If you don’t change yourself you will never realise what you can become

If you don’t change yourself, you will never realise what you can become in the future. We are almost at New Year. This is a perfect time to stop, think and change.

In your career, you will probably have three different big career changes. It is through changing that you can see what your potential actually is. I trained as a scientist, worked my way up through teaching and would love to find a decent online income so I could stop and retire. I would love to go back to nature and get Romanian wild life back into shape.

However, as I have learnt to my cost, it is important to make the changes to your life slowly. You need one income source while building up the second life style. If you rely on the income from an online life, you also need a second steady income to make sure that when the website traffic dries up such as over summer holidays, you have money in the bank.

The best and only long lasting changes come from within. If you don’t change yourself, then you will simply slip back into your bad old ways as soon as the pressure of supervision has been removed. So start small and repeat the activity you want to happen for 30 days. It will become just part of your habit. If won’t feel difficult. It is amazing (I find) how time just seems to present itself.

My simplest example is this blog. I started it when I was very busy. I have done it every day since. It is a lot of fun to do. I have no idea where this blog will lead me or who it may connect me to. I know if you don’t change yourself, then you are simply not opening yourself to new opportunities and chances. Ou have no idea where your online words go to or if they hit the right person at the right time. The lovely thing about online words are they become permanent. Somewhere online, you will always find echoes of your thoughts. You will be able to re-read an earlier version of you and go wow I have really grown and developed since then.

You also need to realise that change is hard. The older you get, the harder things become. However ad j have said, if you don’t change you will never realise what you can become. All that knowledge, all that experience and creativity. If you funnel all this passion into a new direction, you could totally change the world. You can change the people around you!For all you know, you could be that rock in a tranquil pool. The person to send tipples of influence across the spiritual cosmos. Just by changing yourself.

You must also support and encourage change in others. Change is always good. Change shakes things up and lets things fall in a new order. My son is constantly changing and pushing boundaries. He has short lived passions but this is great. He learns so much from those short burst of passion. At the moment all the local birds have descended to my garden as I’m the only person feeding them I have clouds of birds around me all day. Every day, new species. Species I have never seen before in my garden, arrive. Yesterday it was the goldfinch and the red crossbill. Some birds I love, such as my great tits and blue tits. Some I don’t, such as the funny but very messy sparrows. But all of this is changing me. I now look and wonder how I can further change my garden to encourage even more wild life in.

Change will come from a thousand different directions. It could come from a book you read. I was changed yesterday from simply reading the book Vagina. It explained so much about a part of the woman’s body I never knew. Then again as 60% of British women couldn’t accurately name their own body parts such as the Vagina and Vulva, I was in good company. It was amazing to read and a real eye opener. The funny thing being it couldn’t be too precise as it pointed out as every woman is different and unique, there is no normal. Your organism will be completely different to another woman’s. But both are completely normal.

The next book on my list is how to reduce the amount of plastic I consume. It is interesting as I reuse my plastic bottles as mini greenhouses. I use them to help me grow more trees and plants. I also actively resist buying flat water as I use the tap. The rest of the Romanians have no faith in Romanian tap water. I am however happy to buy and drink sparkling water. So I’m curious about changing more.

And finally, if you don’t change yourself you can’t take advantage of changes happening around you. Look at all the changes which have happened over the last 20 years. It is a completely new world now. From bed, I access a faster internet. My latest phone and Amazon kindle both have more power and more memory than anything else I have ever owned. It is only by making changes in my life that I will be able to access these new features. By changing how I do things I will be able to do more.

While I was getting excited with this post. Something struck me. We are all changing. However some of our changes have been bad changes. The number of people texting at the dinner table, the reduction in physical meetings with friends and a bigger online interaction, with smaller offline interactions are a change I would like to see less of. So remember if you don’t change yourself back to your older way of life now and again, you will also be missing out on things, friends and a richer offline life.

Don’t try to be perfect – just try to be better than you were

Today I would like to tell you to don’t try to be perfect, just try to be better than you were. This is something you need to apply to all aspects of your life. From home to work. Love life to parenting.

