My photograph of acid yellow euphorbia dotted through with forget-me-nots, from the garden.





Please Take Care of Yourself and See the Following Sections for Information and Advice



 General Health & Mental Well-Being

Basic Self-Care & Vaccinations

Stress, Recognising & Managing It

Boost Your Immune System, Mind & Body

 Managing Your Time

Managing Classroom Behaviour

Young Student Monitors

When Everyone Needs Calming Down!

Four Practical Ways to Cope with Stresses of Modern Life





Please read the new opening Section on planning to be ready for the new term to begin, and see the extra information on boosting your immunity and ideas for keeping fit, physically and mentally, and able to fight infection and stress.





See the new Section, 'Four Practical Ways to Cope with Stresses of Modern Life' at the end of this Article.







Iseult Catherine O'Brien 

Montessori Teacher & Supervisor  |  Volunteer Tutor with Second Level Students  |  

Online Thesis Specialist















Prepare the Night Before

Prepare what you can the night before, says Dr Hazel Wallace, the author of The Food Medic -  from your packed lunch to laying out your clothes.  Do what you can the night before, avoid gadgets – and don’t hit the snooze button. Vicky Silverthorn, a professional organiser, suggests leaving necessary items by the front door, or using sticky notes as reminders.


Checking the weather forecast, keeping your calendar up to date and taking care of any time-intensive grooming routines the night before will also help you feel more prepared.



Don’t Hit Snooze

Dr Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, advises against hitting the snooze button, as it disrupts uninterrupted, quality sleep; instead he suggests setting your alarm for when you actually need to wake up.



The Sleep Council, which promotes healthy sleep habits, warns that your body experiences a spike in cortisol very time your alarm goes off. If you struggle not to press the button, leave the alarm across the room, so you have to walk over to silence it.   You could also try one that eases you awake with light or vibrations.



Get Breakfast Ready

Hazel Wallace makes overnight oats most evenings and takes them with her to work the next day. Silverthorn says it is useful to have systems in place, such as checklists or a tea and coffee station in the kitchen, but she warns against anything complicated, as it has less chance of sticking long term.



If your children are old enough to make their own breakfast, leave bowls and food within their reach, to encourage independence. “The kitchen is the hub of the home. If that’s in the right place, as it were, then everything runs more smoothly,” she says.




Vicky Silverthorn advocates getting into a routine of placing your keys and other essential items in the same place each time you get in, be it on a hook or in a tray or a drawer: “Have a home for everything.”


Decluttering your home can also lead to a more streamlined routine. “The less you have, the easier it is to be in charge of your home, rather than it being in charge of you.”



Take a Few Minutes

Many of us make the mistake of reaching for our phones first thing.  Instead, Silverthorn encourages starting the day with at least five minutes away from gadgets, perhaps spent making a cup of tea and sitting down to drink it in peace.


“That is vital for me every morning.  It’s five minutes to get your head together.  You can say it’s hard, but five minutes is doable.”



[If you have a garden or a balcony, spend your five minutes in a Mindful way, with your cup of tea or coffee, just noticing what's blooming, going over, or thinking of flowering.  Five minutes can be a long time if spent in a Mindful way.  If it's raining, go to the window that gives you the best views, and just soak in the vista of trees, nearby gardens or parks, and Nature in her glory.  The green of Nature is calming to the mind and a great start to the day.  ICOB]



The daily commute can also be made less stressful with a few tweaks, says Wallace.  Check for delays, leave in plenty of time, wear comfortable shoes and have a book or a podcast ready for your journey.



Amy Sedghi, The Guardian




 [I have added text, colour, headlines, and emphasis to the above, ICOB.]











As a teacher, you have to look after yourself, and especially your health, both physical and mental.  Always avoid lifting or shifting heavy furniture, or any other such items.  That is someone else’s job.  Find out who that person is as soon as possible at the beginning of the school year, and introduce yourself to him or her. 


A teacher CANNOT have a bad back!



COLDS and infections are inevitable ~ you shall be picking up all the new common cold viruses, all year, as brought to school by the students and other staff.  Make sure you eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, drink lots of water ~ two to three litres minimum daily, including especially foods that boost your immune system (see Section below). 



DEHYDRATION can slow mucus production, which makes it harder to clear viruses. This happens more in Summer and also in hot, airless, classrooms in the colder months. Sip plenty of water throughout the day.   Check with the School Rules to ascertain if your students are allowed to drink water from unspillable bottles or cups during class.



WASH your hands regularly and properly. Most colds are passed on when you touch the hand of an infected person, or a surface contaminated with the cold virus, and then touch your eyes or nose, transmitting the infection to yourself. Therefore, if you wash your hands regularly and thoroughly throughout the day, you cut your risk of infecting yourself.  Please reinforce the 'hand washing' message with students, and EXPLAIN the benefits.



SLEEP ~ Getting eight to nine hours sustained sleep a night helps maintain your immune system and prevents you catching a cold.  But it’s not just going to bed on time that counts; you need good quality, sustained, sleep. Please see my Article on BEWARE THE LIGHT!!  and the deleterious effects of late night and / or long-term use of electronic devices emitting the blue-violet light spectrum ~ televisions, laptops, iPads, Kindles, Tablets, mobile phones, no matter how small the screen. 


The evidence is mounting on the lack of attainment and failure to achieve expected results for students, and everyone in the workplace.



Please tell your students WHY they need nine to ten hours sustained sleep nightly.



For your older students, I have developed an Article, STUDENT!  HELP'S HERE.   This gives all the self-care advice contained in this Article, plus some extra information, aimed at the needs of teenagers, older students, and slightly younger students.  I hope you find it helps reduce the time you need to spend on factual information.



For your young students, let them know they grow during sleep, and their bones continue to develop. It is understood that 90 per cent of bone growth takes place at night.  



Nine to ten hours of good quality, sustained, sleep give a child, youngster, and teenager adequate rest.  



The human growth hormone is released during this time, resulting in growth spurts.  Sleep is essential for the body to rest, and adequate rest means better physical growth.  Youngsters would be fascinated to know how much they grow in their sleep ~ SUGGEST to your students that they need to take control of their sleep, as surely they want to grow as much as possible.



SLEEP is also essential for physical recuperation,

the development of the immune system, 

brain development, 



and information processing, as well as many other systems of the brain and the body. 



The older your students, the more they may be interested in the science of sleep, and it could make an interesting Project-Based Learning (PBL) undertaking, with different sections of the class dealing with discrete elements of the benefits of sleep. 






 Taking Care of Yourself Should Optimally Include the Following



Sufficient Magnesium in the diet is essential to help gain and maintain good quality sleep. If you have difficulties getting to sleep and staying asleep, you may wish to consider taking a Magnesium supplement. Please discuss this with your GP.  There are high potency, much improved uptake Magnesium supplements which are of great benefit to those of us who have difficulty absorbing Magnesium from our normal diet.  Some people CANNOT absorb Magnesium from their food.   


Epsom salts baths may be helpful for some, and there are ranges of excellent Magnesium sprays which come in versions for sensitive skin and to aid sleep.  Some come as spray oils which can be massaged into the muscles that ache when Magnesium is not taken up by the body.



STAYING ACTIVE  can help protect you from cold bugs. Aim for 30 minutes daily of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, to keep your immune system ticking over. 

There is new evidence that 30 minutes brisk walking daily has great general health benefits. Such daily walking regularly from today, and into older years, is one of the best shields against dementia!    


(www.getirelandactive.ie  /  www.irishtrails.ie)



As the school year continues, self-care becomes even more important, because the examination and / or assessment requirements are building.  TRY NOT TO SLIP  from your daily habits of good food, lots of water, plenty of sleep, and a reasonable exercise regime ~ you're not trying out for the Olympics!



Have an Annual Influenza Vaccination 

 I know some people disapprove of this.  However, you are not just considering your own health, you have to consider your wider family, including older people, pregnant women, and members who may be frail, and who would find fighting influenza problematical.  



Antibiotics are useless against influenza or any viral infection.


Visit hse.ie/antibiotics for further information on when antibiotics may be required, and when they have no benefit.







The German Measles (Rubella)

Virus is Making an Alarming


in Western Europe, and is Endemic in parts of Eastern Europe



There is a requirement of 95% vaccination cover to give a 'herd immunity' required to stop the disease from spreading.



The Health Service Executive (HSE), which is the National body in Ireland governing the Country's health care, has an Integrated Care Group for Children, and Dr Kevin Kelleher is on its Steering Group, and is also Assistant National Director for Public and Child Health. Dr Kelleher was interviewed on the subject of Rubella outbreaks in parts of North Dublin and an adjacent County. This is because around 8 per cent of babies nationally do not get the vaccination, and 13-15 per cent of babies are not vaccinated in North Dublin. 



There is no reason to think this profile is not replicated all over the 'Developed World'. 



Measles had previously been almost completely eradicated in the 'Developed World' according to the programme.



Dr Kelleher was asked why there was not full uptake of the vaccination (it is free in Ireland), he said that there is "a very stubborn group of people who are very anti-vaccination" and "who put out stories" via the internet, media, social media, which put people off having their children vaccinated.



Dr Kelleher told of of his experience of treating babies with measles when he was a young doctor, and ended by stating the following vehemently.



 "Let nobody ever think measles is a mild disease. IT IS NOT."


