I’m a 1%er! The Art Of Brilliance @BeingBrilliant #MondayBlogs

When something stirs me, I have to post, and I have been affected, in positive ways, by several training sessions at school.

You may remember my posts:

At One With A Malteser

Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset

Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset: The Round Roti

(If you don’t, well they click away, I’m sure you’ll be inspired too!)

Last Friday, we were treated to a cracker of a three-hour training session by the official Doctor of Happiness, Andy Cope.

And what a wonderfully upbeat, positivity-filled guy to deliver this workshop!

Andy Cope

Andy Cope

The workshop was entitled The Art Of Being Brilliant. And it really was BRILLIANT!

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Andy Cope has researched for 12 years about the emotion of happiness, at a time when all other psychologists were busy looking at the ‘illness’ aspect of state of mind. Depression/why are we down?/mental health issues… but no one was out there, thinking about what created happiness, or that feeling of contentment, and how we could all turn our state to ‘happy’ instead of ‘down’.

So he did.

We started off being shown a word.

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A Finnish word, which piqued my interest straight away, what with my Finnish connections!

The Finns have a word that is all about their favourite bouncy cushions!

We were then instructed to go home, find those ‘meh’ pants in our underwear drawers, and chuck them away. Instead, we should start our day with our ‘special’ pants.


Because every day is special.

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And that is so true, isn’t it?

Through a series of humorous slides, clips and activities, the main aim was to show us that we needed to foster that internal sense of positivity that lives within us all.

There have been many types of research done on creativity and our ways of thinking. And all of them point to the fact that as a child, we are all geniuses, thinking out of the box.

But as we grow older, it gets taught out of us.

At school, we are not necessarily encouraged to have our own off the wall ideas, but to conform to a certain method of how to solve a maths problem, or how to conduct an experiment. Even art is prescribed.

A nursery child is likely to be fearless, in the name of learning about life, from jumping around to tasting strange things. But that same child will be totally different, ten years down the line, almost afraid to be unique in his thinking, following the expectations of the teacher, the school, and the government.

Slowly that creativity is almost beaten out of us.

It’s the same with our thinking and positivity.

The majority of the world is stuck in a loop. A learned loop. Learned from the grown us around us, the teachers who influence us, our colleagues.

And we, in turn, will pass that same thinking on to others.

If all you hear is moaning, and negativity, you are likely to find that you are also becoming the same – a Mood Hoover, as Andy Cope calls them.

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Instead of seeing the bright side of life, it’s much easier to see the flip side. And moan.

According to Andy, a third of the population are what he calls Mood Hoovers.

The rest of us hover between being a bit moany, a bit negative, but there are periods of brightness, positivity and HAPPINESS too.

Then there are the 2%ers – the 2% of the population who are truly happy, content with life, positive and at peace.

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These are the people who have learned to wake in the morning feeling thankful, facing every day with a zing in their step, not afraid to try something different from the norm, and they’ve learned to ‘build a bridge’ over troubles, and minor niggles, and ‘let them go’.

They are the people who seem to naturally follow the Danish Hygge way of thinking…

Embracing the little things that give happiness.

Sure, they will have down days too, they’re only human, but for the majority of their time, they choose to be happy and smile in the face of life.

“What does all this have to do with teaching?” I hear you say.

Well, nothing, and everything really!

The thought behind this is that you, and how you project yourself as a teacher, has a huge impact on your class. If you show that positivity, fearlessness, and excitement, and embrace the unknown yourself, you are likely to be the teacher that creates that kind of ‘2%er’ influence in the life of children who may live in a house of ‘Mood Hoovers’.

You have the confidence to try new things, and you show the children that it is okay to learn ‘differently’.

You foster a love of learning with your own enthusiasm – and they WANT to learn!

And if we, as teachers can do this, our schools will become places where people want to come. We can help to create a generation of ‘2%ers’, unafraid to step out into the unknown, and excited by what life may have in store for them.

Seriously, mind blown!

And even cooler… There was a competition… to win a Happy tee-shirt… and I won!

Yes, I bought more books (I’m a bookaholic, I can’t help myself) but one was a ‘gift’ from our headteacher. And I am really excited to read them too!

As I went to collect my stuff, our deputy head smiled at me and said “Well done!”. I joked, that I must be one of those ‘2%ers’ then and he said “No Ritu, you are definitely a 1%er. That wasn’t your victory, it was a victory for our school.”

I was so touched… It means a lot to me to be seen as that positive influence, and I hope my love for teaching, learning, my job, my pupils and my colleagues shines through…

(As long as he wasn’t referring to some other 1% of the population who is as annoying as heck, smiling all the time!)

And I have sorted my undies out, only the best ones now for every day. I’ll use my best crockery, and wear my ‘nice’ clothes because every day is a new day. I’ve been building bridges over minor niggles and letting things go too. And going forward, I’ll use that lovely stationery I have collected, and take some of my special Arts and Crafts resources to school for the children to use, rather than leave them in boxes, for those just-in-case moments… Every day IS SPECIAL and so are we all!

(But as it’s my birthday today too, I’ll wear my extra special undies along with my Happy tee shirt!!!!)


Schools out there, I’d definitely recommend The Art Of Brilliance as a tool to reignite a flame of positivity that seems to have dimmed withing us all. We can all do it, it just seems we need to relearn how to be happy. And if we are happy, it automatically reflects upon how we are as teachers and colleagues, which in turn will create a positive, exciting learning environment, and engaged children.

From Andy Cope!