Don’t try to be perfect – just try to be better than you were

Perfection takes a tremendous amount of effort. The closer you get to perfection, the smaller the return for same amount of effort. You could teach 100% perfect lessons. Observed-lesson standards. However, the price for doing so would be horrific. You would be up all night preparing. Making every lesson whizz-bang-pop. Even worse, to keep the kids interest. Every lesson would need to be even more attention grabbing than the last to keep up. You can’t have perfection in everything so perfect lessons would mean a less than perfect home life, less than perfect sleep etc. The answer is to take a step back and focus on being the best you can be and to learn from your mistakes so you are better than you were.

Don’t try to be perfect – Just be yourself and that’s all you need to do.

This is why people date furiously in their 20s. In your 20s you will have more close friends than you will ever have again. People are out to find the perfect partner. Perfect experience. You are constantly experimenting with the new adult you. I rarely managed to get past 6 weeks in a relationship. If the woman wasn’t a perfect fit in every way. Why bother? I did get better at dating with each try. I never got to perfect. Then I married and realised that you will never reach perfection as now there are way too many conflicting interests within the relationships.

Everyone has their own idea of who you are and how you fit into their lives. It is physically impossible to be everyone’s perfect pal. I learnt don’t try to be perfect. Just me. I now let others tackle BBQs and practical stuff such as carr and electrical problems. My perfect skills are in tea making and keeping kids occupied.

People then start to imagine the perfect lover. This is where things just get more and more absurd. This is because people’s sexual tastes are so diverse. Some people think getting strangled is a great idea. Others would call the police if you tried. Being the best you can be is simply paying attention to what is happening between you and making sure both feel well. I love getting better at this but sometimes the perfect intimate moment can just be cuddling up with a movie.

Being the perfect parent is impossible – just relax and all will be well.

Likewise, I don’t try to be perfect as a father. There are way too many different issues I can’t resolve. I try to be consistent and my son and I actively enjoy our technological races. For example, I will find a way of blocking his Internet access… within a day he will have cracked the child protection code, deleted or corrupted the software or found a spare SIM card which gives him endless internet. I realize that 99% of kids turn out perfectly well, no matter what happens to them. What I have learnt is I now just try to be better. I watch him more closely, spend more time trying to get him off the tablet and let him know he is lived. This is the best I can do.

Don’t try to be perfect in anything. If you wait until you are perfect, you will miss so many great opportunities to be better than you were. I tried to become a YouTube star and ofef to.e my videos got better. However, YouTube videos worth making take too long for me and that is why I moved onto blogging. I think my blogging posts are getting better, but they will never be perfect. A perfect blog would only focus on the keywords people are searching on Google. This is great but then again, where is the fun, the spontaneity?

You will become better at everything as you go through life. It’s like riding a bike. At first, everything is really hard to coordinate together. Over time, your confidence improves and things get easier. You get better. You become better than you were.

Imagine life as a garden – the messy confusion of a wild garden hides far more treasures and joys than a perfect, tidy one.

I live next door to my wife’s perfect garden. Not a leaf is out of place. Every flower knows when and how to blossom. It is a total marvel. Naturally the man is there all day working. I don’t try to be perfect. My garden is a mess. A chaotic mess. Plants which survive are encouraged. Plants which don’t are tried a few more times until I find something else to do there. The weird thing is, despite all of this, it is my garden which has the flocks of birds constantly feeding there, it is my garden with the squirrels and weird fruit combinations. It gets better every year. So be like my garden don’t be perfect. Just try to be better every year. Your character will become more complex, richer and more interesting and that is more than enough for anyone.

Keep your head up high – I know you are amazing!

Keep your head up high when everyone else is losing there. Comment below what this phrase means to you. Be proud in what you are doing and enjoy your minor successes.

Keep Your Head Up High – You are awesome!

In teaching, you will find some who seem to make it their life’s work to make everyone below them feel unappreciated . Somewhere along the way, they entered the rat race to get to the top. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to lead, I just kind of floated to the top due to years of teaching experience. The skill is to remember that most of their anger and disappointment probably is coming from a part of their life you are blissfully unaware of. It could be a financial crisis, romantic disaster or an on-coming mental breakdown. The chances that you are their real focus is small.

