingsley, 1997)
“Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while they indicate a problem that needs to be sorted out, do not constitute bullying. However, where there is an imbalance and abuse of power and the behaviour is systematic and ongoing, it is bullying”
Sticks and Stones Handbook, (Dublin: 1995)
“Bullying can cause physical, mental, psychological, emotional and mental harm to a person or group. It is premeditated, pervasive, persistent, and cruel treatment which is meant to hurt or harm, and is enjoyed by the bullying perpetrator.”
David Fitzgerald, ‘Bullying in our Schools; Understanding and Tackling the Problem’ (Dublin: 1999)
The different types of bullying
Signs of being bullied-TELL-TALE SIGNS OF BEING BULLIED
There are lots of myths about bullying, such as
YOU CAN ALWAYS DO SOMETHING ABOUT BULLYING!!!
The truth about bullying
Who is likely to be involved?
WHAT CHARACTERISES THE STUDENT WHO BULLIES?
As all bullying is aggression, a distinctive characteristic of students who bully is their aggressive attitude not only towards their peers but also towards adults, i.e. parents and teachers.
While constitutional factors play a part in aggressive behaviour, it is recognised that factors within the house, school and wider society influence the development of aggressive behaviour.
FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR IN THE HOME ARE:
FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO AGGRESSION IN SCHOOL ARE:
What to do if you’re being bullied
When you’re dealing with bullying it can feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. You can convince yourself that trying to stop it might make things worse.
If it’s happening in school, telling a teacher maybe the last thing you want to do. Will your parents freak out and make a big fuss about it?
Everyone has the right to live, work, study and play in an environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence.
No one deserves or asks to be bullied and you certainly shouldn’t go through it on your own. Don’t forget that. There are things you can do about it.
Asking someone for advice
Telling someone else is really important. If you feel threatened or you think you might be in danger. Don’t keep it to yourself.
You’re not giving in and there’s nothing weak about reporting it or asking for advice. Anyone would need help with bullying.
If you’re dealing with bullying – be it verbal, physical, online or on your phone – it can really help by telling someone and asking for advice.
This can take a bit of courage, but you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel just by getting it off your chest.
Who to ask
There are loads of people who might be able to help. Talk to your friends, or to older brothers or sisters if you have them. They might’ve been through this stuff and will understand.
If it’s happening in school, think of a teacher you trust. Teachers and counsellors are specially trained in these situations. It’s their job to help.
Also, it’s good for the school to know it’s happening. There might be other people going through it and they need to figure out how to prevent it.
So think about it as helping other people.
Talking to family
It’s understandable you might be worried your parent or guardian will completely explode if you say anything and run down to the school screaming their head off.
We can’t say it won’t happen, but remember they want to help, and they actually might.
They’re also probably more clued in than you imagine, so explain to them if you don’t want them to do that and they might well get it.
They could have suggestions you had never even thought of. Even if you don’t want them to do anything, it lightens the load, and that in itself is pretty good.
If it’s getting you down
If dealing with bullying is getting you down and affecting your day-to-day life, there are loads of people who can help, listen and support you.
Tips for getting help
Dealing with bullying can be really tough. It affects your self esteem and your confidence, and it can end up affecting your work and your relationships too.
It’s really important to do something about it. If you feel you need a hand dealing with the impact of it, speak to someone like a therapist/counsellor to help you work on these feelings.
Working it out yourself
Always ask for help when you are being bullied but you can also decide to help yourself also.
Here’s some ideas that might help with this:
People who hassle other people usually set their sights on someone who seems nervous or unsure of themselves because they think they won’t stand up to them.
The old “turn the other cheek” doesn’t really work. Walking away and trying to ignore can still be the reaction that the person bullying wants to happen.
Being confident about who you are can actually be your best defence. Stand firm and look them in the eye.
Let it be known that you don’t think is OK. Even if you don’t feel it, as the not-so-old saying goes, “fake it ’til you make it”.
Suggestions for using your confidence to deal with bullying:
Selena Gomez recently released a new single called ‘Kill em with kindness’. She wrote this song as a response to her bullies. She was badly bullied during the summer for her weight.
This might sound daft and it won’t work for everyone, but it can keep you from getting overwhelmed. Picture yourself as being miles taller than whoever’s bullying you, or imagine them in some ridiculous costume. This can help you realise they’re only human, and probably not as tough as they make out.
It can be hard to remember your good points when someone is doing their best to put you down. However, try to think of all the things you’re good at and proud of and stuff that makes you laugh.
Some of the world’s brightest, funniest and most talented people get a hard time when they’re young. Remember this will pass, and loads of people get through it and go on to do amazing stuff with their lives.
