“I want to stay small forever”

At the school where I’m doing my Melbourne based teaching-rounds I had a conversation with a girl about her lunch that somehow lead to her talking about what she wanted to do when she grew up and her answer was “I want to stay small forever” which I thought was incredibly adorable and honest. Because lets face it, how many of us whether they’re 11 or 23 (hers and my age) or even older still… want to actually grow up… I mean here I am going back to school after all!

Ever since I decided that I was going to uni to study teaching/education, I have had a mixed set of reactions and it’s usually between either “Oh you’ll be sooooo good at that” and “How could you stand being with children all day” (or at least something similar)… I always think when I’ve been asked the second of the two: If I’m going into to teaching that means that I must have some likeness towards children – otherwise why do it at all? I guess for some people when they’ve known teachers, it isn’t about the children, it’s about having a job that pays the bills.

Which I think is terribly tragic… Teaching is a job which entails having some sort of interaction with children – even if you’re the type that sets them with worksheets (which is the it’s just a job type), you still have to talk to your students, take the role, tell them to be quiet, etc… So wouldn’t that mean that children is the reason that people would be drawn to the job? Instead of children are there and I just teach them?

I mean that’s why I’m doing it – because I get to have this unique interaction with children, being a part of their lives and seeing them grow and develop. I get to create this great relationship with kids and then teach them. It’s about the children in the room for me…

If I had approached this girl – with “continue with your work, I don’t want to hear about what you like or dislike because it’s an interruption to the other students” or something a long the lines… then we wouldn’t have had that connection… I just would’ve ended up being this scary person in her class on a Tuesday…

Instead I get to know these kids who I discovered were wonderful before teaching them and they get to know me a little bit – so by the time I teach them it’s like we’ve crossed a barrier or a bridge to get to the other side – they form this liking to me and visa versa and the teaching becomes easier and much nicer – for both them and I.

I love children for the simple fact that they say things like wanting to be small forever or get over-excited about doing a subject they love – especially when adults/teachers/parents/carers allow them to do so…

Like these two other girls…

This class was doing a project on the human body, they were broken up into different things which allows us to function e.g respitory or skeletal systems and then had to do research on that particular area before presenting their findings in however way they wanted… I asked these girls if they liked what they were researching and realised that it wasn’t their desire to do so (they were enthusiastic about it which was clearly shown by how they were engaged…) – which I got out of their facial expressions…not by their answers and then I asked

“If you could research anything about any topic, what would it be on” their answer was “sport or drama, but we really like drama” I said “what was it about drama that they liked?” their response “we like crazy stuff and plays!” with the biggest grins on their faces… I then told them that I also taught Drama and then for the rest of the afternoon they said to me:

“DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA” not being my class I said that they had to talk to their teacher but I’m sure we’d be able to do so…. they said “DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA!!” as they left for the day and I thought to myself… oh goodness…what have I done?

But at the same time was pretty excited that kids were getting excited about what I taught!!

I spoke to my mentor and made their dream of me teaching Drama possible – they don’t know this just yet but I’m sure their response when they find out they’re going to do some Drama with me will be “YAAYYYY!”

See – how could anyone NOT like children!!!

After all they make you come home with bright smiles and can make any stress large or small seem like the lightest thing of all…

Lesson of the day:

When you have a great day, be in the moment. This may sound corny, but it’s true. We don’t always have good days and these great ones, make life seem absolutely fantastic.

Love the job you do, make it one that isn’t just to pay the bills – because you’ll just feel great about life no matter your earnings!

Kids aren’t intimating if you smile and get to know them – plus you’re the adult so they’re probably going to be more shy around you then you feel around them!

Signing off to finish my wind-down before I begin another day!

Happy smiling everyone. 🙂

Just like scrambled eggs!!

If you’re eyes feel like they are so low they could be touching your chin and they are falling closed to the point that no matter how much you try to keep them open they won’t…then you have gone past tired directly to exhausted… I probably should right now be asleep in bed…but instead I have an insane determination is stay up and write a blog post. After my week though in particular today I feel as though there is a need to do something to not just unwind but to get away from the lecture room and the study desk. To unwind in a place where I feel immediately relaxed – even if this is related to uni, it’s not a prescribed assignment, it’s something that I have chosen to do myself!

