Day 365 of 365 2 years in song! Teachmeet, the opera album!

Today marks two years of posting something on my blog every day – 730 consecutive days.

Not only have there been regular daily posts, three weekly ones too, but also those little extras at the seasonal time of year, namely 12 sparkly heels and my support for The Florin Street Band 100 days leading up to Christmas.

With all of these little extras, this post clocks up 916 posts in two years.

In amongst all of this have been several teachmeets and conferences. What has been particularly special is being invited to ‘write a squawk’ for several of these occasions.

Below is a copy of every song shared at a teachmeet, a conference or through another’s blog.

I look fORRward to writing something for NORRthern Rocks 15 again this year – already have an idea in mind.

I’ve had the privilege of working with several folk on Twitter reviewing book proposals, writing reviews for books avout to be published as well as being able to be an ear supporting leadership, teaching and learning as well as being there.

Here’s to a happy new year for you all and I’ll see you shORRtly!

After two whole years of posting a little something every single day, several topics have found themselves posted as a song. Here’s the entire collection over the last two years.

What is a teachmeet?

Top ten blogs +

92 people to follow on Twitter

The OFSTED aria

Pedagoo Sunshine

Auld Lang Ofsted

An ode to all head teachers

12 shoes of Christmas

12 days of Christmas my head teacher gave to me

Farewell Bev Evans

Here’s to teaching and learning

Education alphabet

Here’s to leadership

While teachers marked their books

Digitally confident

Twas the night befORR Christmas
http://audioboom.com/RachelOrr

ORRsome blog posts from the week that was Week 52

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It’s week 52!

52 weeks of ORRsome blog posts hitting timelines.

There have been some amazing reads over the year.

Tom Sherrington
http://headguruteacher.com/2014/12/23/12-joyous-moments/

http://headguruteacher.com/2014/12/29/looking-back-on-2014/

Teacher Toolkit
http://teachertoolkit.me/2014/12/24/the-power-of-not-yet-by-teachertoolkit/

http://teachertoolkit.me/2014/12/28/who-i-am-what-i-do-by-teachertoolkit/

http://teachertoolkit.me/2013/08/15/everything-indexed-teachertoolkit/?utm_content=bufferc1910&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Sue Cowley
http://suecowley.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/the-nurture-1415-collection/

Stephen Lockyer
http://staffrm.io/@mrlockyer/PJfhcEfPC7

Lisa Ashes via Martyn Reah
http://martynreah.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/teacher5aday-for-geek-teachers-with-children-lisa-jane-ashes-lisajaneashes/

Tim Taylor
http://www.thinking-about-education.co.uk/a-second-year-with-cancer-nurture1415-imagineinquiry/

Kev Bartle
https://dailygenius.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/stop-the-ride-i-dont-wanna-get-off/

Gwen Nelson
http://takenoheedofher.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/nurture-1415.html

Martin Robinson
http://martinrobborobinson.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/bearing-gifts-we-traverse-afar-a-trivial-christmas-wish/

The Primary Head
http://theprimaryhead.com/2014/12/23/that-was-the-year-that-was/comment-page-1/

Claire Constantopoulos
https://constantopoulosclaire.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/nurture14-its-been-a-funny-year/

Laura Mcinerney
http://lauramcinerney.com/2014/12/24/think-like-an-education-secretary-gove-and-morgans-2014-reading-list/?utm_content=bufferaa3c8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Sue Cowley
https://suecowley.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/nurture-1415/

Mark Healy
https://cijane02.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/nurture1415-2/

Lynne Moore
http://villageschoolhead.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/sponges.html?m=1

It’s in my nature to nurture! #nurture1415 MORR ghosts of the past and present!

Be you. Be yourself and stay true to yourself.

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I joined in with the ORRiginal nurture posting in 2012/2013 and as did everyone else in that ORRiginal round, followed the plan of 12 reflections and 13 hopes etc….

It came to the start of 2013/2014, revisited my own post and many mORR joining in the nurture blogging. I hadn’t even looked at my ORRiginal nurture once since writing it.

I reflected on that year and wrote this for 2013/2014.

I couldn’t, and perhaps mORR impORRtantly, wouldn’t set myself goals, targets or whatever you choose to call them for 2013/2014.

I haven’t read it since it was written and surprise myself at its content.

“””So, now you’re wondering what my hopes for 2014 are?

I haven’t any. Or, perhaps, I’m not going to set myself any. I want to live, to be, to grow, to laugh, to love and to care without any conditions.