He mentioned the group of people in the population who have not been vaccinated, especially in the "nadir" years 2001 / 2002.



People who do not have their babies vaccinated at 12 months as part of the MMR, and the booster vaccination when they start school, are not just risking the health and possibly the life of their babies, but they risk the health and welfare of all who come in contact with their babies and children.



Do you know for certain if you were vaccinated as a child?  The age group of approximately 40-35 years and younger, is more likely NOT to have been vaccinated due to the unsubstantiated scare over the three-in-one vaccination causing autism, during that period. The MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), can be TAKEN AT ANY AGE if a GP immunity test shows you have no immunity. 


(Visit www.immunisation.ie  /  www.hspc.ie). 



The 6-in-1 vaccine protects a baby against six diseases: diphtheria; hepatitis B; haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib); polio; tetanus and whooping cough.  



Visit the above mentioned links for further information, plus the next two Sections.






A Digest of the Study

"Common Arguments Against Vaccination,

And The Answers to Them"

by Dr Ramesh Manocha, can be found at the end of this Post.






Of course, your health is very important, but so is that of your students, family, older or frail people in your life, most especially pregnant women, and any women you know who may be planning a pregnancy. Catching RUBELLA in early pregnancy carries a risk of miscarriage.  


Nine out of ten babies affected by Rubella in the uterus WILL HAVE major birth defects such as deafness, blindness, brain damage, or heart disease.



The first signs of German Measles are a high temperature and a sniffy nose ~ just like the common cold.  In fact, some have no symptoms at all. By the time the telltale red splodges appear, two to three days in, you have already infected others. 

Proximity is enough to infect another, so being in the same room is sufficient to pick up or spread the infection.  If you feel you have the sniffles, do not go out.



PLEASE visit your GP to discuss this and other matters that affect teachers in particular. Please take time to visit www.immunisation.ie for further very important information on immunisation in general.



Pregnant women may need to learn about getting the WHOOPING COUGH (pertussis) vaccination while pregnant to protect the foetus in the womb and during the first few months of life.



PERTUSSIS is a highly contagious disease that can be life threatening and is most serious in children less than six months of age ~ possibly resulting in hospitalisation for pneumonia and brain damage.  



PLEASE see your GP if you are pregnant, hoping to be pregnant, or working in an environment with women of child bearing years, for their sake and for your own.












Having considered the matter of vaccination and the possible consequences of contracting any of the illnesses contained by the MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), plus the duty of care any school or educational establishment has to its employees and students, I have come to believe it is reasonable for an interview board to ask any potential employee, at interview, if he or she knows if he or she has had the MMR vaccine.



Some people do not know if they had this three-in-one vaccine at a very young age, but a GP immunity test can show if a person has no immunity.  



If a potential employee does not know if he or she has been vaccinated, or knows he or she is not vaccinated, I believe it is the duty of a educational establishment to indicate they WILL EMPLOY STAFF who have been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.  An adult can have the vaccine from a GP very easily.



Whatever is the personal choice of someone regarding having or not having the MMR vaccine, I have come to believe the COMMON WELFARE of all the staff, students, and their families, in a early education school / Montessori / kindergarten, junior and secondary schools, college or university, MUST OUTWEIGH a personal choice not to be checked for an immunity test, or not vaccinated, if shown not to have been vaccinated.



I consider no-one can reasonably expect to be employed in a place of work, particularly full of women of child-bearing years, plus female students without having had the MMR vaccine and, of course, their partners and offspring of male teachers. We each have a societal duty. 



This is just the front line of infection defence. The infection could easily be brought home to the family by anyone working in or attending the educational establishment.








The following are excerpts from an article in The Telegraph, 27 March 2019.



 Click, click, click. That is all it takes to fall down the rabbit hole of the anti-vaccine movement that has taken root on social media.


Just a few taps on Instagram, for example, and one is taken  deep into the realm of ‘anti-vax’ conspiracies, ranging from pseudo-scientific vindications for the disgraced British scientist Andrew Wakefield's  bogus links between the MMR jab and autism in children, to hashtags such as #vaccineskill (with some 18,236 posts), to mocked up images of youngsters punctured by a barrage of needles.



This is viral content in the most literal sense.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) has pinpointed “vaccine hesitancy” as one of the 10 biggest global health threats for 2019.



Similarly, the number of measles infections across Continental Europe tripled to 82,500 in 2018, compared to the previous year - a surge which killed 72 children and adults.  



Recently, Rockland County in New York State took the “extremely unusual” step of banning non-vaccinated children from public places for 30 days, in a bid to halt an outbreak of measles – a disease declared eradicated from the US in 2000 – which has infected at least 153 people in the area since October.



Across the world, the anti-vaccine movement is drawing together disparate supporters from US President, Donald Trump, who prior to election scatter-gunned numerous anti-vaccine tweets, to Russian trolls, from Hollywood celebrities to hipster parents in the English Home Counties and Orthodox Jews in London.



Dr Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project established 10 years ago at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says the sheer scale of the anti-vaccine messages online have become far harder for health professionals to contest.



“These emotions and views don’t start with social media companies but are amplified by them,” she says.  “But as a society we need to think seriously about what we can do because something has broken in a big way.”



The decision to leave a child unvaccinated, she points out, is not just a threat to them, individually, but also the so-called ‘herd immunity’– the resistance among any given population to a disease.



“I think it is irresponsible to not vaccinate,” she says, given measles is deadly in one in every thousand cases, while infection can damage the entire immune system and lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).



Dr Larson believes matters are reaching a point where the British government might need to reconsider its current position of leaving the choice entirely down to parents.



“I wouldn’t wait until there is a crisis,” she says.  “If I were in government I would seriously consider putting requirements in place.  Going to school, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say a child needs to be vaccinated because they put others at risk.”



Religious beliefs are believed to play a role.  The number of vaccinated children living in the ultra-orthodox Charedi Jewish community in Stamford Hill in north London, for example, is estimated to be well under 80 per cent, while Dr Larson says some Muslim communities have also raised concerns about gelatine in some vaccines.



But it is also in affluent areas where parents, inspired by the natural health movement, are choosing not to vaccinate their child.  



“The way we live our life is to stay well and really focus on being healthy,” one mother says.  “There are vaccinations now for things that wouldn’t even make a child that ill.  I don’t want him to suffer, obviously, but he never gets ill.  I really don’t understand this need to protect ourselves from things that won’t do our child too much harm.”



Stressing she is “pro-choice rather than anti-vaccine”, she admits she has been criticised for her approach and lost one friend altogether.  Another mother from an affluent area, says she, too, is wary of admitting that she hasn’t vaccinated her five-year-old daughter.



“There’s not enough information out there,” she says.  “You’re just told, if you don’t vaccinate your kids they’ll get measles, and you’re a stupid hippy.  You’re chastised by the health system if you don’t do things by the book, in the same way as if you don’t breastfeed.  It’s really hard as a parent to navigate.”



Certainly, the public health community has little time for such arguments.  According to Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, “one unvaccinated child is one too many” and recent measles outbreaks are a sharp reminder of how serious the disease can be.



“We need to cut through the fake news, with evidence-based, easy to understand health advice for patients such as that provided by Public Health England,” she says.


“They should feel equipped and confident to challenge any spurious claims they might encounter so that they can make sensible, informed decisions about the long-term health and wellbeing of their children.”



The spectre of British doctor Andrew Wakefield, drummed out of the British medical profession for his 1998 paper that made a link between MMR and autism, still looms large over the modern day vaccine info-wars.



Twenty years on, he has rehabilitated his reputation in the US to such an extent that he is in a relationship with supermodel, Elle Macpherson, and has amassed avowed supporters who fervently believe his (professionally) debunked claims.



Anna Merlan, a US-based journalist and author of a forthcoming book, Republic of Lies, on the rise of conspiracy theorists in America, has interviewed Wakefield, shadowed him giving talks on a cruise ship and attended a sell-out screening of his documentary, Vaxxed, in New York.



“He is very charismatic and feeds into long-standing suspicions [in the US],” she says.  Whenever asked about his exile from Britain, she says he is “able to skilfully talk about it as a vendetta against him by a medical establishment who felt he was getting too close to the truth”.



In April of this year, Facebook agreed to ban advertisements with anti-vaccination content while Instagram has announced it will also introduce controls.













Dr Muiris Houston


The Irish Times, 28 April 2019.



Among children who get all doses of DTaP vaccine on schedule, effectiveness is very high within the year following the final dose – at least nine out of 10 children are fully protected.



Despite having effective vaccines, infectious diseases such as mumps, measles and whooping cough are on the rise globally.  And while false news about vaccine safety – leading to vaccine hesitancy – has undoubtedly played a part, are there other reasons for this unwelcome trend?



The latest figures from the World Health Organisation suggest there have been a 300 per cent increase in the number of measles cases worldwide in the first three months of 2019.  



It noted that many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases.  Coming on top of sequential increases in measles cases in the previous two years, it is clear we have a problem with a potentially fatal infectious disease, that – until relatively recently – we thought could be eradicated.



Could waning vaccine immunity be one of the reasons?


After decades of declining pertussis (whooping cough) and mumps incidence, for example, recent years have seen a resurgence of each disease despite maintenance of high vaccine coverage.  Cases have mainly been among young-adult age groups.  For mumps, protection appears to wane over decades, prompting the use of additional doses of vaccine for outbreak control.  And doctors are seeing an increasing number of adults with the interminable “whoop” of whooping cough.



