Sinéad is 21, from a little rural village in the west of Ireland. She blogs over at Dreaming Again and loves to eat lots of pizza, drink hot chocolate, be in her onesie by 9pm, take pretty photographs, write stories, create lists, and appreciate the little things in life.

Guest Post by Dreaming Again on Uncustomary Art

1) As a school teacher, do you find it easy to express yourself creatively and challenge your students to be creative as well? What are some fun and creative projects you’ve done with your students?

Honestly, the answer to this is both yes and no. No because as a teacher you are expected to be extremely professional and there are certain behaviours and actions that would not ‘look good’, therefore it can be hard to express yourself creatively. For example, when I’m writing a really personal or critical blog post I sometimes stop and think ‘should I be putting this online, what if a student read this’ (worst nightmare!), that’s why I keep my face and detailed identity off of my blog! On the other hand, it does allow me to be very creative in my subject areas, especially English. I can constantly express my thoughts and ideas on different poems/novels etc. and develop discussions amongst students. I also get to be creative with extra-curricular activities like school plays and so on.

In terms of challenging my students to be creative I definitely think this is extremely important to help them develop their own ideas and think more constructively about topics. I am totally against rote learning (learning information off by heart through repetition)! Is it easy to get them to be creative? Absolutely not! It can be like pulling teeth sometimes but it is worth it when it pays off. Gosh, there’s loads of projects I have done. In Geography, creating posters, models, group work, researching information on different countries etc. It’s much easier to be creative in English, there are so many fun activities that they really enjoy and I Iove looking up new ones, finding and trying out really fun, creative activities is one of the best parts of being a teacher! I would tell you some but it would take ages to explain the activities!

2) Is teaching something you’ve always known you wanted to do? What challenges have you faced in order to get to where you are?

No, I have not always wanted to be a teacher. I never knew what I wanted to be, so when I was deciding what I wanted to do in university I went with Arts, as it’s pretty broad and general and can lead on to a lot of different things. My first year I did Social & Political education, History, Geography and English. I carried on Geography and English because they were my favourite and when arts came to an end I just felt like teaching them subjects was the best career path. So I applied for the Hdip and was lucky enough to get it! For my teacher training year, I went back to teach in my old school, which was amazing, and all of my old teachers were so supportive, I had the best time there and knew it was the right career choice. Trust me, It was extremely difficult and challenging (199 assignments in total!), but the best year of my life. Thankfully I never had any major challenges in my way.

Guest Post by Dreaming Again on Uncustomary Art

3) You haven’t been blogging very long in the grand scheme of things, but you’ve managed to get a pretty good following in that short time! Can you share any tips you have for new bloggers starting out?

I never really blogged to get followers, I appreciate comments and interactions much more than the number, but I do think it’s pretty cool that I have almost 400 followers! Honestly, I don’t know why anyone follows me, so I don’t have the secret haha. I think once you are genuinely passionate and interested in what you write, really put yourself and your personality into it, interact with other bloggers on Twitter and visit their blogs, people will visit, like your blog and follow! Also, good pictures and blog design REALLY help.

4) Are there any notable advantages or disadvantages of living in Ireland for your creativity in terms of blogging or otherwise? What’s something we probably don’t know about Ireland?

Well I feel like an advantage would be that there are lots of scenic photographs to take! I love landscape photography and often put it on my blog. Also, a lot of my readers seem to be interested in Ireland and follow me to hear about it and see some of it which is lovely . A disadvantage would be how there are not that many other bloggers here considering the low population. Most of my blogger friends are from the UK or the USA. It would be nice to have some nearby that I could meet, and there aren’t many meet-ups either.

Something you don’t know? Haha wow this is a hard one! I guess you don’t know our slang words. We have SO many words that other countries don’t use, ‘craic’ for ‘fun’, ‘deadly’ for ‘awesome’, ‘shift’ for ‘make-out’, I could go on forever but it would get confusing haha! I bet if you overheard a conversation between two English speaking Irish people you would struggle to make sense of it / think they’re insane!

Guest Post by Dreaming Again on Uncustomary Art

5) What are some things that inspire you?

In terms of my blog, I am strongly inspired by other bloggers, I get so many ideas from browsing through my Bloglovin’ feed. Photography also inspires me a lot both on my blog and in real life, I feel like a photograph can instill an arrange of emotions. I’m also constantly inspired by books and all kinds of literature, as well as music of course. The less obvious things like the kindness of others, hugs from my nieces and nephews, dancing with my friends, the sound of rain on the window when I’m in bed, the twilight, walks on the beach, playing fetch with my puppy, the list is endless.

6) What goals do you have for yourself in 2015? What can we expect from Dreaming Again this new year?

I saw this quote today “When you’re busy creating your own fulfillment, you won’t feel the need to seek it from others” and it basically sums up my 2015 goals. I want to focus on creating my future. I need to sort out my career; find some long-term employment, keep myself busy, do things that make me happy more often. I want to try new things and find new passions, save money to move out, and just take steps to achieve the future I want. By doing all this maybe I will avoid the trap I fell in to last year which was depending on other people in my life to make me happy and to ‘fulfill’ me.

I have no major plans for my blog, I’m pretty casual when it comes to blogging haha. I intend to continue doing what I’m doing. Hopefully blogging 2 to 3 times a week. I would love to come up with some unique blog series so I’m going to get brain storming! I love blogging so much and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.

She’s great, right? Who knew about the Irish jargon? “Shift” vs. “Make-out” is fun! Did you just fall in love with Sinéad? Go say hi to her on her blog, and tell her Uncustomary sent you.