Are we in fear of turning 25?

I’ve decided to join those who write about what it’s like to turn 25. I’m about 4 months off from doing so and I’m not in fear as though this age means I’m getting “old”… I’m actually really excited. It does mean that I will be a quarter of a century old… it does mean I’ll be half way to 50. I can no longer be considered “youth”…. young yes… totally and completely young.  Other people who I have known that have got to this age have said that it makes them feel old. I do not really understand that sorry. Even with a housemate of mine turning 30 and saying the same thing… It’s not old. 

Old to me is where you’re wrinkly all over, have grey hair, need help with getting on the bus and can no longer remember your grandkids. Before that we’re young. Even my mother whose age I will not reveal, to me is young. 

But why is old a “bad” thing anyway? Am I too young to be answering the question… most people would agree that I am. What do I know at my age about the woes and misery of life if I haven’t lived yet. I’m not at that “stage” of life where I can look back and say “In my day we used to walk 50 miles in knee deep snow just to get to the other side of the road…” 

I will disagree with those who believe this to be true. I have already lived. It’s 25 years. Yes it’s not as long as, 30, 40, 50 years, etc… but still… what do people think they have been doing for 25 years… sitting around and watching the days go by without a care in the world… I don’t think so… 

For those of you who know me and know me well, know that I have well and truly been affected by life.

I have learnt a lot from life. I have learnt that life comes with its ups and downs. I have learnt a lot about people. That we are all human trying to get along. I have learnt a lot about babies and children. That they need love, stability and a place where they can belong. 

I have learnt a lot from my friendships. Friends sometimes come and go… I will always remember who you are even if in years to come we do not see each other. I have learnt that family are not the people we choose to belong to but that I will always love them and stick by them – unconditionally. 

I have learnt that at 18 although legally I was an adult… that really I was sill a teenager and that I am still learning about what it is to be an adult and will probably still be learning about that at age 80, just like I know my grandparents are. I have learnt that the plan I had at age of five to be a teacher and a mother doesn’t necessarily have to be stuck to and that, that is ok. 

I have also learnt that finding love… is like looking for a needle in a haystack… 

To me I choose to enjoy getting older. Learning more from life. Getting what I want from this life that I have. Be grateful that I am alive to live it. Hopefully I will learn about what it is to “stress less”, to be a happy with what I have… not always wanting the new… staying healthy without the pressure of being “skinny”… travelling to other parts of Australia and the world that I haven’t seen… and to be open to every new challenge that comes my way.

Yay to turning 25! It’s going to be great. 🙂 

Signing off… time to face the music… 

 

 

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…

burgeoning

“growing organically in different directions” – was the best way my lecturer described the meaning of this word…

We read an article about a community centre that allowed ‘youth’ who were ‘disadvantaged’ to come and learn about new technologies, in a way that was ‘unstructured’, could build on their confidence and allow them to be active learners. It sounded like a great way to learn and something we as teachers needed to read.

This word stuck out to me because it allowed me to reflect on my life as a learner and a teacher… In fact the whole day or even the whole course has allowed me to do that, it’s just today it took on different meaning.

I believe that I’m pretty fortunate – not to be boastful, it’s the truth and we can’t hide away from that, but I’ve had a pretty damn good education… I’ve had to deal with tough things in my life and in my world they have been huge because it’s what I’ve had to directly deal with but compared to stories I’ve heard, people I’ve known and the children/teens I’ve come across throughout my teaching rounds, generally speaking I’ve had it good and got it good…

Through-out my school life I’ve only ever loathed one teacher – the one who made me feel as though I was dumb (back in Primary School) she made me feel that I couldn’t do anything and I finally made the connection today of the impact that, that has had on me as a person and a learner. My self-esteem was crushed by that and I had this person as a teacher shortly after my parents divorced – which didn’t make matters any better. For a very long time after this I thought that I wasn’t good enough, even when I received Bs and B+s – which aren’t bad grades, it’s just that I thought I couldn’t do better and that I wouldn’t get anywhere… every time I put in all my effort I thought I wasn’t going to do well or that there was no point – that mind-set is horrible…