Falling Immunity

In April of this year, Toronto researcher Dr Jeff Kwong and his colleagues published a study in the journal Vaccine suggesting that the vaccine for pertussis works well at protecting people from the disease during the first decade of life, but that immunity later falls.



It seems vaccination is more complex than we might have thought.



Pertussis vaccines are effective, but not perfect.  They typically offer good levels of protection within the first two years after getting the vaccine, but then protection decreases over time.  Public health experts call this “waning immunity”.  Similarly, natural infection may also only protect you for a few years.



When it comes to waning immunity, it seems that the acellular pertussis vaccines (DTaP and Tdap) used now may not protect for as long as the whole-cell vaccine (DTP) doctors used to use.  Whole-cell pertussis vaccines are associated with higher rates of minor and temporary side effects such as fever and pain and swelling at the injection site.  Serious neurologic adverse reactions, including chronic neurological problems, occurred rarely among children who had recently received whole-cell vaccines, prompting the development of the acellular version.



Fully Protected

In general, DTaP vaccines are 80 to 90 per cent effective.  Among children who get all doses of DTaP on schedule, effectiveness is very high within the year following the final dose – at least nine out of 10 kids are fully protected.  There is a modest decrease in effectiveness in each following year.  In the first year after getting vaccinated with Tdap, it protects about seven out of 10 people who receive it.



About three or four out of 10 people are fully protected four years after getting this version of the whooping cough vaccine.  And receiving the newer (acellular) version of the vaccine was associated with twice the odds of contracting whooping cough compared with those who received the older vaccine when they were infants.



Resurgence in Mumps

Meanwhile, Scottish researchers have found evidence that the resurgence in mumps cases is due to waning immunity.  They wanted to know why a vaccine-preventable disease is re-emerging in highly vaccinated populations.  In 2015 some 67 per cent of those infected with mumps in Scotland  were fully vaccinated individuals.  Most of these cases occurred in adolescents and young adults, in contrast to the pre-vaccine era where outbreaks were among primary school children.


So it seems vaccination is more complex than we might have thought.  What was traditionally viewed as a “done and dusted” task for childhood may now need to extend to adult life.  With waning immunity a scientific fact for whooping cough, measles and mumps, booster vaccinations throughout life are likely to become part of future national immunisation programmes in Ireland.








You may feel, as a new teacher, that you have to volunteer for everything, to show you are enthusiastic and keen to be involved in the School life. 


KEEP YOUR HAND DOWN! and only volunteer for something you know you are good at and enjoy, and that your efforts would be making a worthwhile contribution, plus attracting positive reactions from colleagues, school authorities, pupils, and parents.


You will spend considerably more time in research, preparation, lesson-planning, and checking homework, than the school hours allow. You will be roped into jobs in any case.


Do not rush to add to your workload!










Stress is VERY high on the list of teachers' illnesses.  However, stress is frequently under-reported, as it is seen by many, FOOLISHLY, as a weakness! 



Please see the following links.

(www.aware.ie/10+ways+to+relieve+stress  /  www.heartfulness.ie/Anxiety/Relaxation  /  https://www.extension.umn.edu/...stress/four-strategies-for-preventing-or-reducing-stress).



If your whole evening and every weekend end up being spent on grading or preparation, your job has run away with you, and you need to get back in charge.  Please see my Post, BEWARE THE LIGHT!! on how over-working with a computer screen, especially late in the evening, can harm your health, and affect negatively your sleep patterns.



I know teachers who have had complete nervous and physical breakdowns DUE TO THE STRESS of keeping up with grading homework, preparing new and interesting ways of getting across the syllabus, and possibly studying to improve their own skills.  Two school principals I know had to retire early due to ill-health brought on by extreme stress in their workplaces.  IT CAN HAPPEN to anyone very fast, and it is a long and exhausting way back to health, when one has eventually realised the fact it HAS happened.



PLEASE GET HELP as soon as you feel under pressure;

When sleep is becoming erratic;

When your laundry regime has fallen apart;

When your mealtimes become hit and miss;

When your usual schedules for supermarket shopping, collecting dry cleaning, and meeting friends, just do not work any more;

When you feel out of control ~ YOU NEED HELP IMMEDIATELY!



GETTING HELP immediately could be what saves your career.  A likely outcome for a teacher who has a complete physical and nervous breakdown is early retirement.







Jenny Harvey's Survey on Mental Health Issues relating to Teachers in Scotland, February 2017



In a survey carried out in Scotland at the beginning of February 2017, by Jenny Harvey, a Fife special needs teacher (who was taken aback by the volume of responses – 778 at the last count), found nearly half of teachers are struggling with mental health issues.


[See the online TES article by Henry Hepburn for more information.]


NEARLY HALF of respondents to the poll on teacher well-being said their mental health was POOR, fuelling fears that growing numbers are struggling to cope with the profession’s changing demands.



Experts are saying every school in Scotland should have a counsellor to help deal with teaching's unique demands.



A significant proportion also takes medication because of the job. The convener of a national mental health helpline has said that the demands of teaching are so exceptional that a counsellor should be stationed in every school.



Some 45 per cent said that their mental health was “poor” or “very poor”, and 15 per cent reported taking medication because of the stresses of their work.



Ms Harvey was surprised by some findings ~ such as almost every respondent felt the “heavy burden” of GUILT about the educational experience they offered pupils. “We just want the best for our pupils and sometimes we feel more could be done for them,” she said. “There just aren’t enough hours in the day or resources that we need”.



I do not imagine Scotland is out of step, and that the teachers there are under a significantly greater burden than teachers here, elsewhere in Europe, or further afield. I imagine the respondents to this survey found being able to be straightforward about their experience a relief.



IS THIS not a good time to ask some stark questions about the general mental health status of our teachers, the levels of support they get to do their jobs, and if they have sufficient resources and assistance to ease their stress levels?








ALSO bear in mind, that if your students are sitting a State exam, or any important school exam, some may become very stressed.  Prepare from the BEGINNING of the school year to reduce their stress levels by introducing them to the self-help information below with STRESS CHATS.  Stressed students can add to a teacher's sense of pressure.



If your School has a Counsellor, co-ordinate your Stress Chats with your students with him or her, so that he or she knows to expects extra appointments, and request in good time quantities of leaflets beforehand, from the Counsellor, which you can pass around in the classroom, having read the contents yourself. 



Then, put aside time to talk to your students about STRESS, impressing on them it is NOT shameful, that it IS manageable, and TO TALK ABOUT IT. Let them know the School Counsellor is expecting applications for appointments. 


Let your students know you are always there to listen, if they need to talk.


If you do not have a School Counsellor, try finding out what up-to-date information might be in the School Library and the Staff Room, and also email a request to your Local Health Authority for sufficient leaflets on such topics as:


STRESS (www.aware.ie/10+ways+to+relieve+stress  /  www.heartfulness.ie/Anxiety/Relaxation  /   https://www.extension.umn.edu/...stress/four-strategies-for-preventing-or-reducing-stress)


USE OF STREET DRUGS (www.drugs.ie/Know-The-Facts / www.drugs.ie/resourcesfiles/guides/DealingWithDrugUse.pdf  /  https://drugfree.org/parent-blog/preventing-teen-using-drugs-persuasion/);



https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934164/ / www.facebook.com/HSEquit  / www.quit.ie  /  www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/tween-and-teen.../in...smoking/art20047069    /   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934164/  /  www.preventtobaccouse.org/);


YOUTH ALCOHOL USE (http://www.drinkaware.ie); 


PREGNANCY (B4uDecide.ie); 


VACCINATIONS AND IMMUNISATIONS ~ HPV Vaccine - early teenage girl and boy vaccination to prevent cervical cancer (www.hpv.ie /  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv-vaccine.html); 



(www.healthpromotion.ie /   www.hivireland.ie  /   www.healthinfo.ie  /  www.man2man.ie/pep9.html  /   http://www.hivireland.ie/hiv/testing/free-hiv-sti-testing-centre-locator/);


MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE  (Teenage Mental Health - MyMind.org‎   /   www.mentalhealthireland.ie/teens/  / Adwww.mymind.org / Mental_Health);



If you know the latest thinking on any subject, you will be more confident supporting your students. 


Clearly, most of the the above sites are Irish, but they should give you basic information, and you could then go to your local Health Authority to obtain links and brochures relevant to where you live.



The following may help your students keep a balance, and perhaps you would care to post it up on the classroom wall.

A Quote from an Article by Marie Louise McConville on Stress Coming up to Exam Time. The School Counsellor may be pleased to have a copy.


Marie Louise McConville

The Irish News

[Ms McConville became very unwell due to over-studying and becoming extremely stressed before important exams.] 

"If you are about to sit exams these coming weeks, take a minute to remember that while results are important, they are not the be-all-and-end-all.

"Exams can be re-sat but we only have one chance at life and living it and enjoying it and really, without our health, what chance do we have?

"So, if you're about to enter that intimidating exam hall or about to hand in that all-important dissertation, take a deep breath and remember, your life will not be determined by this one exam or in this one moment.

"If you're feeling under pressure, it's important you talk to someone. You are not alone. Your family and friends love you and want what's best for you and will support you no matter what and you will never disappoint them.

"They want you healthy and happy.

