New start, new ride

Just a quick one on this glorious Wednesday!

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Today was my first day at a brand new school. Last year I formed a pretty significant bond with my advisory as part of the Big Picture Education pedagogy, and I was dreading having to leave them and start fresh. I’ve never been a big fan of change, and I had settled in so well at my old school that I ended up in a panic on the drive down to my new school this afternoon.

However my old school was nowhere near perfect (it is solely the familiarity and the students that have me missing it). So as soon as I got all my induction information and realised that I could finally be in an environment where I could learn and not have as much premature responsibility as at all my previous schools, I was a LOT happier. I loved being a part of a Big Picture school because of the emphasis on knowing your students and having a strong relationship with them, which is one of my biggest strengths as a teacher by far. My relationships with those kids were some of the best in the school, and I am very proud that in my farewell speech my line manager told everyone how I was a big sister figure for the disengaged kids especially,and that I was frequently the only one they responded to and would complete work for. Even now it brings me to prideful tears thinking how far I was able to bring those kids, though they are coupled with fearful tears knowing some of those same kids will go backwards without someone investing that same amount in them as I did.

As great as my student relationships were though, the staff were another story. Not dissimilar to my previous two schools, often I was left to my own devices with a huge amount of responsibility for someone only two years into her careers. The English department was nonexistent both in support and function. I would have my reports all ready to go with very little guidance, only to be told I had done them wrong and I should have been told the correct way to do them.

My new school already has a vastly different feel amongst the staff. The English department head has been amazingly helpful and there are a lot of existing systems in place for personal and professional support. One of my personal beliefs when it comes to teaching is that I will be less than useless in looking after and educating kids if I am not looking after myself. I struggled a lot in my first two years with that, overworking myself and taking on a lot of duties that were beyond me, and only recently finding a balance between work and self care.

Maybe that’s why I was hesitant and on edge this afternoon before arriving to school. I had finally found that routine and balance only for it to be swept out from under me without being able to do anything about it. I like to have control over things, and I do tend to panic first before letting go and enjoying the ride. Hopefully I have the panic all out of the way now, and can enjoy being at what seems to be an amazing school.

Hope you all are having an awesome week and that you Australian teachers are taking care of yourselves ahead of a new school year!

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Life Update Time! (Taking Stock Jan 2016)

Life update time! I head back to work next week which I find myself kind of dreading. But I have had a great summer (non-relationship-wise) and I’m ready to take on some new challenges.

 

Cooking: A lot lately as I (again) attempt to change my eating habits. I find that I struggle to enjoy cooking for myself, but I adore cooking for other people! Below are the last two breakfasts I made for my housemate, very proud of them if I do say so myself!

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Drinking: Water from an old Mount Franklin bottle. Is that whole “don’t reuse bottle water bottles” thing still a thing??

Reading: Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labours. Side note: How bad ass does Gal Godot look in the Batman vs Superman trailer?!

Wanting: so many, many things. Let’s go with motivation for now..

Looking: at the old Casablanca poster above my desk, finally hung up!

Playing: that Covet fashion game (I’m pretending it’s helping me be more fashionable!), Pandemic and Ticket To Ride . I am OBSESSED with Tabletop at the moment!

Deciding: if I want to go run myself a cold bath. It is SO HOT that sometimes I do that first thing in the morning, just sit in the bath to cool down. The cat has started sleeping in the bathroom (apparently over his previous bath trauma) which goes to show, evaporative airconditioning= NOPE!

Wishing: that my housemate was not moving out in two months, or that he asks me to move in with him (HA!) or that he just gives me a really nice birthday before he moves.

Enjoying: that the cat and I have gotten into a perfect routine this holidays. And that I know all his facial expressions and postures, and he does what I want (finally!) at one word, AND that there has been no inside pooing. Victory!

Waiting : for my younger housemate to come home, so I can tease him about his lady dramas.

Liking: the new organisation of my desk. I cleaned it up nicely yesterday to give me a good workspace. Naturally the rest of my room remains less organised!

