One teacher’s way of trying to prevent school shootings. (It involves looking at how young people are connecting with others and lots of empathy)

Following the latest school shooting in America there has been lots of questions about how authorities can pick up warning signs and stop such atrocities from happening. It turns out in this case and many of the others there were many warning signs but it just wasn’t enough.

I saw a story shared on Facebook today and I really loved it. The story I read told the story of a teacher and how they changed the way they teach following the Columbine school shooting. The writer Glennon Doyle Melton was speaking to the teacher who teaches her son and is recounting their conversation in the article.

Below is a direct quote from the article.

“Every Friday afternoon, she asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student who they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, she takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her, and studies them. 
She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?

Who can’t think of anyone to 

Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?

Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down—right away—who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.” – Glennon Doyle Melton

The teacher is not looking to rearrange her classroom and choose a new seating plan for the children. She’s not looking for the most popular children or those that the other children admire. She is in fact looking for lonely children. Continue reading “One teacher’s way of trying to prevent school shootings. (It involves looking at how young people are connecting with others and lots of empathy)”


Walking and taking pictures



I walk to help me feel better. I don’t particularly like walking and I started taking pictures on my phone to help make the walks go quicker. I know I’m surrounded by beauty but when I’m not feeling great, I often don’t see any of it.

Since I came back back to Donegal in August I’ve been doing a lot of walking.

I joined a walking group for people experiencing mental health difficulties. I’ll admit it was challenging, but I stuck with it.

I started out walking three or four times a week at first. Around 7-8km every day.

Now I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy and I didn’t really enjoy it at first. I was walking between 4-5 times a week, every week for about 3 months before I started to enjoy it.

I’ve always heard the term ‘Activation precedes motivation’ and it’s true. It basically means that you have to do something before you get motivated to do it. If I was going to wait to be motivated to go for a walk I prob would never ever have gone for one.

On a good week I’m walking 5 days a week and up to 40km a week but often much more. One week I walked 60km. Eek. Definitely not something I would have even thought was possible a few months ago.

Now, for anyone looking at my pictures on my social media pages they prob aren’t aware of the struggle behind each picture.

Continue reading “Walking and taking pictures”

Sending out my first newsletter

So yesterday I sent out my first newsletter. Eek….

I’ve been thinking about it for a while. But I always talked myself out of it. What if everyone hates it?, what if no-one subscribes? etc Lot’s of what ifs.

But no-one would do anything if they listened to all the doubts in their heads, and I’ve been all too guilty of that for too long.

It’s definitely a work in progress, but hopefully I’ll improve as I go along. ( I will won’t I? )

It was a collection of topics related to mental health, creativity, walking around Donegal. Also a summary of some of the more popular posts from here.

I’ve started out small and sent it out to a small group of 30 subscribers. I sent it yesterday and so far 80 per cent of the people who received it have opened it and engaged with it by clicking etc

Slowly, slowly….

I’ve included the content in the link below. Please subscribe so you can be kept up to date to future newsletters etc. It’s gonna be a monthly thing, so you won’t be spammed weekly or anything.

Check it out: January 2018 newsletter

Please don’t give up




Mental health doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone at any time. It doesn’t care that you don’t have time for this shit, it’s a weekend, or after 5pm.

If you are struggling today please read my blog post which is linked below. I don’t know you, but I do know that you don’t have to do this alone. There is help out there and although it can sometimes just feel too much, or impossible- you can do it. It’s not a race, there’s no rush. Just one tiny baby step at a time. One small minute at a time. You’ve got this 🙄

If you are feeling suicidal, please reach out. To a friend, family-member, mental health help-line, doctor etc just someone. Take some time to read my blog post-war it might help you or someone who really needs to see it will see it shared in your social media accounts. Go easy, be gentle. Xx
A message for anyone who is feeling suicidal 

Remember you can speak to someone confidentially no matter what time of the day or night by calling Pieta House Helpline on 1800 247 247, or Samaritans on 116 123.

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Where’s your happy place?

We all need that one place where we can feel at ease and even a little content. For me that place has to be the beach. Walking on the beach, while listening to the waves crashing on the rocks and having the sea wash around my feet is so special.

There’s very few places where I feel content in myself anymore. Everyone is surrounded by stress and the busyness of our fast paced world. Very few of us really disconnect anymore.

Take me for example I’m always on my phone, or online. I rarely disconnect. Even when I’m chilling out to watch a DVD, I’m browsing on my phone. So really, I never really unwind.

Except for when I’m walking on the beach. Continue reading “Where’s your happy place?”

The world’s a nicer place if only we slowed down

Gravel Walking Man Feet Path Shoes Walk Legs

I was out shopping yesterday, I passed two little girls. One aged about 10, and another aged about 6. The little girl was rushing ahead, and the older one was a little bit slower.

Continue reading “The world’s a nicer place if only we slowed down”