I was delighted that the kindle version of the ADHD book I'm part of was launched last week in the US - according to them I'm one of the experts with proven results they searched the planet for!
I encourage everyone to do this - What did I learn this year? What did I do? One of my Idols Francoise Dolto ran a radio program across France for years, she was a household name, a little like our own Gay Byrne... but she would never accept people phoning in to ask questions. She insisted that everyone wrote in as she believed that by sitting down to write you were half way to working out the problem for yourself. The act of writing the letter had made you think about the situation in the same way I reflect every year! This is the key to development. You have to constantly think about where you have come from and where you are going....
January - I started the year with a full page in the Irish Examiner on Homework... A topic I was to be later introduced in November as a "leading expert on." This was never an aspiration of mine... it wasn't in the PhD! But you can't start a year much better than a whole page in a National newspaper The Homework Club was three which passed in a haze of activity!
February - This was the formation month of the Confidence Club and we were set to work in the background on the logo, web design and all the rest.
March - I wrote The The Purple View to start to bring all the methods and research of the last three years of the Homework Club together.
One review for the book Review for The Purple View
I didn't go to Oprah for the sake of the school and the students .. accepting the opportunity would have meant upending the terms and evaluations of the mocks - when the results can out in August and September I was really happy with my decision! We also started the use of "sound" research in the background to put into place for May and June when everyone would be really stressed! We had a sound guru come to explain to the whole team what the difference frequencies of music do to our brain. I have now taken the work to use on ADD and Aspergers students to create outlets for stress. We are also using meditation to help with Confidence!
April - I was back on the radio to support French parents who were boycotting homework in France - French Primary school students are not suppose to get any! I couldn't agree more. There really is more to everyone's life than homework.
May - This was the start of the methods and environment creation going outside The Homework Club. I was part of a business workshop in Cork where we set up the room and the experence to suit all the different learning styles in the room! Really exciting to see the environment created for adults!
June - it goes without saying that the whole time all of these other "highlights" were taking place I was still running a school and looking after a large amount of students. We had survived the character crushing season of the mocks and were now in the throws of the exams. I had high hopes for everyone and though to be honest for the first time ever there were a few people who were so borderline we had to put all our efforts into keeping everyone positive. I think it was the worst year to sit the leaving in decades but everyone got through! and even the people who we worried most about made it on to a course ... a path for the future! We packed up the school, The Homework Club which was a hugely emotional time for everyone involved but I feel it was time to move on to the next stage and keep developing.
July - no work as I got married! Though I did wake up on the morning of my birthday with the term Expression Developist™ - I don't fit in anyone else's box so I made a new one ...
August - I came back to head straight off to the London Olympics ... it was the most fantastic experience to be in London for this special occasion... I learnt so much and filled note books on what I saw which will all go towards the new book. For me it did inspire!
August also saw the start of the Confidence Club and being able to support students across the planet not just in a small area of Dublin...I also started formally working in the business world using my own brand of profiling to reinvent business people, Purple Profiling. This has meant me working across the globe and has increased my understanding of how the patterns I saw in a school in Blanchardstown are universal for all ages, cultures and environments! I can't wait to write the book! Of course the Leaving cert results were amazing - and I always wish I could tell the stories of determination and success.
September - My favourite time of the year as it is Fringe Season! I had a ball as usual and my favourite show was "I'm not ADHD I'm just Bold". This was the month of the amazing Junior Cert Results - I see every year that it makes such a difference when we start working with people younger. We can really set people up for life rather than trying to get them through and find all the alternative paths ... It felt like together we had proven everyone wrong about what dyslexics in particular can and can't do!
I was part of my first training session at Croke Park and mentored my first athletes "outside" of the school environment .. setup the workshop environment for a training session at the University of Limerick... all really exciting on top of the Confidence Club and Business Profiling that has been ongoing since August!