"Remember, it is true what they say, you're health really is your wealth.

"Good luck."






Help in the classroom by doing some of the exercises in When Everyone Needs to Calm Down!  ~ is to be found at the end of this Article, and also read through with the students the last section called WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! 



My Article, THE STUDENT TAKES THE LEAD DESIGNING WORK PLANS, helps students to calm down and get some structure to their evening activities, and plan their own work schedules. Also, use suggestions from the Care for Your General Health ... advice Sections above and below, from the beginning of the school year.







For the teacher's own sake, she should have her plans for the examination academic year prepared well in advance, so that the vital work is covered by the students in the fashion that suits them best.  Many teachers may have worked with the class the previous year, and so will know what style of studying works for each student.



Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a great way to engage learning of all different modalities: including visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, and tactile.  Utilising PBL is an equitable way to reach and engage all learners in your classroom, and provide them with hands-on, real life, problem solving opportunities.



IF SUCH prepared plans are not in place, the teacher can divide the class into the above groups, and get them to work together towards a single goal, for each element of the syllabus.





My photograph of stipa gigantica leaning over the cornflowers in the garden.





Some people require the addition of vitamins and other substances in food supplements. These can be fairly inexpensive to very expensive and could make a difference, even starting today, to how you manage your resistance to infection, supporting energy and sleep levels, during the pre-exam and exam seasons, any time of stress, or just as part of your regular regime.



If you are buying folic acid tablets, for example, buy Folic Acid BP ~ much cheaper than branded versions. Always ask for a generic brand of any supplement or vitamin you choose to buy, and as with every product, check the contents to see what percentage of what you want is included, and what percentage is filler.  See below for folic acid rich foods.










GARLIC ~ Research has found that people who eat fresh garlic are two-thirds less likely to catch a cold. This is because it contains allicin, which fights infection. Odour-free garlic products are available; I do not know if they are equally beneficial.  The potent sulphur compound in garlic, allicin, is responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of this plant. You can increase the activity of allicin by letting garlic sit for about 10 minutes after crushing or chopping it before adding to ingredients or heating it. Add the garlic towards the end of cooking to retain nutrients.



MUSHROOMS ~ Many modern medicines come from fungal extracts.  Mushrooms contain Vitamin D, and are great at combating viruses. They are also a handy source of Vitamin B12, an essential Vitamin which helps with mending cells and with eye care, especially in relation to the maintenance of the essential eye mucous.  Vitamin B12, other than in mushrooms, is difficult to source in food.  



Without sufficient Vitamin D your body’s T-cells lie dormant, and these are what help fight infections.



Ordinary white button mushrooms, brown caps, large flats, or breakfast mushrooms, are all good sources of Vitamin B12. Don't imagine you need to spend a lot on special, expensive, mushrooms for your Vitamin B12 requirements.


Mushrooms also have powerful bioactive components that reduce inflammation. Try a stir-fried mushroom dish, and include other mushroom varieties such as maitake, enoki, and oyster mushrooms. 



Recent research has shown the many health benefits of Maitake mushrooms, including their ability to boost the immune system.  This is due to maitake’s beta glucan content.  Beta glucane is a complex sugar that activates and increases the activity of the immune system to help the body fight illness more quickly and efficiently.  Studies show that beta glucan may also trigger cancer fighting cells,  possibly making chemotherapy more effective. 



In addition, maitake mushrooms have been SHOWN to decrease the negative side effects of anti-cancer drugs, including nausea, vomiting, and hair loss, when consumed during treatment.



Enoki mushrooms have a somewhat sweet flavour, and are frequently used in soups and dishes like nabe and sukiyaki. Similar to the shiitake mushroom, enoki mushrooms are low calorie, low fat, and sugar free. In addition, like other mushrooms, enoki is high in B Vitamins; it’s particularly rich in niacin, which helps support adrenal functions and is necessary for metabolism.  In a single cup serving, enoki mushrooms offer 23% of the daily recommended value of niacin. This can help reduce the potential for heart disease and may be useful in preventing second heart attacks in those who are at risk.



The Eryngii (King Oyster) mushroom is the largest species of the oyster mushrooms. It has a thick white stem and a meaty texture and can be thickly sliced and grilled like steak.  Eryngii has naturally occurring antioxidants, including the amino acid ergothioneine, which protects the body’s cells against free radicals (harmful damaged cells), thus reducing the risk of chronic disease.  Ergothioneine, an antioxidant found in eryngii mushrooms, is not reduced by cooking.  Eryngii also contain a disease fighting compound called Lovastatin, which helps clear cholesterol from the body’s circulatory system, improving blood flow. 


They also contain significant amounts of zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and folic acid. 


They're an excellent source of the essential mineral selenium, and easier to absorb than the inorganic selenium typically found in dietary supplements.



GRAPES ~ Grapes have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruit.  These antioxidants are largely concentrated in the skin.  Anti-inflammatory properties of grape skin have been demonstrated. Grapes have also shown to have anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-allergic activity. 


Freeze them and use them in place of ice cubes. 


Add them to all your salads. Add them in the last few minutes of cooking to any sauce or curry for sweet bursts of flavour.



CARE FOR YOUR EYES ~ Consider the length of time you will be reading texts and reading your screens, your eyes need all the support they can get.  

Please see my Article, BEWARE THE LIGHT!! for further information on eye care.



CINNAMON ~ A generous sprinkle of cinnamon will help expel toxins from the body.   It is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal: A TRIPLE SHIELD against illness.  Some people cannot bear the taste of cinnamon, so try adding a couple of spoonfuls regularly to curries or to robust, well-flavoured casseroles full of herbs and vegetables, or other strong tasting dishes.  It's great stirred into porridge.


PARSLEY ~ Is rich in Folic Acid and less well known it is also an excellent source of Calcium.  This should be of particular interest to those who are lactose intolerant and use soya and other milk substitutes.  Parsely in and on everything is the business!



FOLIC ACID ~ Spinach is very rich in folic acid, a key ingredient for repairing cells, this SUPER-FOOD is also a great source of Potassium and Vitamin C, which help keep you healthy.


Kale, and other cruciferous vegetables should be consumed at least five times a week because they are rich in sulphoraphane, which helps eliminate harmful toxic compounds in the body that might otherwise promote inflammation.  Kale stands out among this stellar group, because it is one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet.  


Try kale in salads, smoothies, soups, casseroles, and stews. Mix it into pasta dishes. Bake them in the oven to make kale chips. Also, incorporate other cruciferous (brassica oleracea) vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts into your diet. 


These vegetables are related to each other and are all rich in folic acid.  


The shorthand version is green leaf vegetables all contain folic acid, including rocket and other salad leaves!



There is an increased risk of the foetus developing a serious birth defect, known as a neural tube defect, if the mother has a poor folic acid intake before and during pregnancy. The neural tube is a narrow channel that eventually forms the brain and spinal cord. 


Examples of neural tube defects include:

Spina Bifida – where the baby's spine does not develop properly; 

Anencephaly – where a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull; 

Encephalocele – where a membrane or skin-covered sac containing part of the brain pushes out of a hole in the skull.



Please go to the following site, from which I quoted above on neural tube defects, for further information on infertility due to a lack of folic acid in the diet and other matters ~





VITAMIN C ~ Taking a high dose of Vitamin C could help shorten a cold if you take it at the first sign of symptoms. It could also cut your risk of the common cold in the first place. 



However, a good diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables is an excellent source of all the vitamins and trace elements we require.  Most vitamin supplements will not give you the essential trace elements found in fresh fruit and vegetables or quickly frozen vegetables and fruit.  Potatoes, scrubbed, and cooked in their jackets, are an excellent all year source of Vitamin C.  Most of the Vitamin is just under the skin, so leaving the skins on gives one a maximum Vitamin C allowance.




MAGNESIUM ~ Taking Magnesium daily helps to regulate your sleep patterns and is helpful in keeping mental well-being in balance. Any time of stress can cause some people to lose control of their sleep regime, starting to worry, and thus beginning a cycle of poor sleep. Start a Magnesium supplement now, and it will help in the coming weeks and, indeed, years.



Prepared products containing mixes of various vitamins and supplements are usually expensive and do not contain sufficient of any of the ingredients listed to have a specific effective impact. A judicious selection of the basics would be much less expensive and have more impact.



BANANAS ~ Using bananas as your snack of choice while having a break during study, marking, teaching, gives you a supply of trace elements not found in any other fruit or vegetable. They are very easy on the digestive tract, and if you add a dribble of honey now and then, between them they will keep your gut active and calm, and help reduce gastric upsets which are common at times of stress


Unripe, green, bananas have a higher starch content.  As they ripen, the starch is converted to sugar (and the fruit becomes sweeter).   Green bananas are also a good source of pectin, which is a type of dietary fibre found in fruits and helps them keep their structural form.  Pectin breaks down when a banana becomes overripe, which causes the fruit to become softer. Bananas are loaded with valuable micro-nutrients, especially potassium.  Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body, helping to regulate heart function as well as fluid balance – a key factor in regulating blood pressure.  


The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods such as bananas, in lowering blood pressure and protecting against heart disease and strokes is well accepted and bolstered by considerable scientific evidence.  


