My new job!!

I started a new job on Monday! I work in before and after school which means that every day Monday to Friday I get to go to one school and provide care for children aged 5-12 in both the morning and afternoon. The split shift is a hard adjustment. The job itself is wonderful.

The morning starts with setting up the kitchen with breakfast for the children, wiping down the tables and discussing the days activities with my co-ordinator.

As the children arrive with their parents what they do varies. Some decide to go straight into playing a game, doing arts and crafts or their homework. The kids I work with are diligent with their schoolwork, polite and very fun to be around.

As they settle into the morning some ask for milo, cereal or toast. While others have already had their breakfast. There are only a few kids who come in the mornings with the most being about 10.

One of the kids insists I don’t give her enough milo. I laugh to myself as I used to be a lover of milo and would enjoy much more than she gets given. This is one of the great things about working with children. When you realise how similar you are or once were.

The afternoons are a much busier affair. We can have 20+ children. I know as a teacher that, that is normal. However, it’s very different in this job. Although there are activties planned it can be quite unstructured.

We do ball games, arts and crafts, colouring competitions, cooking, etc. It can be very busy!

The kids are all different too as some don’t really want to participate. As someone who experienced going to both before and after school care I can really appreciate where they’re coming from. They want to be at home.

With a bit of encouragement to have them join in there is a fine line between wanting them to participate and be a part of the group and not pushing them in doing something they don’t want to do.

In drips and drabs the children leave until eventually there is no one left and it’s time to go home. As the assistant I’m not always there for this depending on ratios and on a Friday it’s a most common occurance… which is good because by then I’m ready to go home early.

So far everyday I’ve been thinking to myself “am I seriously getting paid for this?” “I’m having too much fun!”

I think that’s a sign that I pretty much love my new job.

Teaching is still on the cards but for now I’m pretty happy!!

Siging off – I need a nap! 😉

Film Review: “Mother and Child”

Sorry for being out of communication for a while I was working hard on finishing my degree!! Completeling my last assignment, handing it in and presenting it in front of a panel of peers and a lecturer/my assessor – scary, scary, scary!! However I can now safely say that I’m that much closer to being a teacher! I don’t have much to say at about it at the moment as it’s still sinking in so I thought I’d write a film review instead. Here goes:

This film really took me by surprise. It is a film that resonated with me not because I’m a mother – which I’m not but because I’m human.

Although as the title suggests it is centred around the relationship between mother and child to me it is more about the realities of human life.

In one person’s lifetime they can experience a myriad of change. Change can be seen as a blessing or a burden.

The changes that I’ve endured through-out my life have seen me smile, cry, fall in a heap, conquering challenges, see a new outlook on life and ultimately grow as a person. I believe that all people have more similarities than differences and that this film captures this brilliantly.

The best part about this film is watching how these people face what life presents us and in a raw and humanistic style. There is no denying how people really are. It is through these people’s emotions, needs and thoughts that we see ourselves. We see how we want to be perceived, how society views people and how we truly are.

At the heart of it of course is that relationship between mother and child. We watch the lives of three women and their ‘journey’ A woman who gave up her daughter for adoption, a woman who is that daughter and a woman who desperately wants to have her first child.  Their lives intersect like you wouldn’t believe.  I can tell you it’s so much more than just a simple story about three different women. It’s a story about the complexities of life and all it has to behold for us.  It also in my eyes about the strength that a person can have when they are faced with it what in turn makes us who we are.

On a side note…

The song “Little One” by Lucy Schwartz is a song that compliments the film beautifully and now gets played on replay through my ipod…

Hard to find the words but if you watch this film – I’m sure you’ll get what I mean…

Signing off! All my best…

Regaining my imagination…

I want to write a story that is based on the home/house that I grew up in and possibly then have it extend to other areas of Australia that I’ve been…

I’m about to go to the Northern Territory!! I will be living and working in Pigeon Hole for six weeks and will get to be amongst the people of that community… This trip is part of what is called SWIRL or Story-writing in rural locations and is run by my uni and also happens to be my last ever teaching placement.