October- Wrote a book proposal for the new book and am actively seeking a publisher! It seemed to be photo competition season... my other passion in life - I also finished a painting! It seemed to help me think away from the computer or pen! It's been about putting everything together that I have learnt to date...
November - Saw a return to radio a year since I had first started the debate on homework. There has been a radical change in how we now approach it too - since I haven't got it abolished yet, I'm working directly with parents to make it doable and reduce the time and stress spent on it. If you can't beat it conquer it! I also had several meetings that it has felt like I have spent two years prepping and working myself up to. I was filmed by RTE television as part of program to be aired in January ... This month has felt like the setup for next year!
December - will be London 12 12 12 .....
My Year Dr. Naoisé now an Expression Developist™
This short video I recorded at the Irish Times Higher Options Conference in RDS explains why profiling is so important for Students early in their education life - You can pursue the Career you were born to do!
Zero Quality Assurance in Leaving Cert Exam Corrections says Leading Academic
(Dublin, Ireland, Monday September 3rd 2012).
A leading academic has finally been able to prove over the weekend that Ireland’s leaving cert students have been set up to fail due to being left on borderline marks that can make the difference between passing or failing and getting a higher grade.
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly Ph.D is concerned that she has witnessed categorical proof that there’s no consistency within the exam papers which leads to a domino effect and ‘it’s pot luck on how well you do overall in the exams.’
The Irish woman says, ‘sure this is going to rock the boat but I’m used to starting national debates and young people’s lives are being messed with here. Afterall, parents and students don’t have a voice and the majority of teachers I speak with tell me they’re afraid to go out on a limb and stick their neck out.’
A simply algorithm could have changed all this and Dr. O’Reilly says, ‘in fact I wrote an algorithm that has been working successfully in an Irish 3rd level institution for a number of years now.’
Dr. O’Reilly started computer programming aged 8 despite being written off all the way through school due to a severe learning difficulty.
Naoisé looks forward to meeting the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn later this month and putting a case before him for a decentralised process where schools have more responsibility for the exam process and there can be exceptional quality assurance in place to prevent any inconsistencies.
From Wednesday 15th August 2012
At the Confidence Club we believe everything in life happens for a reason - 9 times out 10 if you didn't get the course you had applied for it probably wasn't for you anyway! Hard to believe I know when your 17 but with 15 years experience of working in education I know see things very differently to what I did on my own results day - hard to believe that I was disappointed with well over 500 points! I could have done almost any course I wanted in the country that day except the one I had picked - and now I know I never would have been satisfied in life...
At the Confidence Club our aim in our Workshops is to help students to choose the best path for them - find the perfect career based on their Personalities, Apttitudes and Potential. Everyone has to follow their dreams and we would like to see them do this from as early an age as possible, we start at 5! The career might be a highly academic one that needs many traditional school subjects or it may be one that is totally outside the box and needs many skills not covered currently in mainstream education - we don't mind as we cover what's needed! But not everyone is as lucky to start with us at 5 and so we are here too to help older students find their true path even when it means changing direction ..
To meet us this August complete the Booking Form
Dr Naoisé O'Reilly
Our new Workshops that will start this August will take into account that we find the magic number to change a students life is 4! Yes in only 4 hours we have seen huge changes in the 500+ students we have worked with over the last 3 and half years at The Homework Club.
In suddenly 4 hours we have had students that have never been able to express themselves finally writing - they have learnt structure they never understood or comprehension skills or suddenly become motivated to enjoy learning - they have discovered who they are - they have made friends for the first time - they suddenly feel someone finally "gets" them - they have had the confidence to join clubs outside school for the first time - they walk into a room and say hi - they stand straighter - they smile!
The Confidence Club Workshops will take place at weekends allowing students to travel from greater distances and achieve huge results in once intense workshop setting - our aims will be much broader as we have always know that exam results are a very small part of the picture in developing lives - the results always just come when everything else is right! Our aim is for every studnet to know who they are and to feel they can be that person...