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Archive for the ‘Irish Schools’ Category

I have a lot to get you caught up on from this week. However, I know that I am extremely behind getting y’all caught up on the past week. I’ll start at the beginning of the week and go from there.

On Tuesday we went to Dalkey after school. Of course we found a bakery with all sorts of goodies from fresh baked breads to cakes and cupcakes. It was called Country Bakery.

I fell in love. We each got a slice of cake and shared them among all of us so we could taste them all. Each piece of cake was amazing in its own right. Delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚

Then we visited Dalkey Castle and Heritage Center. We were going to go inside, but when we arrived, we realized that Tuesday is the only afternoon they are closed. Haha…only our luck!

We also found out that Bono from U2 lives in Dalkey so on our walk, I took pictures of various extravagant houses that I thought might be his. Who knows if they are but it was interesting to see how massive and beautiful some of the houses are in Dalkey.

Aren’t they amazing? I love the architecture here because it is so old world. I am told that much of the architecture in Ireland is of the Georgian era.

Then we went to a famous harbor where seals have been known to live year round. We didn’t see any seals, but we were there and of course took pictures of the Irish Sea.

I am in love with the water and the rocky beaches here. I know, it is weird to love the beach when you can’t even go down and lay on it, but there is something beautiful and unfamiliar about rocky beaches that I have fallen deeply in love with.

Also, for those of you who are wondering where I have been living for the past 3 weeks, I have finally taken a picture of the house that I have been calling my “home away from home.”

My host dad, Stuart, loves his motorbike and rides every Sunday morning. You could say that it is his meditation. Whitney’s and my bedroom is on the back side of the house so we can have our windows open any time without anyone knowing that they are open. It is cozy and comfortable. I love my family here and I can see myself coming back to visit in the future. They are absolutely wonderful!

On Thursday, I spent time in multiple classrooms. In the KG3s (Senior Infants or Kindergarteners) we did a couple art projects, then a couple science experiments. The girls in this classroom are incredible and I absolutely LOVE that age.

Our first art project was a washcloth bunny rabbit. I’m in love with this craft. So much so that I made one for myself to bring home!

The girls really enjoyed making them, and they all look so cute!

Then we made a nest for our chicks with paper, feathers, and garland.

Our science projects included making a volcano and putting pepper in a water basin then sticking your dishwashing soap covered finger into the water. You should try it and see what happens!! ๐Ÿ™‚

On to our next experiment!

After being in KG3s, I went with P4s (4th grade) to their keyboarding class and I watched them learn how to play the chorus of “Sway.” The girls had loads of fun, and I truly enjoyed watching them take the beginning steps to learning a new instrument.

This is Mrs. Stamper.

She is the teacher from the Senior school who comes over to teach the girls groups music lessons. She has soooo much energy and she is truly inspiring to me because she loves what she is doing and it shows through her enthusiasm and her commitment to what she is teaching the students. It is wonderful. I hope that one day, I am half as good of a teacher as what she is now.

That is my week in a nutshell. It was awesome, and I can’t believe that I have already been here for 3 weeks, and I ย only have one week to go. It is bittersweet feeling. I’m not sure exactly how to express how I feel right now. It has been amazing so far. I have learned a lot and I have enjoyed every moment. God has been so good to me throughout this entire experience and I know he has so much more in store for me.

Miss y’all!

Much love!

~Ireland Lover

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Here I am in lovely Ireland where I am spending time in a private school for girls. The school is incredible, and it has been a wonderful experience learning how our schools in the United States are similar and different from those in Ireland. This week at Rathdown, we had incredibly busy days and we even had an Irish celebrity visit our school!

Let me start at the beginning of the week…

The students have games called “Mind Labs” that teach them how to problem solve and think about ideas critically. They are a wonderful thing because the students get excited about them, and it helps them think beyond their next move. Take a look at some of these games…I think I want to play!

They were really cool, and Rathdown is the only school in Ireland who use these games in their learning.

On Tuesday, the school had a Green School Ceremony which is when they were able to raise their Green School flag showing that they were conserving water. In order to conserve water, the 6th class students placed rocks in the back of the toilets which decreased the amount of water that was used to flush the toilet. This is the third Green Flag they have received. Their first one was for reducing energy used in the school. The second was for reducing the amount of trash that goes to the landfill, and their third was for decreasing water usage. The fourth and next flag they are going to try to accomplish is decreasing pollutants through using public transportation. This one will be incredibly difficult for the school because so many students and teachers use cars to get to school rather than the train or a bus.

It is really cool because the students take an active role in participating in Green Schools. The school has a Green Schools committee and the students keep me in line about making sure to recycle paper. Another thing I have noticed is that the students and teachers eat off of real plates, not paper or styrofoam plates. There is a lot to be said for that initiative because even when the students come with their lunch, which most of them do, they bring their food in reusable containers, not plastic bags.

This was our green school ceremony:

For our Green Schools ceremony, we had an Irish celebrity come to help with the raising of the flag. His name is Ryan Tubridy, who is a radio show and late night show host. The girls went crazy over him coming to the school and we so excited to meet him and speak to him.

Meet Ryan Tubridy:

Ryan helped the Green Schools Committee raise the flag outside after the students sang songs and shared with the visitors about Green Schools and why the school was receiving another flag.

Then, of course on Friday, we had April Fools Day. The students and teachers get incredibly into this day because they play tricks on each other until noon. At noon, all tricks must be shared with the victim of the trick. I saw everything from student’s boxes of books that were in different rooms, tennis rackets moved, teacher’s chairs stolen, and a class bird moved around. It made me realize that the entire school is a community and they not only take care of each other, but they were able to goof off and have fun with each other as well.

I have been teaching small lessons about North Carolina and what it has to offer. The students have gotten incredibly interested in learning about North Carolina and the United States as a whole. Because these student have not traveled to the United States much more than Orland, Florida or New York City, then they are not as familiar with how the United States is laid out. Students have difficulty realizing that there are states, counties, and cities. They also find it hard to believe that only one state is about the size of Ireland. So, allowing the students to explore with maps and information about my country is extremely beneficial. I have also had students teaching me about Ireland which is completely foreign to me.

This weekend I am going to Northern Ireland with the girls where we will be visiting the Giants Causeway, Derry, and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. So…stay tuned!

Much love,

Ireland Dreamer

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