I am so excited, scared, and simply just awaiting all the possibilities of what will come from this experience.

When asked “what do you wish to bring?” I thought and thought for an appropriate response and came up with – an open mind. I think in this case instead of being the teacher I will be very much the learner. I don’t really know what I’m getting into, about where I’m going, what to expect or how I’ll cope living in such a remote area.

Some people might think I’m mad and I’m happy to accept that, maybe I’m mad and maybe we’re all mad. But what good would it be if all we did was sit at home and did not take on adventures like this? I don’t think I’m any less mad than someone deciding to go to Europe by themselves, am I? 

I feel very much inspired by this and I think it might have something to with always wanting to be a story-teller. For some reason creative writing to me as always been something that even though I have had to work at (a lot!!) I have still very much enjoyed…Some of this comes through with reasons as to why I wanted to be a teacher as well so equally it’s both just great!

I want to write about home because no matter how I far I am from it I’m always thinking about it, it’s always there in the back of my mind, I have such a love for the place that I grew up in that I think wherever I go it will be with me… People have often said that home is where the heart is amongst other sayings of similar ilk but to me – home is where the cat sits on your lap and where you find fairies hiding in the garden.  For me I wasn’t the one who moved – it was my mum… I have lived in other places since she moved out and am now back here but without her… It’s a long story!!!

The idea behind my ‘home is…’ is that I have a cat (last year I had two cats 😦 ) and wherever he goes I feel at home because he is comforting. The fairies though are because when I was a child I very much believed in them and I think even as an adult if you look at a garden very closely you can see that somehow they are there – they take you wherever you need to go and I think that comes back to them being ‘make believe’ or ‘magic’ – they create the colours, the leaves, the petals, the branches, the soil, etc of what makes the garden so beautiful and warm. Because they can fly – they fly with you…and it doesn’t matter where you are or who you live with…

{I think that our mind can very much be in a ‘real’ world and in a ‘fantasy’ world… ‘real’ = cat ‘fantasy’ = fairies…}

 

I am very lucky to live in an old terrace house… The floor boards creek under feet, there are cracks in the walls, there is a door with an old-fashioned key that allows you to enter a part of the garden…

My imagination as a child would be racing with stories… Stories of a made up past; I used to think of so many past lives that this house had and so many fantasy style lives that this house had…

They were intertwined with other people’s imaginations but my favourite stories were those that were merged with the author of the Secret Garden, the Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy — I remember creating my own secret garden and pretending that I lived in boarding school. The funny thing was that I took these imaginings with me…

There was an old brick building as big as big could be… It had tennis courts you see… I used to walk past dreaming of whom lived there and dreaming of all they could have had… What was this place so grand and strange…? I wonder? Who lives there?

Little did I know that red brick building that I used to imagine as a grand house was the school that I attended… I laugh now when I think back to that child who was me but in the same light I also wish I had that same imagination.

Imagination is lost somehow and that loss begins when we go to school… Is it possible to harness it and not drag it down? I don’t it’s primary school, I think it comes more once we reach secondary school…

Hopefully I can allow the very real stories of the children in the NT to open my mind to a whole new world of stories, stories that have been passed down from generation to generation and stories that will keep being passed on. I’m writing this now with anxious butterflies in my stomach just thinking of what is ahead of me…

Goodness!!!

Signing off to get some rest. 🙂 


 

Printers, photocopiers, scanners and staplers!!!

You’ve completed the assignment, you’ve put together the last piece of the lesson and are ready to print.

As simple as that sounds it never is. You print and print and print…then it gets to the last page and the printer flashes: ERROR! ERROR! ERROR!

You think…oh drat what now – all I want is for this to be printed!!! Urggh!

So you unjam the paper, put more paper in the machine and make sure there is enough ink. All great so you print and print and print.

The printing is finished. YAY!!! We all shout for joy.

So you grab the stapler to staple the pages together. All simple again.

But wait. NO. You staple the pages TEN times before the stapler runs out of staplers.

A trip to the supermarket is needed.

You come home.

