If we didn’t have to work for a living…

I am asking the question – if we didn’t have to work for a living what would we do with our time? Do we work because we need the income or do we also do it because it’s fulfilling, it gives us a sense of purpose etc? It’s probably a bit of both but would we still work if we didn’t have to?

I am in the transition phase of life from just finishing my degree and starting my career. There are some days where life just feels like a series of steps, a series of things people need to complete in order to get through life.

Once we are born we come into a world that is completely unknown, we are taken care of by our parents, family members, friends and even strangers. When I look back to my child-hood although my Mother was the one I would say raised me, brought me up and did most of the work. There were other people there that came into my life and looked after me.

As I got older and in particular when my parents separated and later got divorced I learnt more about how to look after myself – for me the process of looking after myself started at about 6 or 7 years old. I still had other people around who I could depend upon but with my mother now being single I had to do more for myself.

It started with simple things like tieing my hair in a pony-tail but eventually I learnt to cook, do my washing and take myself to school.

I came out of school and was soon living in student accommodation and once again I was doing more myself and learning more about what I wanted for me.

By now I had completed both Primary and Secondary School and was about to start my degree.

The point that I’m trying to get at is that if you think about it once we are born we have a series of life lessons that need to be done before another lesson can begin. To the point where they are never-ending right up until we are no longer here.

I’m not saying that life is predictable or clear. Life does get in the way, we are presented with challenges and sometimes those “steps” have to be altered and changed in order to still get to where we want to go.

But where exactly are we going? If we can’t live forever is there is point? What would happen if we all decided to live on benefits?
Is that even possible?

For me being a teacher isn’t because of the money because lets face it I’m not going to earn a huge sum of money by doing my job. I’m doing it because I want to make a difference in the world. Plus I know that even if I didn’t need money for food, rent and bills I’d still do it. I can honestly say that I have enough love for what I got my degree in to do regardless of the money.

If I had more time just for me I would probably do more art, baking, writing, reading, watching of movies, etc. Not every day would be jam-packed and I probably wouldn’t get up early and decide that 9ish would be the earliest I’d wake up and I’d love to live in my trackies/pjs and not have to really worry about how I looked. But would I love my life? Honestly no, I don’t think I would. I can’t imagine not working with children in any way shape or form. As a nanny/babysitter, teacher or with what I’m doing now with before and after school care.

Everyday I feel so lucky to be a part of the lives that I’m a part of. Some of these kids are at school each day from 7:15am to 6pm at night, they have homework, extra-curricular activities/sport, parties, weekends away, etc. Their childhood isn’t exactly what I’d call easy. It’s pretty full-on.

The weekends and school holidays are for me time. If another person comes into my life some day then he will be included. But for now I can enjoy my spare time. I can enjoy my work and my hobbies. I think I’m pretty fortunate. My job to me isn’t simply a job and I cherish the time I have for myself.

I would rather be blissfully happy earning little than miserable earning a lot.

Signing off – Happy Saturday!!

 

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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! 😉

It’s strange but good to be home!

 

 

 

 

I’ve just come home from living in a very remote community in the Northern Territory, Australia. I was there for a six week teaching placement and have to say that although my days and weeks were difficult, challenging and I struggled a bit even with thoughts of wanting to go home, that it was one of the best, amazing and inspirational experiences that I have ever had in my life so far. In fact now that I’m home even though I’m very happy to be here I’ve started to realise how desperately I would have liked to stay. I’m tired, missing the kids and finding it hard to adjust being back in Melbourne.

I can tell you being back here and re-adjusting to Melbourne life is almost harder than my first week in the community I was in and it’s mainly due to being around lots of people and also being in my room alone… When I first arrived in that community, all I thought was how blissfully peaceful it was and how nice it was with the sun going down as we were un-packing the car.

The first challenge that I had to face was living in a school library, only having a cold tap at the sink, de-frosting meat for all our cooking and having to check for frogs and toads in the toilet. As the weeks progressed I noticed how much I was missing simple comforts of life and a lot of things that I took for granted.

Amongst having to boil a kettle for washing dishes, I started to miss sitting on a couch, I wasn’t able to use my personal laptop for connecting to the internet (instead was supplied with the use of a school’s one), the internet itself was slow so no blogging etc, all the food I had to eat was already there and apart from a really expensive and basic shop there was no backup. We were five hours to the nearest town so there was also the factor of isolation. If it wasn’t for my fellow student teacher I quite possibly would have gone home earlier than originally planned – she was the person who I talked to, cooked with, worked with, watch movies with, etc and I’m happy to report I have made a new friend!

Apart from the teaching we were able to get go down to the local river, go for walks and when back in Katherine on a school trip see some amazing sights! A boat cruise down Katherine Gorge was probably the high-light, with amazing cliffs, clear water and a place to swim – you could not have asked for anything better to do!