Keep your head up high – What you do and teach really matters on a daily basis.

Teaching fashions regularly change. They switch from student self discovery to talk and chalk, to topic work, to individual subjects and back again. If you find the system that works for you, then hold onto it. Keep your head up high and do your best. I have discovered there is no such thing as a perfect educational system. The educational system is simply a reflection of society. The Japanese have a hard working culture, so the intensive school reflects it. The British don’t know if they are coming or going, and guess what, they have an educational system to match. I know of long term teachers who have never changed their teaching approach been the leading edge three or four times in their career.

Accept the things you can’t change – you can only do so much.

The British invest less and less into education, have buildings in a state of disrepair and a staffing crisis. The education system is suffering and the teachers are expected to fill the gaps. Headteachers work as the school plumbers and gardeners, and there is huge levels of stress all around. This is where people say and do negative things. They do it unthinkingly and you should take their anger in your stride. As the famous poem says. Listen to the dull and ignorant, they to have their story. However avoid aggressive and loud people, they are a vexation to the spirit. What was true 100 years ago is still true today…

A poem you need to listen to.

You can only create the smallest microcosm of calm and security in your own classroom. Keep your head up high as you are possibly the only adult the children seen in the day who actually has confidence in what the kid is achieving. There are desperately sad stories of children in every classroom. The scale of poverty on the UK is breathtaking. A country which once controlled a quarter of the world’s landmass and most of the seas has been reduced to not being able to prevent poverty and share wealth.

Keep your head up high – the worst is yet to come!

It will become worse as Brexit bites and the Conservatives, now with a freer hand than ever, cuts public spending. The perfect place for a school would be on a bridge. I’ve noticed there is no limit to the levels of funding for crazy ideas. Imagine a school stretching from Ireland to Scotland or perhaps for a simpler primary school, just build it directly over the Thames or between Southampton and the Isle of Wight.

Give yourself a much needed pep talk today!

Be proud of yourself – you are ama

In addition to being proud of your school achievements, be proud of who you are. Keep your head up high when you tell people you are a teacher. Without teachers, there would be no doctors, engineers or scientists. You will probably contribute to someone’s great discovery further down their career track. At the same time, I really do recommend you look at developing a passive, second income so when you can take class life no more, you have a nice income elsewhere.

I have been motivated to do this after reading a scary book on city air pollution. I realise I should be trying to move out of Bucharest and into the countryside. However, unlike in Britain, where the rich live in the countryside, it is the opposite case in Romania. So I need to first find a way to survive on my ecological based farm.

Take joy in your plans and the wonderful world around you.

Every year my farm has improved in terms of conditions for wildlife. Today I went out and discovered 20 sparrows roosting in the tree next to my kitchen. I’ve discovered that as birds pass by, they now stop and feed here in ever growing numbers. Sparrows are new to me. Until now, I’ve only had wonderful, vibrant coloured great tits and blue tits.

In the same way, at school, students who visit our school stay on. I teach my children that they must keep their heads up and simply believe in themselves. They then develop skills faster and feel the positive feedbacks of learning – Sucess – and learning more.

Keep your spirits up with a happiness journal.

If you are having difficulty in keeping your spirits up and self-confidence booming like mine, then there is a simple solution. Buy the prettiest looking journal you can find. Every day for 1 month write down the following things. 3 things you are grateful for, one good deed you have actively done, one reconnection you have made in your social network (the 5 minute stroke) where you have written to long forgotten friend or someone you don’t normally praise and one piece of active exercise. After a week you will really feel the difference. You will feel happier, stronger and a lot more appreciated. I do it every so often and I have always been well rewarded for my efforts.

Accept you can only change in a positive place, willing to allow you to change.

If you live or work in a completely negative environment, move on – it helps you to Keep your head up high. If you find you are always in negative relationships or have a terrible boss then look inside. The chances are you are bringing the negative cloud with you. It is here you need to focus for your own mental wellbeing. Develop a more positive approach to what you do and be grateful for all you have and it will become easier over time.