Safety in numbers
You’re safer in a group, so hang out with other people when you can. If you’re by yourself and worried about being hassled or feel threatened, be aware of places nearby where there’ll be other people.
Sometimes no matter how you or other people try to resolve a bullying situation, there might be no real solution other than to move school or change your job. This can seems like a massive deal, but sometimes making a fresh start is actually the simplest way forward.
This isn’t always a possibility and it’s not the first option. When it’s the right thing to do it can actually be the best decision you ever make. You’re not giving up up, just moving on.
Parents can sometimes be resistant to the idea of moving school, but talk to them about it and explain how you feel. That way you can figure out what your options are.
Some great organisations that deal with bullying are:
Sticks and Stones Anti-bullying Programme™ is Ireland’s leading award winning anti-bullying programme for schools, primary and post-primary. They believe that every child should be able to fulfil his or her potential free from the damage that bullying causes. They offer a Whole School Approach to addressing bullying in Irish schools, primary and secondary.
Here is their website – http://www.sticksandstones.ie/
Their programme elements can be taken individually or preferably together.
Sticks and Stones Anti-bullying Programme™ offers a three strand approach for the whole school community
Look at Reach out to inform yourself about bullying. Click on the inform yourself tab and then click on bullying. http://ie.reachout.com/inform-yourself/bullying-and-personal-safety/what-to-do-if-youre-being-bullied/?gclid=CPrLiNuH48gCFWGr2wod6y4M-g
ISPCC-Always here for children- The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) is Ireland’s oldest and most well-known children’s charity. The ISPCC has a long, proud history of service delivery and advocacy on behalf of children.
Barnados facts about bullying
Stop the Bully Ireland is an anti-bullying service which empowers people at all ages with the tools to effectively deal with bullying. Bullying in Ireland has become a serious concern . If you are a parent in turmoil about a bullying situation, a teenager who is having difficulty with others or a school who wants a program to educate, empower and really help their students then we can help you. Stop the Bully is the brainchild of one of Ireland’s leading anti-bullying figures Pat Forde. Pat has worked with bullying targets, families and schools all over Ireland empowering them with the skills and knowledge to effectively deal with bullying situations and also improve confidence, assertiveness and self-esteem.Pat Forde is a leading figure in the on-going anti-bullying debate in Ireland and has featured on RTE’s award winning television series Bullyproof and is a regular contributor to media debates on the subject. http://stopthebully.ie/
Anti-bullying Ireland website
On Tuesday 27th April 2015 AntiBullyingPro invited young people from across Ireland to Facebook’s European Headquarters to celebrate Anti-Bullying work in their schools and communities. This is their stories.
Anti-Bullying Ambassador Marcus Butler visits Newbridge College, Newbridge, County Kildare (April 27th 2015)
Do the people of Dublin think Bullying is a problem?
Dance group Diversity & Anti-Bullying Ambassadors stand up to bullying!
#ListenUpYouBullies Listen Up You Bullies, we’re the Anti-Bullying Team!
Anti-Bullying Ambassador and Pop Artist Tich’s tune provides the backdrop for this amazing anti-bullying performance by student Anti-Bullying Ambassadors at Springwell Community College.
Here is a song by One Direction. This song portrays how when you have some people that love you, no-one else can DRAG YOU DOWN!
Here is a song by Katy Perry called ‘Firework’. Fireworks is a very beautiful song that has a very powerful meaning. This song talks about revealing your true self to the world instead of keeping it a secret. It tells us not to be afraid of what we have and who we really are but to be proud of it. SHOW IT OFF! You are worth more than you think. You are an original. You cannot be replaced! Be proud of who you are and ‘own the night like the 4th of July’. You are your own person and every person is amazing in their own individual way.
Selena Gomez – ‘Who says’. Be proud of who you are. Do not listen to anyone that says anything negative about you. As Selena sings, ‘I would’nt want to be anyone else. I am no beauty queen, I am just beautiful me’.
Here is a positive song about loving yourself by Hailee Steinfield. Be proud of who you are and never let anyone change that.
Another song by Katy Perry called ‘Roar’.
‘ROAR’ celebrates the idea of being against the ropes in life until you make contact and come out the victor! Lyrically, the singer extends a boxing metaphor throughout and borrows from an ’80s rock song.
“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire / ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR / Louder, louder than a lion / ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR.”
‘Eye of the Tiger’ is a song by Survivor, which was huge in the ’80s and used in ‘Rocky III.’ It focuses on triumphing over anything and anyone in life that hurts you. The lion is the king/queen of the jungle, and Perry is using that metaphor to the fullest. But it’s so easy to relate to, and that’s why fans have responded so passionately.
Taylor Swift – ‘Shake it off’. This song does not need an introduction. One of the most famous songs of this year. SHAKE OFF any criticism and move on. Do not let it affect you!