Sunday, May 3, 2015

Placement life ends

Three weeks of placement - done. As I mentioned two weeks ago, it's been amazing and immense and crazy and overwhelming and exhausting.

The last week seemed filled with even more of all of the above.
  • Taking over a hundred year nines to the Shrine of Remembrance;
  • Discovering connections to teenage terrorists;
  • Administering the year 12s SAC (School Assessed Coursework) - this would have been easy-peasy except it was their 'Issues' exam on persuasive writing techniques... and their issue was the Bali executions, and their SAC was first thing on the morning of the actual execution;
  • Adminstering the second SAC and watching a boy's hands shake for the full exam;
  • Doing a professional development course on mental illness and discovering just how many kids are self harming in the school;
  • Reading through the World War 1 trench diaries the year nines wrote as part of my class;
  • Handing out last term's reports;
  • Watching a year nine student, who had refused to write a single word in my English class, spend a French class on task, drawing the most incredibly beautiful pictures for the full period - and realising I just hadn't been speaking his language;
  • Getting a cheer from the other teachers for answering two of the questions in the daily lunchroom quiz (in competition with the other campus) - Rastamouse and cauliflower for the win.
  • Feeling disappointed in my mentor's report because she ticked 'developing' instead of 'NA' for things I had no opportunity to do. 
It'll be interesting to see how much has change, how much I've changed, when we all head back in September for round two. In the meantime there are papers to collate, observations to transcribe, research to be done, assignments to write, more HDs to earn.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Be peaceful. And remember.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
                                      Lawrence Binion
Do something better today than getting piss drunk and calling that honouring sacrifice. Do something that helps us prevent this from happening again. Be peaceful. And remember.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Placement life

I've just finished my first week of teaching placement. I'm observing and teaching year 9s and year 12s and the experience is amazing and immense and crazy and overwhelming and exhausting.

Dear Boy's just finished his first ever full week of childcare. Luckily, they do yoga on Fridays, so he got a little respite from all that playing.

Throw in working my regular job at night to make sure the various balls over there stay in the air and it's been a cray-cray week.

One week down. Two more weeks to go. 

Then it's assignment time. Six due in five weeks, half of which Lovely Husband is going to be overseas, circumnavigating the globe in a string of research visits and conferences that ends in Hawaii.

Yeah, Hawaii. That one hurts.

In the meantime, the dishes are undone and what clean laundry there is remains in a heap on the lounge chair, and sometimes it's cereal for dinner because I burnt the good thing with actual veggies in it. The rain is falling outside the window and Dear Boy asked me tonight to lay down on his bed while he fell asleep so the monsters don't eat his hair.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Crafting for a cause: Bunnies for Mirabel

A few weeks ago we packaged up a pile of long-eared and red-cheeked bunnies and sent them off to Meet Me At Mike's and The Mirabel Foundation. It was an Easter Bunanaza, in the same vein as Softies for Mirabel at Christmastime, delivering homemade softies to Mirabel kids who have been orphaned or abandoned because of parental drug and alcohol abuse. Each year (on top of all the other good things they do), the folks at The Mirabel Foundation throw the kids and their families an Easter party with egg hunts and good food and lots of bunnies.

We've made softies at Christmas for a few years now but this is our first Easter Bunanaza. This time, Dear Boy helped. It's not child-labour if it's for charity, right? He stuffed bunnies full of filler and love, then gave them all big cuddles once they were stitched up. Because softies made with love in this house are delivered preloaded with cuddles. That's what softies are for, after all.

And once they were chock full of love, softies just gotta dance.


Thanks to Meet Me at Mike's and The Mirabel Foundation for all the work you do. And thanks for giving me an opportunity to show Dear Boy that there's joy in giving and helping other people.

You can catch a glimpse of our bunnies in the final line-up. Can you spot them? How awesome are a clutch of bunny softies?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Outdoor adventures: Fire!

We did a day trip into the hills for a bushwalk and lunch over a fire. We walked along a dry riverbed and collected bundles of sticks. I'll admit it: I nearly had kittens the entire time Dear Boy was near the fire. Part of the idea of these outdoor adventures is to build his sense of curiosity, his confidence and introduce more risky play into his thoroughly (sub)urban life.

He thought it was great; I had visions of him faceplanting into the flames.

It was very hard not to hold his hand, put out a barring arm, or pull him back. But how else does he learn his own limits and his own ways of being safe other than getting close enough to feel his eyeballs dry out or his skin feel uncomfortably warm? How else will he learn a stick will catch alight and he'll need to let it go? I can tell him, but the experience of it is much more powerful. It's certainly a powerful lesson for me in trusting him and letting him learn in his own way.

If anyone has any advice on providing risky play that's not going to end up in third degree burns, I'd love to hear it.


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