Finally, you need to keep your head up high, and remember not to wait for the storm to pass. Instead you need to learn how to dance in the rain and discover opportunities for your positivity to shine through. Life will always throw you unexpected turns. Your job is to turn lemons into lemonade, and make use of every chance you have to grow and develop into the best version of you that you can be. Smile, have a lovely day and be great. I know that you already are.

Let’s start the journey – Let the adventure begin!

Let’s start the journey together in 2020. I am trying to find as many reasons to be happy in the classroom as I can. My blog is a mix of teaching ideas, product reviews and lots of wide ranging philosophical thoughts about life, teaching and the environment.

Any school wanting to link up directly to my school, a COBIS member, can contact me (Peter Fogarty) through my office email address at contact@misb.ro. Anyone wanting to learn about life in Romania as part of their project for example or simply loves the same things as I write about, such as focusing on teacher happiness, a more inclusive curriculum or working with environmental issues with their classes, as welcome to suggest joint projects to us.

Let’s start the journey – 7 Ways to happiness.

There is so much to do this year. We all need to get with the program and discover ways of doing more for less. I am waiting for 400 tree seeds to arrive, plus of course oak and horse chestnut seeds which are already kicking around the house. In addition, another 400 seeds for my bushes and cuttings from plants I already have. My kids are going to join me on my experiments in making my school, especially my class, which I’ve already drilled into their 8 year old impressionable heads is theest in the world. It is all to do with a sense of pride. My class are insanely self confident. We will be growing plants for the school garden… their own homes and anywhere else I can get away with brightening up… such as just outside the school, in the street.

Let’s start the journey within the classrooms.

Likewise, let’s start the journey inside the classroom. Let’s make learning more fun, exciting and inclusive than it has ever been before. Let’s all aspire to be greater teachers. I am not asking people to work harder… teachers are too good at that already, more a change in direction. To work smarter and remember why we became teachers in the first place.

In addition, let’s start the journey into improving our mental well-being in the classroom. Let’s find ways of being more grateful for what we have and happier within ourselves.

On a daily basis I will be there for you. Every step of the way, I am your very own, personal cheerleader. I want 2020, as the phrase from the options go, to be the year that you see things with amazing clarity. The year you let go of the past, forgive others and instead join me on a wonderful adventure into the future.

Can you help me add Amazon Kindles to my classroom?

Incidentally, should you be feeling generous and want to help me launch my latest crazy idea, here it is. I have discovered the joy of the latest Amazon Kindles. Using a class set of Amazon Kindle 7s, I believe I could create complete free reading scheme for my class of 8 kids. I tried this before, years ago with earlier editions of Kindles and it worked. The latest version however making finding and installing books a complete breeze. They are lightweight, sturdy and come in child friendly colours. Anyone wanting to buy me a Amazon Gift voucher to help me is welcome to. You can send the gift voucher directly to admin@FirstMaths.com. This would mean we could access English language books and the kids would have fun on the tablets. I also love Kindles as they come with inbuilt dictionaries.

Come and comment daily on my teaching and life ideas.

Let’s make 2020 the year where the primary teaching community joins me on my adventure. All my thoughts and ideas will be put down here, using some simple prompts. Think of your own crazy dreams and ambitions and try to put some of them I to action as well.

The first crazy action should be about reconnection. Think about a lost love, someone who is still dancing in the back of your mind and reach out and say hi to them. I believe we are all permanently interconnected and the people who mean something to you will always be linked to you in some way or another. You just need to reach out, stroke those whispery almost invisible bonds and watch them jump back to life, like some sleeping neurons. They will extend and strengthen your social support network and bring you happiness.

Gratefulness brings happiness

However, with these words of encouragement, come words of caution, before relaunching into renewed friendship, set the boundaries. Old loves are fabulous to you. However, you need to bear in mind and be completely open to both life partners or confusion will reign and the happiness effect will evaporate.

Focus on spending time away from technology.

Also make this the year you use your tablets and mobile phones less outside work. Let’s start the journey of a life back to the 1980s, where being with friends meant actually having physical friends you saw, connected to and spoke to. Get back to writing physical letters and sending real photos. Think how many photos which have been taken on your phone will never be seen again. Curiously, scientists predict we are entering a new dark age simply because everything is electronic and the electronic formats keep changing making it impossible for your future generations to access them.