Staple – go through what seems like the box and FINALLY the pages get stapled together!!

YAY another small victory.

Then you put together the pieces of a lesson plan – the lesson that you have to teach TOMORROW!

This needs to be scanned…that needs to be photocopied… The scanner is having the issues…

The photocopier is OUT OF INK…

There aren’t any other solutions…

Do you make the templates yourself – yes!! Urgh…

So much effort, just for one small activity…

No one else notices… 😦

The next day the kids do some GREAT work.

All the stress gone.

YAY now some real celebration can commence until the next battle with the printer, photocopier, scanner and stapler – especially the dreaded stapler.

Apparently once you’re a real teacher you can bluff your way through these situations.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Looking forward to that.

Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs or staplers bite.

Getting caught comparing ourselves to others.

It’s a tricky thing in this “modern life” to not compare yourselves to the people around you.

I remember as a teenager I used to think the worse about myself if I saw someone give me even the smallest of glances. Eventually though I think most teenagers think people are watching them all the time. Watching to see if you do the right by others, watching to see if you give up your seat for the elderly, what clothes you are wearing, the food you eat, etc – basically everything that makes up who you are.

I didn’t have the best self-esteem plus I took nearly everything personally…still to this day I have those moments where I think about what other might be thinking or think unrealistically about a situation. Maybe though we all go through that stage?

I have learnt the difference between my realistic thinking and my unrealistic thinking. I feel as though even if I have those thoughts right when I’m having them I somehow switch into a more realistic mode of thinking and things start to feel “normal” again.

Tonight though I got home from babysitting (my honeybun and sugar-plum) – a discrete reference because they aren’t my children…but I noticed a book at their house that they had a book called “The Mother’s Group” – I wasn’t snooping, it was on the coffee table clearly there for anyone to see…but it intrigued me…I googled of course and found out roughly what it was about…

The idea of a mother’s group has always been fascinating to me… first time mothers getting together to meet, talking about what it is to be a mother, getting tips,etc…

but in my classic way of thinking comes the idea that a group of women all incredibly tired, hormonal, all over the shop…etc then being placed in a group that they don’t know each other = disaster. Won’t they all “bitch” about each other? Won’t they all compare each other? the list goes on… I mean when you think about it women don’t grow out of being women…we’re naturally going to think like this and naturally talk about others behind our backs… a vicious cycle really…

I was able to attend a mother’s group meeting which I thought was great and worked well and have heard really great stories…

But there is something that Istilldon’t like the idea of them…

I’m pretty sure my mum didn’t have a mother’s group and at the end of the day she has just done her best.

I’m writing this because out of everyone out there in the world. (I believe) Mother’s get the most amount of criticism. They are criticised about everything. From sleep, food, clothes, their child’s development, the cleanliness of their home, the school’s their children go to, their careers – not just what they do but whether they work or not, the way they discipline their children…the list I would say is never-ending.

Mum says as soon as I decide to have children: that everyone will have an opinion and try to give you advice. Which will probably include the name that I decide on.

We are so lost these days that no one shares anything with anyone else except our partners (married or not).

I’m the type of person that will reach out for advice but do hope that I just do things the way I wish and to do my best.

We need to give the mother’s of the world a break, they have children…they haven’t slept since the day they were born…even my mother I still think doesn’t sleep properly. Plus children are meant to be children!

It’s not just mother’s though. It’s everyone…

Give yourselves a break. I know the world out there is full of things that influence our day-to-day lives and who we are but you still need to remember who that is. Deep down there is a person who has your believes, interests, personality, etc and you just need to be them.

Think back to when you were five – you went about your day, had fun, did your reading, writing and arithmetic, came home, ate dinner and went back and did it all over again.

When I was five I aspired to be a teacher and a mother. I sit here today still with those same aspirations…one will come true at the end of this year, the other when I’m ready and when Ifeelis right… but when I look at that person who played made-up games and didn’t care if my hair was neat or my clothes looked nice. I wish some part of that person could still be me… growing up has pushed me past those days…but back again to allow myself be who I am.