I’m not one for new year resolutions anymore. I used to say I’d stop biting my nails and it never happened. I’d make that resolution every year and I didn’t stop biting my nails. I once sang with a chap on stage and he had to hold my hand. He looked at my nails, bitten as far down as possible, and commented, ‘haven’t you got horrible stumpy hands’. My initial thought was to lamp him one and knock him into next week. I didn’t. I didn’t need a resolution to help me stop biting my nails for 27 years. Just someone to notice.

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Means I can share three generations on one hand – Mum, grandma and great grandmother. Special.

Nails still not bitten 29.12.14
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So, I’m not going to make any new year resolutions.

I made a really great new friend in the last few months of 2013. Followed for a while on twitter simply because of another head teacher connection and equally a footie fan – not my team, however. But that doesn’t matter. Batting for the same team does not secure a friendship.

A new special friend who has inspired me. An amazing person who has entered my life and for whom I feel like the big sister and pair of ears. I believe in angels and know I had an amazing guardian angel watching over me last year. Perhaps I will be a guardian angel too.

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Inspired me to look at who I am, what I stand for, how lucky I am and makes me think mORR about what I can do for others and make their lives better. I am incredibly fortunate. I have no need to moan, to whinge or to be ungrateful. My new friend is ORRsome. I am in awe of them. Their selflessness. Their determination. Their perseverance. Their freedom.

2014 is going to be ORRsome!

We share the same care for our family.

My Dad is now 88. Fab Christmas together even though he and my Mum have had a difficult year. I am who I am because of them.

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I’m not making a list of 14 hopes because if they are meant for me, they will happen. The is not to stay there won’t be goals to aim for and targets to be achieved. I’m simply not pinning my colours to that mast.

I’m not going to set myself a target or a time limit on what I want to achieve.

I know if I am determined enough to go after something, nothing will stop me and I don’t need to have it spelled out in order to do it.

Those who know a little bit mORR about me will know my life has travelled at an incredible pace this last year. Perhaps too fast a pace and taking on too much. I know I burn the candle at both ends. There are some things I can’t or won’t change but there are others I will work harder at.

I simply want to be.

Go with the flow.

Let life happen.

I know what I’d like but if think about it too much, will it happen?

If it is meant to be for me, it will be, if it is meant to be for others around me, it will happen.

I’ve worked a year with deadlines, timescales, pushed myself, pushed others – and now it is time to let life just be.

My hopes for 2014 are not for me.

My hopes are for those who need and deserve them.

I am fortunate enough to know what I have is enough and what I am is enough. My faith gives me that.

Keep well.

Be yourself.

Believe in you.

Laugh

Love.

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I’m free!

Walk a mile in my shoes.

Be happy. Be content. Love your life.”””

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So what next?

2014/2015 Here’s to us!

It’s now the end of 2013/2014 and a new day, a new year is about to begin and I am part of it. For that I am truly thankful.

Life is for living. Give what you can! It’s about being alive!

Again, I don’t propose to follow any rules. It’s in my nature to nurture but I do know I fORRget to make sure I plan enough ‘me time’.

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My hopes are always for those who are really in need. I live a good life. I have mORR than the basics. I am truly blessed.

It comes down to identifying needs over wants. We always want, want, want but do we truly think about what we need?

My needs aren’t things but warmth, love, thoughtfulness, kindness, humility, being valued, having purpose and doing the best I can with what I have.

Selflessness.

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Just because I choose not to set goals or aspirations doesn’t mean I have them. I simply don’t want to pin my colours to the mast and drive in a direction when life for me doesn’t follow that path. I like the journey to vary and to take on new challenges as they appear or indeed as they are thrown at me.

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I want to listen to my heart in order to nurture my soul.

BREATHE

I am thankful that I have good health and wake up breathing every day. I’m sure most of us go to bed knowing we will be breathing the next day. We go to bed planning the next day. My hopes are for those who have uncertainty about ‘the next day’. My Dad is 89. He is my best friend. Every day we both wake up is a gift.
We have 455 little breathing souls in our care each day. In my last DHT post, the HT (huge inspiration to me) said at the end of each day, week, term, year – all our children left our care safely. We’ve done our job! Something that stays with me daily.

FEEL

We all have feelings. They get quite a beating. There are times when my feelings can get the better of me and they simply come pouring out. We need days like that. It shows we are not machines who can keep going like the Duracell bunny.
It’s impORRtant to watch out for those moments in others where feelings are being given a battering. Be mindful of how these feelings are treated and definitely not judged. In my nature to notice and nurture.
Look after your staff and they will look after you. That has become mORR apparent in my new post where our ethos has evolved over the year and a term. We are a caring staff. We look after and out for each other. Harmonious times – mostly. Not always, though. Strong feelings need to form to deal with those situations where the buck stops with you, as HT. However, we get through them by putting kids first and at the centre of all we do.