So what are you waiting for? We are off to great places, we will move mountains together. Let’s begin the journey today! Click and subscribe for your daily inspirational blog ideas.

Self Love Great Medicine – Love comes from within.

Today I want to discuss the phrase self love great medicine. Does self love bring joy or narcissism?

What do you see in the mirror?

I guess that the answer is a bit of both. You need to have a self love. If you don’t love yourself, loving others with a true feeling of passion and awareness becomes much more challenging. Teachers are particularly good at looking at themselves and picking themselves to pieces over their perceived failings in the classroom. Here is an odd thing which has happened over the last 40 years. 40 years ago, when I was a school kid, the student was responsible for their own grades. If a kid worked, he got rewarded. If he didn’t, then he got in trouble. The same with the parents. Parents were responsible for making sure all the work got done. The teacher (who incidentally only influences the academic outcome by 3-5%) was simple the conduit of knowledge.

Self Love Great Medicine – Be a kid’s role model.

Self Love Great Medicine – Love your teaching style

Now all has been flipped on its head. The teacher is now responsible for the grades and progress. The kid and his long hours on the X-box and tablet, is not. Likewise the parents point out they need to work and have no time for their kids homework. The big school bosses still need to focus on progress and achievement. So pressure come to the teacher from above, below and all around.

This is where the self love great medicine chant comes in. You, as a teacher, need to do what you can do. No matter what, you need to deliver the information in as many ways as you think might stick. You need to remain true to your teaching style. Mimicking another teacher doesn’t work. It just makes you look false, insecure and you need to do double the work of a natural of that style. You also need to keep a healthy life – work balance.

Sometimes it is good to keep your talents hidden.

However the self love great medicine idea does have flaws in it. If you think you are a fabulous guitar player or musician, you might want to throw some music into the curriculum. However, you need to draw a line at a little and a ‘look at me, I love myself and I’m so cool’. Sometimes too much self love can detract from the message you are trying to send to the class.

Here is another I interesting question, surely our self love is what go us into the environmental mess we are now in. It is a mix of feeling depressed and trying to cheer ourselves up with consumer goods and thinking we are lively and deserve to treat ourselves with yet more consumer goods that has left us drowning in plastic.

Rewarding ourselves less might bring more planet self-love.

By thinking we are great and showering self love through consumer goods, what we are really doing is polluting somewhere far away for something destined within a year or two for our own landfills. There your folly will sit for a few thousand years before being dug up by future archeologists looking for a new fuel source such as converting old plastic into oil. This is particularly true for fast fashion. Likewise for children’s fads and phases.

We need to stop thinking small. Our self love great medicine ideas should be extended to the planetary system in general. Our self love should extend to living as simply as we can. Try using as few resources as you can and recycling and upcycling on a daily basis.

This year my self-contained greenhouses which require no additional watering will be adding a constant supply of tree seedlings to my local area.

Every home regardless of size should grow at least some of it’s own food, from commonly used garden herbs to a few tomatoes in a pot. By growing them, people get into the habit of realising everything worthwhile takes effort. By growing more from scratch, the general population may waste less food. In addition, you will know exactly how organic your food is.

You are beautiful – Believe me!

Lets encourage self love in the young, let them know they are beautiful and the beauty comes from within and in many different forms. Discourage over indulgent self love in adulthood and finally we have the perfect answer to the famous phrase, self love great medicine!

Your love is the most important for me

Dear Earth, your love is the most important to me. If you were writing a letter to planet Earth what would you say?

In the last 48 years, since I have lived, this dear old Earth has completely changed. I am a huge Thomas Hardy fan, and while I wouldn’t want to live in the abject poverty of many of his characters, I would love to have had the consistency of climate and knowing everything would remain exactly how it was throughout my life.

When I moved to Romania in 2002, there was 1 metre of snow in the capital city, Bucharest. The last snow to fall there before Christmas was in 2012. The Aztecs predicted great change in 2012. See, they were right! Now, even in the depths of the country, in the deepest of winter, it is like Spring here. My garden is full of Great Tits and the occasional Blue Tits, tree creeper and long tailed tit. It could be because I’m the only person I know who actually feeds the birds around here. Sadly, I am now just waiting for the year we get zero snow in Romania. It will easily be within my lifetime.