Bananas are soothing to the gastrointestinal tract due to their high content of pectin – as soluble fibre that not only lowers cholesterol but normalises bowel function.  The high fibre content of bananas promote satiety (feeling of fullness). However, as a tropical fruit, bananas are higher in sugar and aren’t a great choice for diabetics.  The resistant starch in bananas also has a pre-biotic effect, helping to keep gut bacteria happy by increasing the production of short chain fatty acids for digestive health.



HERBS & OILS ~ Echinacea and Pelargonium herbs  are both immunity super-boosters, and can help reduce the number of colds you get if you take them throughout the cold season. These are available in various sources from capsules to powders.  Rapeseed oil is rich in Omegas 3 and 6 and can be used to replace olive oil in cooking or dressings.  Echinacea is a vital source of Omega 3, 6, and 9, especially for vegetarians and vegans, as it is plant derived, rather than the usual fish oil sources, and  there is no after-taste of fish.  However, halibut and cod liver oil capsules are excellent value, and easily available sources of Omegas.  A regular fish element in your diet, two or three times a week, would give you all the Omega you require, and it is low in cholesterol.  



Tins of sardines in olive or sunflower oil can be kept in the larder for a good while, always available for breakfast on toast, lunch, or supper. Rich in Omega 3, this is a good value, quick and very handy food source, especially for those living alone, or working late.



PLEASE consider where your fish is SOURCED.  I would never buy fish taken from the Irish Sea, for example, as it is described as a 'sewer' by marine biologists, given its contributions from the nuclear power plant, Sellafield, in Britain, and the untreated sewage pumped out of Irish towns and cities along the coast.


Long lived fish, such as tuna, accumulate heavy metals including mercury over their lifetimes.  You may wish to reconsider how often you eat tuna, or if you want to give it up altoether.



HUMIDITY ~ Normally, tiny hairs in your lungs waft germs and mucus into your throat, where you clear them by swallowing. But very cold air slows this movement, giving viruses longer to take hold in your lungs and cause an infection.


VERY FEW schools will invest in humidifiers!  Therefore, I suggest keeping containers of water (changing the water daily) beside every heater, radiator, or heat source, in your classroom (and at home).  Keeping humidity levels between 40-60% using a humidifier reduces the period viruses survive in the air, and keeps your respiratory system warm and moist. Now, the system I suggest is clearly not so scientifically accurate, but it will help. 

Be careful that the water containers are safe from being knocked over, and should never be put near electric heat sources.


YOU SHOULD CHECK FIRST to see if you are allowed to introduce such a humidifying system into your classroom.  Even if disallowed in School, you could make your own for your home.



PORRIDGE ~ Trinity College Dublin continues to come out with more good news on the benefits of porridge. We already know a bowl of porridge for breakfast reduces random, unhealthy, snacking, it fills one until lunchtime; it is very good for the skin; and now we hear that the active parts of the oatmeal work to breakdown cholesterol build-up, and plague build-up in blood vessels.  


It assists in weight loss; and of course it is a very good value food ~ considerably better for us than the processed breakfast cereals claiming to contain seeds and fruit which are hugely more expensive, with their frequently added sugar / sugar-types and salt.  We can add our own, in season, fresh fruit, as we like!



For example, LINSEED (flaxseed) CANNOT  be digested by the human system as the coating is too dense for our digestive juices. Also, bought milled linseed is of little value, except maybe as a very expensive contribution to roughage consumption.  Linseed is very rich in Omega, and should be milled as needed, as it loses its nutritional value within twenty minutes of milling.



The above information is based on my own Montessori Training including nutrition and general healthcare; 


my keen interest in good quality, good value food; 

the Health Section of the 'Sunday Times Magazine'; 


the Holland & Barrett website; 

plus advice from a Local Authority Dietitian regarding stress management, plus continuous reading of relevant and up-to-date research.








I hope you have had an opportunity to start working in your classroom before the first day of the new scholastic year, if possible, making sure you have already investigated and learnt how to use the software system used by your School for uploading students’ grades and report cards. PERHAPS, you did it while you are setting up your classroom before the start of term.  If you have not had the chance to work on the system before the start of term, it would be very worthwhile working outside school hours for a few mornings or evenings, whichever suits your life better, until you have your system up and running to your satisfaction.



When you have learnt how to input information in your School's database, you can then design your own student data sheets based on the database requirements, and to suit your own way of working, so that you mark their work, including space for comments on effort made, co-operation, difficulties, improvements, and your general observations, etc.  YOU NEED to develop a weekly database update system, which you can always access.



There is frequently a scramble at the end of term, and at year end, amongst teachers trying to get time to input their work onto the School's database. FREQUENTLY, teachers spend four to six full weekends inputting their data, before the end date in June, or whenever your year end takes place.



I am sure there is a conversation in every school at the beginning of every year, along the lines of "we'll be more organised this year".  However, getting teachers, without coinciding free periods, available to discuss fair access to the School's database, seems elusive, despite best hopes.



SET UP YOUR OWN, personal, notation system on the School's database as soon as possible, starting by inputting basic information on your students.  You should try to update your inputs, in any spare half hour before the school day starts, as frequently as is necessary, in the school week. INCLUDE from the beginning, updating as you go, all the contact details for the parents / carers / family members, for each child.  



Some education authorities require quite detailed and frequently supplied information on each student, which may also be required to be produced at P/T meetings. If your School doesn't supply its own system for keeping track, I suggest you design your own tick box form, listing: 


(i) the marked improved efforts in named activities and subjects; 


(ii) the usual types of specific misbehaviour, especially if it has a negative effect on classmates; 


(iii) possible learning difficulties observed that require investigation; and any other ideas that may suit your particular class.  


Leave room for extra comments, and head the form with space for the name of the student, and the date and time of the observation. This form could take a great deal of pressure off you, as you would not be under the stress of trying to recall specific incidents to illustrate a possibly important event or condition. It will help cover your back.



MAKE SURE you know from the very beginning of the year, if ANY student(s) has allergies, asthma, or any other medical conditions.  Also try to discover if a child(ren) has / have any learning difficulties or special needs as early as possible, so that you can arrange the child's / children's place(s) in the classroom, to give them the best possible access to activities, and the quickest and easiest route to the lavatory.  


SPEAK WITH your Special Needs Assistant as soon as possible to arrange support for you and your student(s).  



Regarding children with Special Needs, it would be very helpful for all to arrange meetings with the students' PGCs, including the Special Needs Assistant(s) and any Special Needs Teacher(s) the School has on its staff, who would be of help, and will involved with these students during their school year, helping to manage their needs.  


Early input from PGCs is vital to the proper care of these children.


Sometimes the information flow doesn't work, and someone thinks someone else is informing the staff who need to know about particular children in each class. It's always best to CHECK FOR YOURSELF that you are fully informed.



If the PGCs feel that you are PROACTIVE in providing the best educational experience for their children, they will be much more forthcoming about what, in their experience, works and does not work.  

They shall become a support to you.



IF YOU ARE ON TOP of inputting your grading and report card information, you have reduced a great deal of potential stress which plagues many teachers daily, all year.  ALSO, it will help you avoid being caught on the hop by a query from a PGC.






Crocosmia hiding behind brightly variagated shrubbery. Nature can play with colour as she chooses.






Depending on your School's rule about the degree of PGC access to teachers to discuss students, try not to get caught out.  MAKE SURE you understand fully the Rules about how available you are expected to be.       



If a PGC turns up to a collect a child at the end of the school day and then tells you he / she wishes to discuss what appears to be the child's difficulty in class. Tell the PGC, or whomever, that you will be happy to discuss the matter, and take out your appointment book immediately.  Say you would be pleased to arrange a mutually convenient appointment (only if the enquirer is listed as one who is entitled to discuss a child), of 15 minutes duration, and that you will take an email address or mobile / cell number, to which you will send some suggested dates and times.



Do not agree to meet anywhere but at the School, and for 15 minutes duration only (unless the situation turns out to be very serious, in which case you should conclude the meeting promptly, saying you, or a School representative, will get back to the parent / carer as soon as possible.  


IMMEDIATELY, you must involve the School Management, and any other appropriate staff member(s), before any further meeting with the PGC).



Some matters of School or Department of Education policy, and possibly including insurance cover, may be involved in his or her concerns, and the issue should be left to be dealt with by the appropriate people.



If the PGC contacts you in the meantime, have an appropriate phrase to hand, approved by the School Management on legal advice, to let him / her know the concern is not being ignored, but is being dealt with at an appropriate level.  You have to make sure you do not get stuck in the middle of anything.  Your inclination may be to say something helpful and consoling, but you must curb this urge, and stick with the 'party line'.



Meetings with PGCs should only be held at the beginning or end of the school day, only in the School,  and only when you are comfortable you have all your information on the particular student to hand, and feel prepared.



A certain amount of flexibility is reasonable, but you cannot be expected to hang around at the School at 5.30pm, 6.00pm, 7.00pm, or whenever the PGC arrives from work.  An appointment is an appointment, and you are a professional.  Having given some leeway in case of bad traffic conditions, and trying to contact the PGC by mobile, if you cannot get a clear undertaking from him or her to arrive within a short period of time, go home! 



If the 'problem' turns out to be 'another student', be very swift to say you will listen fully but  "You cannot and will not discuss another student with anyone but his / her parent(s), carer, or guardian(s)".







Give Children an Opportunity to Discuss and Plan Behaviour in their Class ~ and to Choose Priorities 



At the very beginning of the year, it is an extremely useful exercise, to announce to your class that you will ALL be having discussions during the first weeks of term.  