CRY

Who doesn’t have a good cry every now and again? When was the last time you sobbed uncontrollably over something major but equally something quite trivial?
I love a good weepy movie or even a feel good one where the tears flow for sheer happiness.
Crying is ok. It’s allowed.

LAUGH

It’s nice when someone says they love how you laugh even if at times they says it a nORRty laugh!
Laugh every day. Best medicine ever. How often do you make others laugh? Are there things you do quite naturally that others love that make them laugh?
by December 31st 2013 I had uploaded a blog post every single day for an entire year. I pushed myself to do it and it was a real challenge. There were times I could have missed a day but the pressure I put on myself, as well as what I perceived others would think if I didn’t post, really did stretch me to the limit at times.
I chose this year to share something to make you smile every day. This still snowballed a little into a day posting ORRsome blog posts as well as a week in my shoes. We do put pressure on ourselves unnecessarily. Time to listen to my heart a little mORR in ORRder to nurture my soul.

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My hopes for 2015 are to breathe, feel, cry and laugh. To be fully alive.

My Mum often shares this quote:-

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It’s been a year of excitement, new opportunities, new songs, amazing family times as well as knowing others have been inspired, influenced, supported, valued and simply wanted.

New Year’s Eve will see the blogging changes, what I’ll keep, what I’ll let go. And sometimes you do have to let it go.

New faces have entered my life either via Twitter, through teachmeets and simply just by being out there.

They have got under my skin, been there for different reasons, wanted me to be there for them when needed as well as simply time to chat and laugh.

I’ve always professed to be a little bit of a control freak as well as OCD. Although, if I were truly OCD, I’d be CDO!!!

Sometimes allowing someone else to take control or something else you can’t control takes you out of your comfort zone and that’s a good thing.

I will always be me. I want to be the best me possible. I will push myself, accept the challenges, keep focused when needed and do the same for others.

I hope others are inspired to be the best version of themselves too.

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I simply am what I am!

It’s Monday! The last of 2014

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It’s Monday and the last one of 2014.

I love Mondays. They are always a positive start to the week and it’s impORRtant to think of them them in that way.

This is probably the 52nd Monday of 2014. What will the new year bring every Monday. Wait and see.

Keep being you!

Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better, best!

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“Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present.”

Roger Babson

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

Mark Twain

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“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

Vince Lombardi

“Success is about creating benefit for all and enjoying the process. If you focus on this & adopt this definition, success is yours.”

Kelly Kim

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“I used to want the words ‘She tried’ on my tombstone. Now I want ‘She did it.’”

Katherine Dunham

“Really it comes down to your philosophy. Do you want to play it safe and be good or do you want to take a chance and be great?”

Jimmy J

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“It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

J. K Rowling

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

Albert Einstein

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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Harriet Tubman

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

Bruce Lee

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“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

Swami Vivekananda

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”

Dale Carnegie

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“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

Jim Rohn

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

Ayn Rand

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“If you genuinely want something, don’t wait for it – teach yourself to be impatient.”

Gurbaksh Chahal

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.”

Robert Kiyosaki

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“If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you!”

T. Harv Eker

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

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A week in my shoes 20th-26th December 2014

Aside

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It’s Friday. It’s Boxing Day.

How was your Christmas week?

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Car valeted, wine delivery taken and just the Sainsburys order to arrive this weekend.

Late visit from ASDA at 11.30pm with the rest of the vino ORRder they FORRgot to deliver last night!

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Monday

Three trees and four nativities!
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Tuesday

Lovely day spent with sister, brother in law and my eldest nephew who made a surprise visit.

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Wednesday
Great fun with 12 sparkly heels of Christmas – the full set of sparkly heels!
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Wonderful Christmas Eve singing O holy night in my own church at midnight mass.

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Thursday

And he’s been! ORRsome Christmas Day service in our church followed by family and friends for lunch – lasting around 6 hours!!!

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Also a huge list of The 12 shoes of Christmas!

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And now it’s Friday again. It’s the last Friday of 2014.

There have been 52 ‘A week in my shoes’. Considering a month in heels for 2015. Along with Monday optimism, Wednesday ORRsome blog posts and a daily smile, it’s been quite a lot to put together.

New Year’s Eve – watch out for the plans for 2015 with the diary and weekly posts!