Luckily though even if it took all the way for me to get uni I finally realised that I can do it and now the majority of my grades are HDs and some of my assignments have even been full marks – my hard work and determination to do well and sometimes even just to do my best is paying off because I allowed myself to stop thinking like that…

The point though that I was trying to make is that we’re constantly talking about what makes us good teachers and I think it really has a lot to do with getting to understand our students… I mean at that point in time of having that teacher my parents had just divorced – I used to walk around with my friends and wouldn’t talk and then had this teacher who expected understanding of a topic straight away…

Plus she was lost in the past because she liked the use of rote learning, the teacher previous to that said that I needed to practice things (eg maths) with concrete learning… A good example of concrete learning came about in my second year the class I was in was learning about change from a dollar – so my mentor set up shops where the children had to sell things e.g books, sports equipment, groceries, fruit/vege, etc and then other students would buy them – so both students would have to learn change from a dollar as a receiver of the change and the giver of change – by learning what added up to a dollar… it’s concrete because they are actually doing it, they are in the action of selling things and counting money. They could then go back and de-brief on what they had just learnt and my mentor made sure they understood what added up to a dollar…

But my teacher at the time was convinced it was ok for students to grasp concepts simply by memorising them and yes sometimes this has its place…but concrete learning gives a complete understanding to a topic and not just the formula – she was a teacher who looked liked she was ready to retire, but still – we have to adapt to the time we live in, etc.

There are many things that I want to be when I’m a teacher or even now as a student teacher and fear that I will turn into one that is like one I haven’t liked for whatever reason… but maybe I need to turn that fear into – I’m going to be like all the ones I loved… and (yes I’m weird…or just lucky) but I have loved or at least liked most of my teachers…

If I could write a letter to those teachers (this is hard because I’m trying to be discrete) it would go something like this:

– To the teacher who allowed us to make numbers out of confetti and then taught me how to spell government with that silent ‘n’.

– To the teacher who made it feel as though maths was fun with “around the world” and believed in my story-writing abilities and who I pretended to dislike when really – you were great. (She also introduced to us peer and self assessment)

– To the teacher who made the classroom feel like we were in Space and who thought I could do anything (when I didn’t.)

– To the teacher who allowed me to love Maths and make me excited to come to your classes (even if now I pray for the students who have to learn Maths from me – it did take me four goes to passthatMaths Test.

-To the teaching who made me feel like giving Drama a go even if I wasn’t going to get the main part…

– To the teacher who made us feel like a family

– To the teacher who never taught me in the classroom but gave me a lot of insights into life e.g the importance of washing hands…

– To the teacher who has always been passionate about women’s education, English/Grammar, poetry, learning in general and has instilled my love of learning and now teaching. – Plus who cared about us as people more than if we did the work, our well-being always came first.

You all got to know me for me, believed in my abilities, was/are passionate, cared about your students as well as the content, made sure we were active learners, never placed labels on us or judged us, integrated learning, etc, etc, etc and are a huge part of why I’m doing what I’m doing…

and have definitely allowed for this “growing organically in different directions” to occur – I wish I could meet with all of you today just to say thank-you and hope to one day teach like you did and I’m sure still do (if you are that is)…

I know that I have the passion and the capabilities it now just has to be put to the test.

Lesson of the day:

Be grateful for what you have instead of looking at what you didn’t get or look at the good in people. Looking at the positive side of things I know is harder but if you do, you’ll feel lighter and less burdened. Being grateful too is just such an amazing feeling… Sometimes also finding the good in someone can make you let go of why you didn’t like them – like another teacher I didn’t like, upon reflection there are a lot things that, that person could have done differently to teach but underneath that all I know that person cares and besides I am the one feeling relieved to let go of a grudge about someone I don’t care about…

We are forever growing…we are forever learning and we are all capable of anything, we just need to believe and put our minds to something.

Signing off because even though I can sleep in tomorrow  but I still want to get some sleep…