You and your students will be listing on the board what is the kind of behaviour everyone would like to experience in the classroom, playground, and anywhere else connected with your School and, equally, what behaviour would be unacceptable.



Very young children are perfectly well able to understand what is fair and unfair; and they know how to say what they do and do not like.



There are posters listing  'Respect', 'Consideration', and 


Students do not see these posters on classroom walls all over the World.




However, if through a broad-based discussion in the classroom, encouraging everyone to take part,  ensuring to ask EACH student to offer both a positive and a negative type of behaviour, and after a generally agreed trimming of the lists, a consensus will be reached.


Your students will have been integrally engaged in the development of the 'Rules of Behaviour' for their class. 


These are their ‘Rules’, and therefore the students will be self-regulating to a much greater degree, and also pointing out if someone is being mistreated out of sight of you, the teacher.



The teacher has to make it clear to all the children that she is  available for a quiet chat, if any child has something he or she needs to talk about. You can chat during yard break when the rest of the class is outside. 


If you are on yard duty, and think the child seems very upset, beg a colleague to swap duty days.



If a child is behaving in an unusual fashion for him or her, the teacher should be able to call the child to a quieter place where they can talk comfortably.  The child can be asked gently if there is something going on that the teacher doesn't know about.  Ask if the child has been upset or hurt.



Every child in a class has to know, the teacher is there to help him or her however she can, and she wants to be told about any problems, so that she can help.


Because these are in the 'Rules', every child can be comforted that he / she is entitled to respect, consideration, fairness and courtesy.


The whole process of developing the 'Rules of Behaviour' has two extra and significant benefits. 


Firstly, as you listen to the ideas from your collected students, you will get a very good insight into the various personalities in your class, which will prove a very helpful start to the year.


Secondly, the students, through working together to formulate their 'Rules', arguing for their own ideas, and learning how to compromise, will also get to know each other, and will have learnt about give and take. 



They will feel, at the end of the process, that this is their class, and they have been shown consideration and respect by you, the teacher, and by their fellow-students.









On cold, especially wet, mornings, consider introducing a mini-Body Check, first thing.  You can get some circulation going in the feet and hands, and make the children feel warmer and more comfortable, ready for the day. 



Ask the children to go to their tables, sit down, and take off shoes and socks: some students may need help with this.  



(I think you should suggest to the children's PGCs, via a note at the beginning of First Term, to always have an extra pair of socks in their schoolbags. 



Some children's families cannot afford new, sturdy, shoes, but might be able to afford a pair of inexpensive secure plimsolls or slip-ons with velcro closures with grips on soles which they could wear in school every day and which could be kept on the children's hooks in small drawstring bags. Sitting in wet sock all day is very uncomfortable, and a health hazard to the child.)



Have everyone take off socks saying it enables better 'wiggling of toes'. Place a couple of tissues onto each child's place on the tables, and as you pass around the room, check on socks discreetly. 



Tell the children the tissues are for using on their feet before and / or after their session, and always to ask for more if needed. Carry on with HERE WE GO! from points 2 to 7 for feet, and 9 for hands and wrists, detailed below, under the heading WHEN EVERYONE NEEDS  CALMING DOWN!


Please see the last Section of this Article, WHEN EVERYONE NEEDS CALMING DOWN! for those days when nothing else will work!








Even quite young children are capable of taking on responsibilities in the classroom. THEY ENJOY having a job, and usually take pride in the work.


NATURE TABLE ~ Give every student a week in rotation, as Monitor for the Nature Table, repeating when required as the year passes. This job would include changing the water in a vase of flowers daily (keep vases and pots small and / or low), using only water that has reached room temperature for flowers and pot plants ~ not straight from the cold tap. Pot plants should be watered only when they appear to be nearly dried out.  The Monitor shall require instruction in the care of pot plants.  The Monitor will brush down the surface of the Table daily, removing dead leaves, to keep it clean.


Encourage all the children to bring in pieces for the Table, encouraging oddities  and items other than the usual dried leaves, sea shells, and blossoms from the garden. 


Consider having a colour theme for the Nature Table, giving the children a couple of weeks' notice in which to collect their material ~ it's extraordinary what can turn up! 


If a child has a story behind his or her contribution,  encourage the telling of the story, while the object is passed around the class, if it is not too fragile.   


Keep pushing the boundaries of what should be on the Nature Table.   Offerings for display from students will be given to the teacher in the first instance, but the Monitor should choose the arrangement of the display of the material on the Nature Table for his / her week.  


Take a photograph of the Nature Table every Friday, noting the name of the student who was Monitor and who looked after it for that week.  This photograph SHOULD BE part of each STUDENT'S PERSONAL FILE.



CLASS LIBRARY ~ Depending on the age range of your class, give every student a week in rotation, as Monitor for the Class Library.  He or she will be responsible for making sure all books are put back correctly on the shelves by the end of the day.  You, the teacher, should announce to the class that collection of Class Library books will take place in 10-15 minutes. That should give students time to finish a sentence and make a note of the page they are reading, so that they can continue during the next Library Period.  


The Class Library Monitor shall need clear and detailed instructions on how to replace books correctly on the shelves, and will have to understand the system used to display books ie, alphabetically by author, or divided in sections of interest, or divided into ease of reading sections. The Monitor should be given sufficient time to fulfil his or her job, therefore Library Period should be held in the early afternoon, at the latest.  



Always let the Monitor know, from the beginning, he or she should ask for help immediately, any time he or she feels under pressure to get the job done in time. 



If a student shows a marked reluctance to be Library Monitor, have a quiet word ~ it could be that he or she is not confident in reading skills, reassure him or her that you will help with the reading. Then move on seamlessly to the next student. 



Tell the reluctant student, discreetly, that he or she will get at least one other chance as Library Monitor before the end of the School year, and he or she shall be able for the job with some extra work and help. Every child must be reassured he / she shall get a chance to take a turn as a Monitor, as long as some extra work is done.  [You will have become aware of the children who have reading difficulties from the beginning of the first term, but this is a helpful indicator of a child's confidence level.]  





TIDY CLASSROOM ~ The students should learn, from the first week of the first term, they shall be expected to keep their desks tidy and the space around their desks clear.  A tidy classroom is a safe classroom.    They need to know that having schoolbags, rucksacks, satchels, coats, pullovers, sports gear, etc, on the floor is a Health and Safety Issue. 


If the alarm bell rings, the students are expected to leave the classroom immediately and calmly, so there cannot be obstacles on the floor which might trip them up.



TAKING CARE OF YOUNGER STUDENTS' POSSESSIONS ~ You will need to spend time, as early as possible at the beginning of the school year, arranging for coat hooks with name tags, at heights suitable for each child, where they can keep their outdoor wear, shoe bags, sports bags, etc, depending on the School rules.


Get your students involved in the design of their name tags.  Some may not be able to write their names yet, but if they colour and design their name tags after you have printed their names, it will assist all students identify their own coat hooks.  If bags for outdoor footwear are required by the School, ensure all your students have their names very clearly marked on their bags.


Likewise, if your School offers a locker for each student, encourage your students to make colourful stickers of their names and other decorations, having printed the names for those who cannot yet write their names, and thus make it easier for them to locate their lockers.









Having a sink in your classroom expands greatly the activities you could carry out with your students. 


Also, after Artwork sessions, students should be responsible for cleaning and drying off their desks; washing paint brushes used; and the plastic jars which contained water for rinsing the brushes, and then putting away all the Artwork material in its proper place.  


It should be relatively easy to organise the washing and drying, one desk or table at a time.  However, if you do not have a sink, you may have to schedule your Artwork sessions around the attendance of a Classroom Assistant.  Classroom Assistants can be in short supply. 



At the earliest possible opportunity of the new school year, try to book the availability of a Classroom Assistant as frequently as possible.  Having an Assistant in the classroom will broaden greatly the number of projects you can undertake with your students.


Some of the more mature and able students may be suitable to be nominated as Artwork Monitors, for some of the easier cleaning jobs.



CLASS BINS ~ Teach the children, from the youngest classes, about the recycling bin, the food & liquids bin, the tins / cans / bottles bin, and any other bins in the classroom, from day one.  

Make sure the children take responsibility for their own material, and dispose of it correctly.  After a short period, they will be doing these jobs automatically. 


Give every student a week in rotation, as Monitor for the Bins. He or she will be responsible for checking how full the bins are, and for informing the teacher that one or more bins need to be emptied. This job will require instruction on Health and Safety issues, and the use of rubber gloves which each student shall wash with detergent containing anti-bacterial and disinfectant before and after the job of looking in the Bins.  Again, first check the School's Rules on students taking part in these latter activities.



FOOD AND LIQUID BINS ~ must be emptied, washed, and sterilized daily.  

Find out whose job that is also, it is a Health and Safety Issue.


Judging by nationwide radio programmes, it appears that many adults put utterly inappropriate and offensive material in their green bins (recycling bins), and that incorrect material is put in the brown (composting material bins) and grey bins (bins for landfill or combustion material).  The fact of misuse of the bins came as no surprize, but the public was shocked to hear dirty disposable nappies were to be found in amongst washed yoghurt cartons, cardboard, newspapers, and magazines in the green recycling bins. 