They say that it’s when you get to your 30s you feel most aware of who you are and most comfortable in your skin… but I believe it’s the five-year-olds we all once were.

If life were that simple, we would all be in ignorant bliss…

If a child can look up at you with their curls all tangled, food on their clothes but be completely happy and laughing – then why can’t we adults do the same?

Because we are all too worried!!

I think my point that I’ve been trying to say is look at who you are? What do you see?

Don’t look at John or Sally and think… they have it all and their lives are perfect, why I can’t I be more like them… cos believe me… you won’t.

If you would like to read my latest poem which relates to this post here is the link:

http://songbirdwriting.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/your-judgement-eyes.html

Signing off… to reflect upon a GREAT and happy Sunday!

Hope you all had a fantasitc day!! 🙂

This so called modern-life we live in…

Is is just me or does everything feel like a big deal to people these days?

A) You can’t say that or he/she’ll will be offended

B) You have to be really careful about what you name your baby or otherwise they’ll be stuck with something boring or be teased – yet Apple or Cruz is somehow accepted because that baby belongs to a celebrity… and Molly spelt Mollie is also ok, because at least then the spelling is unique… heaven forbid people stick with Sarah or Alex…

C) Your children have to live in amazingly decorated rooms cos otherwise they will have no friends

D) Your child’s first birthday party or any birthday party for your child has to include a jumping castle, a face painter, pass the parcel with carefully selected paper – also properly decorated because apparently newspaper isn’t the way to go anymore, plus goodie bags without lollies and instead healthy snacks cos no child is allowed fairy bread anymore even on their birthday

D) Children under five mustn’t watch T.V – it will most certainly rot their brain or worse – have them not being able to read before they go to school

E) You have to have a completely super organised house – otherwise all your friends will have to go out to dinner cos otherwise it’ll be too shameful to have them over

F) There is a gadget for everything and if you dare go outside without the latest kindle then don’t even dare leaving the house again

G) Don’t enjoy being pregnant and expecting your first child just feel the ‘pressure’ of doing everything right – don’t forget if you eat sandwich meat your baby will die…

H) Don’t yell at children ever – cos their self esteem will be shattered and if you can’t yell then don’t slap either…

I) If you’re not married when you decide to have children then forget it everyone will ‘out’ you

J) Replace all lollies with carrot sticks cos clearly we can’t enjoy food anymore

K) On the topic of food if it’s not organic then don’t buy it – cos you’re just going to get glared get at by the check-out chick

L) Refuse, Reuse, Recycle – everything or else!

M) Safe the world. If you don’t donate to 100 causes a week then really you shouldn’t be allowed to live

N) You got your coffee from where? No don’t go there, the person doesn’t use the foam to make sure it’s presented with a pretty bird on a tree branch on top and the barista doesn’t make the milk hot enough so it burns your toung…

O) I buy all my clothes, gifts, etc online, plus get all my food and essentials home delivered, plus I just don’t leave the house because I don’t have anytime yet I’m sitting here on my computer blogging about how I don’t have time… and really this sentence is taking all my time… where has all the time gone

P) I can’t call  my friends anymore let alone see them because of my busy lifestyle

Q) I have a Nintendo Wii to do yoga and play tennis because really any sort of exercise done outdoors I can’t stand and doesn’t fit in with my life…cos it’s just so hectic

R) and continuing with this topic – the other day I had to look up this great word – Relax when my friend told me I should do it more often… I thought sounds great – but really where can I fit it in

S) As a teacher I have to remember to say chalkboard, not to sing baa baa black sheep, to talk to all the parents as though their children are angels and gifted, to make sure I never show my students that I’m human , etc – but do I also need to say interactive felt-tip pen board… should I have a melt-down now to get it over and done with – because clearly it’s inevitable…

T) When I become a mother I’ll have to hire a nanny, casual babysitter, night nurse, etc and only talk to them when they really need to…because all those activities that they’ll have to go to I just won’t be able to take them to… plus simply reading them a story is just too much of a hassle

U) Where are all my hair and beauty essentials… I may only be going to buy milk…but seriously you never know who you’ll bump into… oh my gosh here comes another melt-down…