The week started well with my Drama Monday – a fun lesson, followed by a fun movie…

Tuesday turned into a day of being completely frustrated at once again being placed at a school so far out of my way that there would almost be no point in the travel time to get there. I went absolutely completely mad and was so outraged that when I called mum to debrief that I couldn’t calm down, I was crying then yelling then crying again. I’m not normally one to lose it like that but after the stress of last year I was hoping for a smoother run so I didn’t have to wait till almost the end of the year to do my teaching rounds. It was too late in the day to do anything about it – so I did the classic thing – to sleep on it…

Wednesday came:

I had this great subject called The Cultural Studies of Tibet and our lecturer for that was this great guy – who was completely stuck in the stone ages as far as lecturing goes – no use of technology, but he was so enthusiastic and passionate about what he was talking about that it was a nice change to not have to watch slide after slide about the subject matter. During the tute he didn’t really have much to expand on, because it was week one… but instead talked about why he doesn’t use technology…

In normal circumstances this would really bug me – but he was talking about it in context to education and us as learners which relates to the course I’m in so I thought even though I didn’t agree with his theory it was good to hear another perspective. He felt as though technology was there as a distractor, that it wasn’t valuable, most people were always plugged into something and therefore he didn’t like to use it. His argument also covered how if you have slides of a Powerpoint or a recorded lecture then that means that student don’t show up to the lectures – which he thought was valuable. I could understand why he prefered not to use it…

As an educator though – the use of technology especially as we are in the 21st century is a vital part of the classroom… kids nowadays and even when I was still at school are so in tune with technology that teachers need to use to and even allow their students to use their iPhones/ipads/MacBooks or whatever it is they are plugged into – for the purpose of learning as this is how it should be… the old saying goes – pick your battles… sure if a student was txting in class, listening to music while people were talking – all the classic disruptive things that kids can do with our gadgets – then that would have to be stopped, etc…

Although I discovered last year on my teaching rounds at a school that was very focused on the use of technology that if students are using these gadgets for their appropriate uses in the classroom, then it’s ok;  if this includes listening to a song for a performance they have to do as part of their assessment then that should be encouraged – teachers know when their students are doing work and when kids are slacking off, they can usually tell the difference… but not only that if they’re not doing the work it could be because they are disengaged then maybe it’s something about how we are teaching and creating an engaged classroom… it’s tough though because what do you do when you’re in a maths class and the students have no interest at all because in the year after they’re not continuing with maths…???

The Tibet tute had come to a close and it was now time to meet some old friends – a couple who I hadn’t seen in two years. It was fantastic being greeted by old faces and catching up on two years of life… after they went to class… it was time for me to complete my day…travelling home via the uni bookshop and getting a new concession card…. I made a call to the people who sort out our schools… they gave me another number…

I waited until I got home-made the call and then within an hour all the frustrations of the day before had been relieved as a new school was found and it is close to where I live. I was so grateful to the person over the phone – that the same amount of energy I had used being angry and upset the day before had been used in thanking her for sorting it out and so efficiently!!

Now here’s to Thursday…and those scrambled eggs!

We were meant to be at uni this morning at the bright and cheerful time of 8:00am for our first lecture of the day and nothing was organised to the point where we were still in the lecture room 20 mins after the lecture was meant to end and only 10 mins of the lecture was about 4th year and what it would entail – the rest was pointless information that most of us didn’t even need to know…plus they had people in this lecture that were from another course – why?

There was no improvement by the time of the tute – people were even sitting on the floor, fellow students had cleverly worked out that our class size meant that seats would be limiting so had gone straight there even though this lecturer had told us to take our times…

We were told to go to the later tute… we were told to go to Monday’s class… we were told to stay on Thursday…

The afternoon came and our afternoon lecture was GREAT! A massive discussion on the 21st century, what events that have occurred to influence this century, changes in technology, globalisation – so many things that I could have easily talked about for the rest of the day…

Afternoon tute: yikes… organising groups at uni was actually more complicated and more disorganised than organising groups in a year 11 Drama class… with hlf an hr left of the class to go we were still working on it… even though the unit guide had clearly stated what to do – completely laughable really… at least my lecturer has the personality of her frizzy red hair and the enthusiasm which goes with most great teachers which made up for it… I had spoken to her earlier about joining her tute group and knew that her day had been a muddle too and she had just been as scrambled as the rest of us!

Who wants eggs?!?!

Lesson of the day:

Don’t let a little bit of disorganisation and frustration lead you to think that, that is how everyday will end up being…sometimes it takes time, sometimes a lot of time and sometimes a small amount of time… generally speaking it’s nobody’s fault when stuff like this happens because we are all part of the picture we have to be patient because usually good things come to those with patience. I could have easily caught a later train and had been relieved that they hadn’t covered anything important. Things get sorted and sometimes waiting only means that the experience is far more rewarding than you ever thought it would be… like last year – I didn’t get a school until the year was nearly over, but then I got a fantastic school and a  7 week block which meant that the experience was more than I would’ve dreamt off…

A challenge is put in place, not to be a challenge but to be something to over-come, get through and know that you can do it if you put your mind to it.

Sleep also is 100% important… it makes our minds clearer and ready to tackle the day!

Signing off… as I’m nodding off and allowing my eyes to finally close…

Have a great weekend!!