Young children would love the job of instructing on the appropriate material for the bins at home.  Having learnt the information, and then carried out the job of monitoring the Class bins, they could bring their knowledge and experience home.  They may not be able to manage the size and quantity of material to be put in the bins, but they could supervise the work. They would love this responsible and important job!  


There is also a bonus possibility they could drive the rest of their family bonkers!



The children should be asked to produce POSTERS, specific to a particular bin, once you are happy all the students understand the rules regarding what material goes in which bin. 


These posters will help reinforce the information gained, and will also be part of their 'Artwork', 'Social Studies', 'Environmental Studies'.  


POSTERS should be displayed in the classroom initially, and later kept filed for display at Parent Teacher Meetings, and for inclusion in EACH STUDENT'S PERSONAL FOLDER.








Depending on the set-up of your classroom, and the services provided in the School, you may wish to establish other monitor positions, for the well-organised running of your classroom, and the development of responsibility in the students.



You may have noticed, that apart from giving students useful jobs, which will help them develop independence, responsibility, self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-esteem, having monitors for various jobs will mean you should be spending a good deal less time at the end of every day, tidying up!    









Some days are just like that!

Is it because the sun has come out?   

Because it's Friday? 



Or it's just that everyone in the classroom is jumpy, giddy, not able to concentrate ~ and that includes the teacher!

There is no point in fighting it.  Children will get fed up, and anyway it totally contagious!




Have some calming music at hand in the classroom at all times.  Please do NOT bring in one of those recordings of gently falling water, or the whole class will be heading for the lavatory.


How about some very laid back Reggae, or some smooth and easy Jazz, or some John Field Nocturnes? Whatever you have, whatever you like, that you can bear hearing repeatedly, that is calming and relaxing with a groove, and the children don't give out about. Mix the music up frequently.  

You'll need some back-up selections, in case of rioting on grounds of taste!



Turn on the music quite loud for a short period, to get the attention of all the class, and then lower the volume sufficiently to be heard, when telling them what's happening next.


SAFETY IS YOUR PRIMARY AIM.  You will need to wander around the classroom continually for the duration of the BODY CHECK to make sure everyone is taking it easy, and no-one is straining too hard.  If a child loses the pace, just gently ease him or her back with the rhythm.



(FYI ~ You will be carrying out a Mindfulness Body Check!


These usually last from the toes to the top of the head. However, if you have very young students, leave out some of the exercises because they would lose interest / concentration if you tried a full Body Check.



ON COLD, AND ESPECIALLY WET MORNINGS, consider introducing a mini-Body Check first thing, you can get some circulation going in the feet and hands, and make the children feel warmer and more comfortable.



Also, if you sense that the Body Check has calmed everyone down, and you want to get on with work, you can end it at any time.  I think you should let the class know you will be doing more of this again.



Please don't call them exercisesor a Body Check.  You want the students to feel the music, and become aware of their bodies in a relaxed way. Naming something can sometimes build a barrier. The class will probably come up with its own name anyway, go with that!


Be clear with the students ~ this is NOT a competition, so please don't try too hard. Say the reason the children keep their eyes closed is to help them concentrate on the music and your voice, so that they REALLY experience all the movements fully.



Some children / students may have movement difficulties, make sure they know that this is for relaxation and fun, and they should do the bits they can, and just enjoy the music!)





1.  "Everyone, please take off your shoes, trainers, boots, any other footwear, and leave your socks on." (Some students may need help.)


2.  "Now, everyone please find your most comfortable position, maybe stretching out on your chair, or leaning across the desk, whichever works best for each of you." (The children will change their positions once they get the hang of what's going on.)



3.  Tell the class who the musicians are, and the type of music they are playing, and then say: "Close your eyes, listen to the music, breathe in and out gently, and listen to my voice".



4.  In a steady, slow, relaxing, voice, tell the children: "We are starting with our toes. Wriggle your toes very slowly and gently. Can you feel each toe?  Can you feel your toes rubbing against your socks? Can you wriggle your big toes on their own?" (Let the wriggling go on for about 2 minutes.)



5.  "Now, keep your eyes closed, and keep breathing gently, because we are going to bend our feet slowly, curling them under and then straightening them out." (Count out slowly for three goes.)  "Here we go for the first try; slowly curl your toes under as far as they go without stretching too much, and the slowly uncurl them until they are back to being straight." "Can you feel your skin stretch on the top of your feet as they curl under?" "Do your toes touch the soles of your feet when they curl all the way under?" "Your feet are now feeling really relaxed." (After three stretches we move on. Ask the questions interspersed between the exercises, as your slowcalming, voice will keep the children relaxed, and really feeling what's going on with their feet.)



6.  "Now, lift your feet slightly off the floor so that you can move them around. We're going to pay attention to our ankles. So, eyes shut please; first, give your ankles a gentle shake to loosen them up in time to the music. Then, starting with your left foot, roll your ankle around gently, in as wide a circle you can manage for three turns. Now, have a go with your right ankle, rolling it gently in a circle for three turns also. Now, roll your two ankles at the same time, with the music. It doesn't matter if you roll them both in the same direction, or in different directions. All you have to do is listen to the music and roll your ankles in time with it." (Give everyone about two minutes maximum at this exercise at the start, and extending the period over time.  This is very good for strengthening ankle muscles and keeping supple tendons and ligaments.)



7.  "Now, we're moving up to our knees.  Eyes closed, and breathing gently, try swinging your lower left leg round in a gentle circle from the knee.  Perhaps, if you sit nearer the edge of your chair, you'll get support for your leg, and your knee will be free in the air. With the music, swing your left leg gently around from the knee" (count to ten slowly in your head) "and now, swing your left leg round in the other direction, gently, with the music.  Now, we're going to swing our two legs at the same time, in any direction you like, in time to the music, nice and easy."  (Count to ten slowly in your head and finish this exercise ~ you can start with the right leg next time.)



8.  "Now, is everyone comfortable in the seat?  Snuggle back into it, because we're going to be paying attention to our hip bones and our lower backs.  Keeping your eyes closed, take a few gentle breaths and let the music give you a rhythm. Then, gently, start to roll from your left hip over to your right hip, and then from your right hip over to your left hip.  Think about how you move with a hoolahoop.  Move from side to side and then bring in you lower back so that it moves along also. You'll end up rolling in a circle on your chair, very gently." "Are your hips feeling comfortable?" "Listening to the music, is it like dancing sitting down?" (Let this go on for 2-3 minutes, or longer if the children are really in the groove!)



9.  "Now, listen to the music please, because we are moving to our hands.  Eyes closed, with gentle breathing, lift your hands up in the air and move your fingers gently as if you're playing the keyboard along with the musicians. Use both hands, all your fingers and both thumbs." (They'll play 'air piano' so there is no distracting banging, and it's better for loosening the fingers. Let them have 2-3 minutes playing the keyboard.) "Your fingers and thumbs are now loose and relaxed, so please move up to your wrists and roll them both around, in any direction you like.  Maybe, it's like you're conducting the music."  (Give 4 minutes for the full exercise, for the first go. Smaller children may find the fine motor skills tiring, so spend less time on those with them.)



10. "Now, we're paying attention to our shoulders.  Listen to the music, and start rolling your shoulders to the rhythm It will feel a bit like when you are swimming.  Make sure to go gently, and keep your elbows away from your neighbour. 

Your arms can hang loose by your sides, as your shoulders rise and fall, rise and fall, and go in circles backwards for a bit and then forwards for a bit.  Your shoulders and your back will be relaxed and feeling good. Keep moving with the music and breathing easily." (This is really great for de-stressing everyone, so if the class seems 'blissed-out' let them carry on for a while.  If they go gently with the music, they won't pull anything.)



11.  This exercise would usually involve rotating the head very gently on the neck, and slowly lowering it towards one shoulder and then the other, then down with the chin, and slowly backwards with the head.  It's a marvellous exercise, but I would not include it in a Body Scan unless you know your students very well, bearing in mind some may have physical disabilities, brittle bones, or are just very awkward, as they are still growing, and so keep falling over themselves in the playground. A strained neck is painful.   I'd really steer clear of this one, with students, unless you are totally confident or working with older students who are sufficiently mature.



Maybe, just keep it for yourself as part of your unwinding after a long day! 


Please mind yourself!



My photograph from the garden of crocosmia lying on variegated shrubbery.





This Section is based largely on the work of Caroline Foran, plus various additions from me – please see the reference at the end. **



Podcasts that take one out of one’s own world are a useful and popular escape mechanism.  Audio entertainment encourages one to create one’s own mental imagery.



Having got into bed and settled down, listening to the 'story at bedtime' available on many radio stations, is a super way to close off the cares of the day, and enter the world of the story. I have the BBC World Service playing at a low volume through the night. I don't sleep well and I find the voices a comfort, plus they help me to nod off. I wake up with new snippets of information from far flung places!



How to Live a Stress-Free Life?

We are encouraged to ‘think positively’, ‘be grateful’, eat bowlfuls of quinoa and assume the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk, while simultaneously working as hard as possible, and keeping a correct work / life balance.  



While we might all benefit from a more positive outlook on life, and a healthy sense of perspective, what we really need is fewer of the inspirational quotes and pictures of sunsets, and more practical information.



WHY? If one has a pulse, one is guaranteed to feel stress from time to time.  There’s no getting away from it – it is an evolutionary biological function.  Instead of trying to live a stress-free life, we should just accept it as a part of life and work out ways to deal with it. Stress is a necessary part of our makeup, connected to our 'fight or flee' instincts.