V) Did I tell you about Facebook, blogger, tumblr, you tube, pinterest, this site that I’m on now, twitter, google plus and whatever else I’ve used to divulge everything about my personal life on? I mean seriously if you don’t go look at one those pages, then the photos from the latest party/wedding/christening/house-warming/gig/*insert event here* that I went to – or the video footage of my child’s birth will not be shown to you because I’m a private person and don’t really want people to see those things…but seriously you probably don’t want to see all the details anyway. 😉

W) Did you watch the latest of junior masterchef? Since when do children know how to not just make cupcakes or cookies with icing on top – but things that I don’t even know how to pronounce

X) When you do find the time to catch up with friends, don’t forget to document the entire outing on Facebook via your phone so that everyone can know what you’re up to – heaven forbid you actually talk to your friend

Y) If you dare let any of my children near dirt then I’ll blame you when they they’re allergic to everything… oh and please make sure you use the detol soap dispenser that you don’t actually touch…

Z) School, Uni, Career, Marriage, Kids, there is no other way to life really and if you don’t live by this standard then clearly you don’t have a life and if you turn up to your kids graduation at the age of anywhere between 40-50 then really you were far to young to be having children because really we’re not allowed to have kids until 35 and no younger because before then is just too young. My mother was 25 when she had my brother – what do you say to that?

HA HA HA HA HA HA I am evil.

Ok – so just a heads up – most of these ‘complaints’ are me joking and I’m not really being serious. But I do think that we all need to relax including myself. Your life is your life it shouldn’t be mapped out according to what other people say and you should just live it the way you wish.

Even if you do, do the things on this list – it’s ok.

Can we stop judging and criticising people because clearly by the fact that I came up with about 26 ideas on how people ‘should’ live their lives – is a statement in itself…

I’m sick of reading articles titled with “The pressures of pregnancy” “How to decorate your child’s room” “We all seem to have allergies or food intolerance” “There are women as young as 20 deciding to get a sperm donation – what a shock” “Baa baa black sheep banned from childcare centres” or watching ads that are advertising these products that allow children to learn how to read before they get to school…

I see parents on the streets negotiating with their children about their behaviour – what happened to “Come here NOW!” or a slap on a wrist – I don’t agree with bashing your children or making out like their bad people… but I got yelled at or had small hits on my wrist  and usually it was because I was crossing the road without mum or about to touch the stove… and I’ve turned out to be a pretty normal and genuinely good person…

Lesson of the day:

Chill out!!! It’s ok if your apple came from the supermarket and you gave your child a lolly snake.

Language development is important before a child gets to kindergarten/school but we have teachers for a reason.

Signing out as I’m about to spend time with my mother and brother whom I love very much!

If you could write to the world – what would you say?

I wrote another poem and posted it on my other blog- which I wanted to leave just for poems. It’s title is “I want to write to world and say:”

When I was writing it I was thinking about stars and how powerful they are. They are beautiful, people wish upon them as though they hold some great power, we sometimes look up at them and think about our dreams, etc…

But is it realistic for us to do this, when they are so far away? They are bigger than just tiny dots too – it’s really pretty hard to imagine how big they are, etc…

Then somehow I started writing about flowers – and how maybe we should turn to them, because really we are more like them than stars if you think about it… right? But then again people don’t really look at stars and think – Oh I wish I could be one… unless you’re thinking about celebrities and if you think about it, most of that is all fake or hyped up by press and the public that get caught into it.

I guess really what I was thinking of is that no matter who we are and what we are doing with our lives or even where we come from… our goals, dreams, wishes are all reachable and we will figure out who we are in our own time.

The flower part of the poem is about being able to see where we can grow and where we can go with personal growth and that, that growth is forever continuous.

We shouldn’t rely on what we see in the stars to get us to where we want to be. We don’t need a time-line to do things in. We certainly need to stop worrying about what others are doing and where they are at, because we are all different and we just need to relax.

