Tag Archives: Be nice

Just for cosmetic purposes

Like any other parent or carer, I think my daughter is quite simply the most perfect wee Angel on earth. In every sense of the word.
I have noticed over the last wee while that she is getting more conscious of how she looks and what other people think.
Although she is one of the youngest in her class, she, like me, is a big girl. She is tall and healthy.
Recently she asked me if she was fat. My daughter is Just where she should be yet a few wee comments had made her think about her body and how she looked.
Having spent my formative years being referred to as the fat funny one of the female cousins, I am determined that she doesn’t start worrying about suchlike.
However, recently we were at the orthodontist to check and see there was enough space with all her big teeth coming in.
She is not the biggest fan of the dentist but she was calm and was reassured that this was just a check to see if she had space. ( The Demon dentist is a great story but I’m sure has not done the profession any favours)
The orthodontist asked her if she wanted to be as beautiful as her friends.
Cue the raging mother in the corner in her best r.p voice (who is looking at her 8-year-old wide-eyed daughter beginning to well up) inform said orthodontist that her daughter is already beautiful. (While at getting ready to fling her shoe at him)
He then tried to dig himself out of it by saying she could be even more beautiful by having work done on her teeth.
She’s 8.
If he was looking to gain paid business then I’m sure there are plenty of people who think that teeth that could eat an apple through a tennis racket at the age of 8 is necessary. Not this mammy.
No medical reason for it he informed me, just perhaps in the future ( 18 months he told me and would I like an appointment booked?)to make sure they are perfectly straight and white. for cosmetic purposes. Whit???
Cue a discussion with my daughter about cosmetic work on her teeth.
So, mr.orthodontist…..my daughter is beautiful. Her wee friends are beautiful too.
I’m sure you noticed, she still has a lot of her milk teeth too.
Demon dentist indeed.


Be Good?


So,two days in. So far so good.
It’s actually been quite a nice way to get back into the new year.
I was recently chatting with a gorgeous linguist friend of mine and we were laughing about the wee words and phrases we use in class.
I have a friend that whenever we meet says to me “it’s good to put eyes on you”and when I leave he always tells me to “be good”
To be fair,he recently had to get glasses so I reckon I must have been blurry for a bit but I figure I look better in soft focus or with a filter anyway. However,I have to say it’s good to finally out eyes on this new year. Even with a filter or soft focus, 2016 was a bit sharp. Too many things going on globally that I don’t need to mention here but I love the fact that the new year is another wee start midway through the academic session. I had a some really good catch ups with my language family and to be honest,they were shattered at the end of the year but excited about coming back to get tore in to their own learning. I know that I learn better through doing and it’s always good to get another set of eyes on standards or ideas particularly in relation to pupil work.
At university studying translation and interpreting, we were always encouraged to do a version of a translation then come back to it with a fresh set of eyes.
In our usual adolescent way we used to joke about eyes hanging out our heads and new sets going in ( that may have had more to do with students night out at century 2000 in Lothian road but that that’s another story)
It’s amazing when you put a wee bit of time on things then go back to them. I’ve found it’s a technique that’s worked well especially at work.
(It’s worked well particularly with emails that had I sent in haste it would have been the P45 pronto. )
So I’m putting fresh eyes on my own teaching and learning. I have now finally committed to my Gaelic learning and the app is on the phone and I’ trying in earnest.
I’m also taking a fresh look at the opportunities for all my learners to make sure they are getting the best possible learning experiences too.
So, Be Good? I can’t imagine why my friend would say this to me. As if I would be anything other than that. (Reminds me of my Papa C,who used to say that too) I don’t plan n being good at all. I don’t think good cuts it. I think we need to be awesome. In every sense of the word.
I hope this year is going to be in sharp focus for all the right reasons. It’s good to put eyes on it, and no, I don’t plan on being good.

If you can’t say anything nice….