Having given up on the idea of a stress-free life,  which only adds stress as a concept, and as we recognise ‘stress-free’ isn’t possible for us and wonder who on Earth could manage it – the answer is no-one!  If we keep our ideas small, simple, and tangible, we can make the pressures of modern life more manageable.



1.     The 40 Minute Escape

Take something that may be a contributing factor to your stress – such as your daily commute – and rejig it as a positive activity.  Instead of scrolling through your phone from the bus stop to your school / college / university / work, listen to a podcast series or a speaking book instead. This will eliminate the stress aspect of the commute and turn it into a pleasure.  We all love listening to a story.  



If a commute isn’t a significant part of your day, schedule a 40 minute ‘escape’ somewhere else.  The aim is to spend 40 minutes doing something that is in no way part of one’s essential to-do list, but something that’s just for oneself. 



Podcasts and narrated novels that take one out of one’s own world are a popular escape because, unlike with video, audio entertainment encourages one to create a personal mental imagery. 



“Choose something that is character-driven – where one can empathise with characters”, says a study published in ‘The Annals of the New York Academy of Science.


If you take a bus, DART, tube or train on your morning journey, consider getting off a few stops or stages earlier and walking the rest of the way. You'll get your blood flowing, your mind more active, and you'll be ready for work from when you arrive.



WHY?  Because the brain is said to produce more of the neurotransmitter oxytocin. Oxytocin is not only known as the ‘love hormone’, but as one that can induce anti-stress effects such as a reduction in cortisol (the slower-releasing stress hormone) and blood pressure.  Paul Zak, the Director of the Centre for Neuroeconomics at Claremont Graduate University, California, claims that “Oxytocin is also the ‘social glue’ that binds families, communities, and societies, and fosters trust between strangers”.  



2.      The Worry Period

This relates to the ‘positive thinking’ mentality, and the idea that trying not to feel stressed will just make you feel more stressed.  Forcing yourself to squash down your worries and replace them with positive thoughts isn’t a good idea.  Scheduling in a ‘worry period’ is a cognitive behavioural therapy tool that can be a good deal more helpful than it sounds. By allocating oneself a period of time in which to worry, it allows one to express and explore personal concerns, but because it’s controlled by a time frame, it doesn’t veer into catastrophic, ‘my life is out of control’ territory.


When we make a habit of it, we may find that we are less likely to stress about things outside of our worry time, because that is where it happens.


It’s best not to schedule one’s worry period in the evening, near bedtime.  By developing a timetable, allowing oneself to get all of one’s worries out of one’s system, one eventually stops worries from popping up at inopportune times and the stress is a great deal more contained.  Because one is proactively addressing one’s worries, one is in a better position to work out how to deal with them.


Then, when one does go to bed, there are no worries of the day that haven’t already been considered; having already parked them, one is free to relax.



3.      The Social Media Diet

It’s no surprise that social media is one of the biggest contributing factors when it comes to modern day stress.  Aside from the anxiety associated with the physical act of picking up our phones every few minutes and checking on our notifications, social media enables us to engage in an unhealthy amount of social comparison.  And because of the curated nature of social media, the information we are using to measure ourselves against others is more skewed than ever, and rarely attributed.  Someone’s random notion may become an ‘accepted fact’ once it has done the rounds for a couple of days.



Social comparison is almost never a good idea and is usually stress-inducing.  Without even being aware of it, we wind up comparing our ‘every day’ with someone else’s ‘best version ever’.  We should be choosy about our social media, who and what we follow.   If one feels inundated by someone who ‘shares’ every little thing, all day long, drop him or her.  They are taking up too much space in one’s head.  


Avoid social media before bedtime – not just because it affects one’s sleep adversely, but when one is tired one falls into a social comparison trap more easily. 



I have a very unSmart mobile phone, and I don’t feel obliged or regularly prompted to check texts or messages.  I put it on silent when I’m working and after 10.30pm.  I check emails first thing before my working day has started and my personal care and breakfast have finished. I check a couple of times during the day, deleting with as much as possible ~ especially blocking or dumping advertisements or circulars from companies and people of no interest to me, as I go. I set aside about 30 minutes to check my new messages after dinner and look at my inbox on my laptop. I dump all spam and advertisements, I prioritise the emails to deal with for a specific time the next day, having dealt with what can be done handily.  Only if something seems truly urgent will I deal with it immediately.  I never give a general promise to get back to people within 12 or 24 hours. The only people who have that unspoken promise are those closest to me. People may think I'm not giving enough commitment to work. I am. I don't spend any time reading updates on basic 'gossip' or horoscopes, and refuse to develop an interest in 'celebrities'.  


I reckon I actually do more work than many who are forever dipping in and out of their mobile / cell phones or Smartphones, smug as that sounds!


When it comes to the act of social comparison  of which we’re almost all guilty – we should try swapping it for ‘temporal comparison’, a lesser known but far more encouraging tool for self-evaluation put forward by Leon Festinger.  Festinger was an American social psychologist, perhaps best known for his cognitive dissonance and social comparison theory. 



According to the cognitive dissonance theory, there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions (ie, beliefs, opinions).  When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviours (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance.  


Cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance), where we compare ourselves today with how we were in the past.  By doing this, it shifts our thinking from one-upmanship (stress-inducing) to recognising self-improvement.



[Cognition is the mental process involved in knowing, learning, and understanding things, [formal] ... processes of perception and cognition. Synonyms: perception, reasoning, understanding.





4.     The Stress Checker

We tend to lump all stress together ~ but sometimes, with workplace pressures, for example, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.  One needs to recognise when one is experiencing the good kind and the bad kind of stress.  



The good kind is that which psychologists would refer to as 'optimal anxiety' ~ this is when a certain amount of pressure or stress enhances one’s performance and serve one well ~ and the bad kind of stress where performance goes downhill and one’s life is negatively affected.


Are you under pressure because of a looming deadline for a project that you are enthusiastic about?


Do you still want to be here, despite the current stress?


Or are you under pressure because you’re in a demanding role that you do not want to be in?


Is it work that’s causing you to feel stress, or stress in your personal life that is affecting your performance in work?


It helps to monitor your stress with a weekly diary.


When did you feel it more?


What was the trigger?


Was it positive or negative stress?


Even with 'optimal anxiety', you need to check in with yourself – too much of it for too long can turn into the nastier kind.


'Optimal anxiety' should be short-lived (eg, curtailed by a deadline) before you resume an anxiety-neutral state of being.


Understanding the nature of our stresses and following them to their source makes them far easier to deal with.



Caroline Foran is author of ‘Owning It: Your Bullsh*t-Free Guide to Living with Anxiety’ (Hachette) and The Confidence Kit’. ** I have edited and added to Ms Foran's article.



[Additions, plus emboldening, colour, headings, of text were added by me, ICOB.]





Boy with Rubella image. Stock image 123RF.



"Common Arguments Against Vaccination,

And The Answers to Them"



By Dr Ramesh Manocha



Vaccines are among the greatest inventions in the history of medicine. 


They have saved countless lives and reduced human suffering by an amount which is impossible to calculate. However, today there are many rumours and concerns going around about the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations, which have caused many people to reject them. Here, we will consider their questions and answer them as we can.



Vaccines cause autism.

This is a common refrain, but one that has been thoroughly debunked over and over again. There is no evidence showing a connection between vaccination rates and the prevalence of autism. This argument also relies on the idea that suffering the worst effects of these preventable diseases, including death, is preferable to an unsubstantiated increased risk of autism, an extremely controversial idea.



Mercury is dangerous! And it's in the vaccines!

Firstly, that's not quite true: the only thing in the vaccines was Thimerosal, which is not the same as the dangerous mercury you are thinking of. Secondly, the FDA called for (and achieved) the removal of that substance from all vaccines other than the flu shot back in 2001. And if you like your vaccinations like you like your Jamba Juice (i.e. — a la carte), doses without Thimerosal are available if you are really a stickler for it.



- Scotty Hendricks


Download from 'Generation Next'.

Read More: Vaccination 101: Here's Why You Should Vaccinate | Big Think

Dr Ramesh Manocha | July 10, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Tags: vaccinations | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p2buvd-5wy








Best of Luck!

Regards, Iseult

Iseult Catherine O’Brien



If you see any errors, typographical or factual, or if you disagree with any of my ideas, I should be very glad to hear from you.


Please let me know what you think of my ideas ~ if you don't tell me, I won't know if I've gone wrong somewhere!



Email iseultccobrien@gmail.com.


 All my Posts originate in my website,  www.icobrien.com,   "Education Matters".  They are developed, updated, and continually revised.


My LinkedIn account can be found at https://ie.linkedin.com/in/educationbelongs2all






If I quote a person, group, organisation, or establishment, I do my very best to source the material quoted, and to attribute it properly. If I cannot satisfy myself I have found the author or speaker who voiced a quote, I resist using it, no matter how tasty a bite! If I refer in passing to views expressed by others, I attribute the views even if they have not been given verbatim in the text. 


I work on a basis of goodwill and good intentions. I shall make errors, being human, and when I do, I apologise now, and should always welcome a correction, which I would insert in the relevant Post prominently, in clear unambiguous text and type, repeating the apology. That's is the best I can do!