If we all saw happiness in a wish upon a star then personal growth wouldn’t occur because we would just sit around and wait for that wish to come true…that’s not really that helpful…

Right now, I wish I could articulate what I was saying much better than I am, but I can’t and have to accept that I’m just having one of those days…

Goodness, I slept through my alarm and missed uni (ah shock to system!! LOL) and instead did a huge load of washing… watched a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls Season 1…I’ve decided that it’s inevitable that I will watch Gilmore Girls annually – no matter how I avoid it as I have seen it almost  too much for one person to ever see of a tv show… I watched YouTube videos, have been grazing all day, been sorting my homework so it’s easier to do, read emails… looked at etsy…looked at my room as a job for another day and have now decided to do some writing.

A) To get it out of my system

B) because if I don’t then I will cry instead…

I am NOT sitting here feeling miserable or anything… but it’s just this day – maybe yesterday leaked into today and tried to take it over…

cos yesterday was horribly boring, dull and oh-so draining…

yesterday my problems were not so far away but as close as the keyboard is to my fingers…

I felt like my dreams and hopes for the future of teaching was taken in an instant in these poor little preps and grade ones and what was put upon them

Reading and writing ALL day and all because their normal teacher was away on camp and they were given a reading recovering lady…

My first impression of her was seen through her facial expression of sheer drudgery and disdain

Her: Are you a student?

Me: Yes

Her: umph! (cranky facial expression that was absorbed through-out the room and the day yet to come)

Her: Oh ok… what year are you?

Me: Fourth (said with a smile)

Her: Oh good! (As she gave a wicked witch’s gleam…)

Her: Did you have anything prepared for today, cos I don’t mind if you have things you need to do

Me: No, I’m normally with the grade 5/6s

Her: Oh then you can just chill then because I was going to do lots of writing and reading in the morning then think of something for the afternoon…

Me: Ok, I’m happy with whatever you ask me to do (BIG mistake)

– conversation continued like this for a little while… then the bell rang…

She snapped through the morning as those poor kids just sat there and there I was doing nothing (well roaming and small group stuff…)

But I’m a fourth year student! I should be given challenges – put me on the spot, throw me in the deep end – that’s what I’m here for – otherwise next year I will sink, like someone has never been sunk before…

By the afternoon I was ecstatic and jumping up and down (inside) because of how happy I was …
I rushed off to meet mum at her work a usual thing I do on my way home from placement… and vented my frustrations with hot chocolate in hand…

We talked about a whole lot of other stuff and was relieved to go home

had an early night and slept like I never slept before

and now we are up to today…

The day was actually brilliant but gave me time to really think… perfect for my assignment that is due tomorrow as it’s a  reflection writing piece, but not so good for my mind as it’s now full of thoughts that aren’t escaping…

The point though is though – what do we want for the world?

Apart from a better environment and for everyone to have access to clean water – etc, the list is endless…

What do we want: really?

Do we want to simply be happy? To have love? To make babies? To be able to eat great food? To explore where we all come from?

To experience personal growth?

Just to live?

To be alive, sounds pretty good to me… I have a friend who doesn’t want to turn 30 – to avoid her birthday as though it can’t happen… but then I have a friend who didn’t make it to 21 and an uncle who is on his way to 60 (he has a few years yet…) – who said to me around the time of his last birthday when I asked if it was a good one?

That every birthday is a good one because it’s another year that I’m alive

Can we ask of the world to simply just be alive? Or is that too big of a question…

What is it that we should ask?

To love one another – where is this love, is it possible to find for everyone…

I know what I’m asking is huge but I guess that’s what I’m saying in the poem. It’s a huge idea to look up at the stars and to think that, that they hold all the answers and that one wish when wish upon them will surely come true and change our lives forever.

Lesson of today:

We need to ponder these questions not so we then try to solve all world problems but to ask it of ourselves and we what we want.

Also write down your thoughts so that they have somewhere to go.

Signing off so that I can eat dinner and finish that assignment that’s due tomorrow!

Link to poem and other blog – if you are interested in reading:

http://songbirdwriting.blogspot.com.au/

 

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