As a language learner, I have always enjoyed the journey of discovery it has taken me on. Finding out about the music, history, customs, food and ideas is just magical. Language is such a precious thing and part of the lifeblood of a nation. Even better is the richness of different languages in once country, it makes for a colourful tapestry of ideas, history and vision.
Having had the privilege of learning a language and teaching a language, I have always felt protective of languages. Perhaps this comes from having had such a rich experience, met the most wonderful people, had some amazing adventures and above all never lost my love to communicate.
To see the vitriol currently being aimed at Gaelic at the moment, I can honestly say I find it heard to comprehend. For some reason it seems to bring out the very worst in people who know hee haw about it. It’s getting a huge amount of press at the moment as the government have announced funding to further support Gaelic teaching and learning.
Investing in education. Imagine that. That’s a pure sin.
If these critics had any ideas about what is actually spent on Gaelic Medium Education they would be asking for lessons in creative accounting. Believe you me, there is nowhere near ENOUGH funding for it and the sustainability of it is something we are constantly trying to manage. Gaelic medium education has grown at such a rate, it is something we should celebrate,not criticise.
In many European countries, bilingual education is the norm and it starts from nursery education. We pale into insignificance when on a linguistic playing field and what with a potential exit from the European Union, language skills are going to be more in demand than before. A possible referendum on independence may see us even more in need of the ability to communicate with others.
People have many different reasons for speaking and learning Gaelic. I don’t understand the marmite effect it seems to have on people. Other countries not only promote their many languages but do so in other countries. ( and throw significant financial backing to it )
We struggle here to find an acceptance for Gaelic Language learning and many people query its place in education. Why single out Gaelic? (and don’t start that dead language nonsense, it’s not dead. Deal with it) There are many things on the curriculum that I learned that I have never ever used. Gaelic medium education is a choice and is not forced on people. Comments on a recent radio show about validity only highlighted the misconceptions about bi lingual education.
People getting annoyed when they know nothing about it but think that if they shout then it will give their argument more depth.
I think not.
What’s that saying, if you can’t say anything nice……..



The first rule of #tuesdayclub? Tell everyone about #tuesdayclub.
The journey started over a year ago as you bright-eyed sparkly linguists came for interview. Some in the office, some on Skype. All with your ideas about the best way to make a dent in the world of education.
I remember the interviews for lots of reasons. Some had me howling with laughter ( in a good way) some made me think ( that’s good too) and some made me cry. ( with pride)
With my new-found partner in crime we were ready to help every one of you be as fabulous as our young people need you to be.
You didn’t let us down.
The journey of classes and school placements was bumpy. A few of you had a wobble, a few learned a brand new skill set and some of you had to deconstruct all the ideas you ever had about teaching. (And that’s ok)
Let’s be honest, I had the best time.
In a room with people who get your geekery about grammar,( well who indulge it) who recognise that a love of Borges and Simone de Beauvoir doesn’t make you up your own derrière, who have a never ending supply of wonder and who ultimately realise the gift of every child they are blessed to teach.
Aye, #tuesdayclub. That’s you.

Sometimes we had to play bad cop, yes, it is do as I say and not as I do ( paperwork is really important and you DO need to do it……..)yes, you do need to rein in the crazy ( just for the first wee while) and yes, watch your bevvy intake on that first staff night out. ( did i mention that?)

So,what I wish I had known when I started all that time ago?

1.Development of a unit of work or a course doesn’t mean stapling booklets.
2.Opt in to development tasks before they are assigned ( see above)
3.Always check you have pulled your skirt out your knickers.
4. Always check your knickers can’t be seen above your trousers ( you will avoid -haw, miss, you wearing a g-string? To which the answer is why are you looking at my derrière?)
5. Colleagues may become friends.Your PT is your PT -and they might not explain things to you until you leave.You may want to batter them ( they’ll maybe want to string you up because of your fabulousness) but reign it in. You’ll look back and realise you wouldn’t change the wisdom.
6. Dont beat yourself up that your perfectly planned lesson goes pete tong. The weather does that.
7.Be bold in your quest to be the best you can be.
8.99% of you is better than none of YOU.
9.Be open to advice and hear other ideas. Be gracious when you know it is tosh.
10.More of number 7.

#tuesdayclub 2016. Don’t forget everyday in education is a “yaaaasss” day. If it’s not, well YOU know what I would do.

Proud to have played a part in it.

Tuesday Club Auntie G.

Would you like one of my two words?



Yes, that was the theme of Tuesday. When did we stop being nice to each other?
I had a dementor experience today. Felt like a pupil who was skipping a class!myself and the lovely D combined classes and sat at the back as we extolled the virtue of Argentian cinema with our health and safety conscious coffee in cups with lids.
We did the mammys and methodology chat and laughed at how the weans settled, and engaged with what we were doing. We also talked about how our kids had turned corners, how we were concerned about others and what we could do.
Aye,if only we could have given a few people two words, and it wasn’t thank you!
Mad Tuesday indeed.