Find out more at:


Twitter: @beingbrilliant

Instagram: @artofbrilliance

The Onset of Inset Days #BackToSchool #TeachersLife

You know what time of year it is now, don’t you?

That end of holidays, getting-back-into-a-normal-routine time.


That having-to-get-up-early time.


School is about to start up again for thousands across the country.

Responsible adults need to drag those affected from the addictions of late nights and lie-ins,  screen and social media that six weeks off has allowed, and bring them back to reality.


Teachers – we are going back to work!

You see, it’s not just kids that have to gear themselves up for that September start.

Us educators need to brace ourselves for that new academic year start too!

You’d think after our epic long holiday, we’d all be full of energy, having had NO WORK for all that time…

Aside from the fact we’ve probably been working for in excess of fifty hours a week, during the academic year (and being paid for only 32.5 each week – standard – in our contracts, no such thing as claiming overtime as a teacher) and totally deserve a school-free break, it’s probably not been the case at all.

Teachers around the country will have spent a few days, at least, in their new year’s classrooms, clearing, rebacking boards, labelling, organising, moving furniture, writing up class lists for various things…

Then the rest of the time, we chill out and get drunk every day we firstly sleep off the exhaustion of the previous year (unless we have kids, in which case, good luck – Busman’s holiday, anyone?!) then try really hard to forget school for a little while, but any trips to the locality brings our profession back to mind, as we inevitably bump into several ex-pupils, current students or parents!

Or, everywhere we go, an educational opportunity arises, which means notes need to be taken, for future reference.

Yes, we will spend inordinate amounts of time on screens, but if you peek over our shoulders, we are likely to be on Pinterest, filling new boards with fantastic topic ideas or YouTube, finding great videos to share with our class!

Shopping trips will be peppered with impromptu visits to stationery shops, or bargain shops, where we find things that would just be wonderful in the classroom, and because we might not find them again, in pops teachers hand into own pocket, and suddenly there is an almighty hole in the bank account that we probably won’t be able to claim back… but it’s for the kids, so, you know…

We may have managed to squeeze a proper holiday into the time too, and emerged tanned and relaxed, or more exhausted than when the departed!

Still, all good things must come to an end, and all that, and here we are on the cusp of the new academic year.

Time to get ready for meeting our new classes, forging bonds with new members of staff, commiserating with those of us who are still there,  getting used to changes that will inevitaby be applied, because the government thinks things need doing differently… that sort of thing.


At least we have two Inset days.

Sometimes, Inset days are my favourite days.

Because we are at school – with NO KIDS! (Neither Pupil, nor Personal – you get my jig?)

Yes, it can be a day filled with pointless training (but equally, we can have inspiring speakers in who actually help!) but you also get time in your classrooms to organise, (yup, it needs redoing, because the cleaners will have been in, and though your room will be sparkly clean, the desks will have been moved around and nothing will be exactly as you left it. FACT!)

But no kids means you can get your teacher head back on, before the onslaught arrival of your new batch of prospective devils precious pupils.

Time to get familiar with the routines again, and get as up to date as you can with the endless paperwork, so that when the children arrive, you can actually teach them, rather than spend the time ticking boxes. (Though that will still play a huge part in your daily life as a teacher – some things never change…)

Then, on Monday, it’s back to work with a WHOOSH!

So, as you happily dress your little angels and pack them off on their first day back, thankful that you don’t have to deal with the daily meltdowns for all 24 of the hours, take pity on the teacher you are entrusting them to… teachers like me!

HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL my fellow teachers!

One-Liner Wednesday – #1LinerWeds –

The holidays are here!… so why am I off to school again today?

Just a thought that probably goes through the heads of many non-teachers…

Including family and spouses.

I’d love it if, over the holidays, a classroom fairy came and waved a wand over our rooms, and magically made the previous year’s mess disappear, books filed away, and arranged for all the new pupils books to be ready, display boards to be all freshly backed and ready for us to start on the first day back.

But that’s not the case.

I’ll be popping in for a day (some will be in there for longer) to get things all organised, so I can then (kinda) forget about school for the summer, and concentrate on the kids, my hubby, and my Pops (might get some writing in there too!) for the rest of the break, until it nears the end of August, when we are back officially!

And the fact that I have been in during the holiday means I can start with a less stressed mind, knowing everything (almost) is ready for the new year!

Right, off to pack my school bag, one last time for this academic year… have a good day!

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds Challenge.


#SoCS July 21/18 – Organ

Linda’s prompt for SoCS this week…

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “organ.” Talk about an organ or base your post on the theme of them … or one. Have fun!

Organ grinder,
Won’t you stop
I feel that I’m
About to pop
The kids are tired,
The teachers too
So little time,
So much to do
A year’s gone by
We worked so hard
I’m so burned out
My body feels charred
From bottom to top
So Organ grinder, please…
Just stop!

Ritu 2018

Penned this morning by a very tired teacher… two days to crawl through!

  • Exhaustipated, for those of you that don’t know – so tired I don’t give a sh*t!

Catch ya later Peeps! Happy Saturday!


One-Liner Wednesday – #1LinerWeds – Exhausted

Five. More. Working. Days….

Just one more week to go until we break up, and I cannot wait! It’s been an extra hectic end of term with family stuff on top of the usual school duties… I am crawling towards next Tuesday!!

No more alarms, thank goodness! getting a little rest, before the new year starts, in between going to be with Pops and Mum, and a few trips to keep the kids occupied.

But what I am not looking forward to  is constantly being referee to the kids… and I know that is going to happen… Gah!

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds Challenge.


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