Now that I’m home I’m asking myself – did it really happen? Because it almost feels like it didn’t. I’m sitting here in my room thinking – what am I doing here? I should be somewhere else, shouldn’t I? I’ve been to have a “real” coffee, eat at the Vic Markets with my Dad, gone to the milkbar because I was out of milk, sit on my bed, pat my cat and say hello to some of house-mates. The funniest part about coming back to Melbourne is apart from seeing family and friends the two things that I’m looking forward to the most is being able to use a hot tap and sitting on a couch!

I never thought I would be excited by such simple things, but there you go.

It’s strange and good to be home and there is not much else to say.

Signing off while thinking to myself – wow I can actually blog again!

 

 

 

Leaves make Autumn beautiful

As I am sitting here enjoying what has now turned into brunch. I cant help but to think what a beautiful Autumn we have had. I look out onto my backyard and get to witness all the beautiful colours that make up Autumn. As the last leaves are falling as we get ready for Winter this is what I get to see…

    

The colours I believe give us a sense of warmth through the reds, yellows and oranges and sometimes even silver, grey and blue we can visualise and remember the summer and spring just past… just as a new change is beginning. Autumn leaves have seen us through many changes…

When we were children we jumped and played in them…coming into Adulthood we walk through the old days and look forward to new things and as I’m almost at the end of my first semester of my final year I can see a new change emerging for me.

At this time of the year I always reflect on what has gone and what will happen next it’s exciting to think that I will be working at a school in my own classroom this time next year – a new change that will occur just like the seasons that change every year.

With every new season comes new foods in summer we eat ice-creams, have BBQs, Pavlova with summer berries, in spring we enjoy a good old lamb chop, in autumn it’s a spicy pumpkin soup and by winter we are eating comforting stews and warm apple pies!!

With each change we feel something different and we do different things… My change will be going from a student to being a teacher… It’s an exciting change but it’s a big change.

It’s bigger than going from jumpers to tee-shirts or soup to ice-cream…it’s more like taking a leap or jumping into the unknown…

I will be ready to take it on. But at this stage I can’t imagine how different it will actually be.

Signing off as I have to finish my final assignments for the semester…

I hope you are enjoying the colour of the leaves or whatever weather it is for where you are as that might be not quite the same. 😉

This anxious excited feeling!!

I go from feeling so excited that I’m literally jumping up and down to feeling so nervous I can’t eat some days in a manner of minutes and this is all because of this year. It’s roughly 5 -6 months before I will  have finished my course and will become a graduate teacher and each day, each week and each month I get just a little bit closer to end of the line.

Today is a good example of feeling really excited… before I was sitting in my kitchen writing an action plan – a tedious assignment placed there to torture us by our lecturers and even though it’s a drag to complete it felt necessary to complete. It was interesting to see where I am now and what I plan to do to achieve what I need to before the end of the year. If all goes well then a job will be in my sights!!

After tackling this work I went for a driving lesson, during this lesson my instructor said that I was doing really well and by the end he said it will probably only be a few more lessons before I’m driving with ease. With this in the back of my mind I could see that things were coming together…

Then I relayed my thoughts during a phone call to Mum and started to feel anxious again – I was back in the spiral!!

So I decided I needed to be here and right a post about it, besides it ties in nicely with all ideas behind this blog anyway so it does make sense!

It’s great to feel like I’m actually achieving something through doing this teaching degree. It’s not just that I’ll have a job. It’s a dream that I’ve had for a very long time that will actually come true. It’s the marks/grades I’ve received since I’ve started and it’s looking back at where I was when I began to where I am now.

The best bit is – I actually believe that it’s happening. I believe that I am capable and that once I get there I’ll be great.

I say this because it’s taken me through my entire education to believe so – that is also an achievement. To go from a kid with a lack of self-esteem and thinking that I couldn’t do much in the world to now believing that I can and will gives me such an amazing feeling…

For once I don’t need other people to point it out and better still I’m not second guessing when they do… My response isn’t a shy “Oh really??” it’s a confident “Thank-you!” and a facial expression that shows I agree!!

I don’t know if anyone else has ever felt this way – I’m sure there are plenty of people who have… but seriously it’s great, it makes me cry – in a good way and it makes me not want to settle for less, plus I also feel a somewhat sense of assertivness…not too over-powering as it’s not in my nature…but you know – I just feel good!!

I thought that I would keep this short – to say the end is near yikes/yay – and that persistence and hard work pays off. The thought of know that I’m nearly there makes me want to strive even more to get there and really do it!!

Give life a real crack otherwise there is no point – we only have one chance at it after all!

To my fellow Education P-12 students: we’re so close so lets keep at it, before we know it – we’ll blink and be graduate teachers!!!

Oh my goodness!!

Signing off to go make something to eat!! 🙂

 

“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!!