Dear birds, your love is the most important for me

Speaking of birds, did you know that since I was born, over 60% of animal biomass has disappeared. All the fabulously common animals have suddenly become rare. I am now working hard to change my countryside place, famous for the smell of pesticide in the air during the summer months, into an eco-zone. According to good practice, I carefully collect my leaves and dead plants to make a huge compost heap then fight off the locals who want to burn it. I carefully select the mix of plants my insects and birds need and get told off for having a ‘weed filled’ garden. However I do admit being only a weekend gardener is much harder work.

I am also a keen lover of insects – any size and colour will do.

Dear insects, your love is the most important for me. It is such a shame you cannot be around more often. In a recent German survey, double checked and confirmed in other countries, 75% of flying insects are no more, compared to when I was born. These days, spotting a butterfly in the garden is a ‘wow, quick, come and see!’ moment rather than a normal event. As you can imagine, as my house is surrounded by trees sprayed with a gay abandonment of insecticides, it makes life even harder.

Curiously, the trees here are so pathetic that if you don’t spray them, they simply curl up and die in a year or two. I am all for this personally, as I am replacing them with things which grow without being looked after. This year sees me starting my own trend plantations. I will try to grow oak, horse chestnut, lime trees and my absolute favourite, the mulberry tree. Apparently if you can get the mulberry tree to grow, it rapidly becomes a great weed. Which suits me fine as I love mulberries and know that my bird friends will also love it.

I don’t want to disappoint future activists but I don’t agree with them either.

To keep things happy in the home, I was banned from talking to my niece about the climate change. I think we have gone beyond tipping point and see no real political will to change things. Every year, despite the obvious climate changes, bush fires and huge glaciers melting, the amount of carbon dioxide will go up.

To reduce and save the planet, everything around us would have to become sustainable. This means no tropical fruits, such as oranges, bananas and mangoes. We should ban private cars. This saves energy in both making and using them. Plus the batteries for them use exceptionally precious metals. Did you know there is an organized crime system based entirely on stealing the catalyst converters at the back of hybrid cars for their precious metal content.

Even those not in cars, such as cyclists and pedestrians due to the micro particles in air from fossil fuel combustion. Likewise the amount of micro plastics floating around is just scary.

How will I face a hotter future?

So I am more into an adaptive way of thinking. I have bought up enough land for me and my family. Every year I try my hand at growing stuff. Every year I fail in a whole different way. I have discovered almost all seeds I try to buy from the UK, a cool damp climate, and plant in Romania (hot, dry climate) fail. Every year I promise myself I will buy local next year. Another ‘must try’ idea pops into my head annually. Last year it was the three sisters method. You grow pumpkins, sweetcorn and beans together. It failed. The beans grew way to powerfully, pulling down the sweetcorn and then smothering the pumpkins. This year they will all be well way from each other.

Then, as the systems fail, the local Romanians are moving abroad for a better life. This means I need to get out and work in the fields, which I love. It also means we now are having an influx of Vietnamese workers replacing them which almost certainly causes problems back at their homes. Who works as their doctors, nurses and handymen?

Working online could solve a lot of problem. However, it would make new ones too.

I am now dreaming of a time I can work online and downsize even more. The problem is online work is not reliable. My income rises and falls in waves.

At the end of the day, I want to be able to look my child and future grandchildren in the eye and say ‘Your love is the most important for me’ and mean it. Accept that some places will be really badly hit, the poorest will suffer disproportionately and know you tried. Apparently the only path to climate mental well being is living the best life possible. Living kindly. If you live like you want to. You are a model to others, and will be happy in your own skin. You can’t change others buy gluing yourself to cars or demanding other countries don’t have the same living standards as you as they arrived to late at the table. It would be like telling them they can’t have their own industrial revolution because you had one and have dibs on it.

Write in the comments section your thoughts about the changing environment. How you would change our lovely planet for the better?