Wondering: if I can pull myself together enough to clean up the rest of my room. I-think-i-can i-think-i-can i-think-i-can….

Loving: My boo.

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Pondering: waking up early tomorrow to try get into my school routine. ORRR do I sleep in as it is one of my last holiday days?

Watching: The Office (US) S05 E09 The Surplus. About to head into an Agents of SHIELD catch up too.

Hoping: a fairy comes and waves their wand over me and makes me look like I did four years ago. #fatty #badday

Marvelling: at other people’s abilities to be hella into their fitness and health. Very, very envious.

Needing: To find some motivation.

Smelling: the bowl of frangipanis on my desk from my trees in the backyard. Another reason I wanna stay in this house!!

Wearing: pink singlet, green undies, black shorts. And I’m only wearing the shorts because my housemate is due home soon!

Following: Ashy Bines on Instagram and Snapchat. She’s annoyingly perfect looking, and yet so accessible and down to earth about herself and her ups and down.

Knowing: I need to do some more planning and reading for school. My first year teaching HASS (Humanities and Social Studies) so I’ve got a lot to catch up on!

Thinking:  that I want to go on a cruise this year. My Hawaiian trip was cancelled as my aunty changed the cruise we were all going on from one in the school holidays to one during the term! Sad that I can’t go with my family, but the cruise they are now going on is far better value. BUT I do still want to go on a holiday this year sometime.

Feeling: like the weather has cooled down a bit and the air con is actually working properly!

Admiring: friends that are changing their lives and making better choices than me.

Sorting: out my possessions into keep, give away, throw away piles. Biting the bullet, organising, cleaning, the whole thing.

Buying: Too many books that I do not have time to read. It’s a sickness!!

Bookmarking: ideas and things I want to buy for school. I do love me some stationary and resources!

Disliking: that I still get itchy eyes and hayfever from the cat (and all the cat hair and dust in my room!).

Opening: my iTunes to find that all my music has disappeared. Joy.

Giggling: at a photo frame I found this morning with an odd brand name (inside joke hehehe)

Snacking: On nothing at the moment!! Trying to kick the habit and eat regularly enough that snacking doesn’t happen.

Coveting: a house. a car, a boy, a holiday, a size 10 body.

Wishing: to have the resolve and commitment to stick to my plans to change habits, even when I am feeling conflicted and down.

Helping: myself by deciding not to go to the shops to buy dinner and snacks.

Hearing: my text tone go off as my housemate asks me to let him in. The silly boy left his keys at work, so all weekend he has been pestering me to see when I am at home.

Hope you have all had a great start to the new year! Any motivation suggestion slay it on me, I suck balls at motivating myself!

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Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve thought a lot about how I want to start my year, with goals or resolutions or promises to people. Recently there has been some.. turmoil (for lack of a better term) in my personal life that has led to me (once again) trying to rethink the way I live my life, what makes me happy and how I can get back to those happy places again.

I have decided to take things one day at a time. Set small goals that can be achieved, and slowly work towards the bigger things. Make time for the things that make me happy and feel less guilty for choosing to do those things instead of over-committing myself to other pursuits.

If I had to name any overarching themes of my 2016, I would like them to be health, writing, reading, career. I hope that I can stick to what I am trying to do, and that I can keep myself to deadlines. They were the one part of journalism that I was able to do exceptionally after all!

Hope you all had a great new year’s celebration.

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Hottest Thanksgiving Ever

Long time no post (yet again…)

School is really kicking my arse at the moment, as well as an insane amount of personal drama of the “can’t believe this is happening to me” persuasion. BUT in great news I have a position for next year where I can start fresh and possibly get permanency (ah that golden word!) so I’ve been able to handle the work drama. I am very thankful for the help my principal gave me in getting the job, and so I thought in the spirit of American Thanksgiving I would list a few things I am thankful for right now.

  1. Marvel’s Jessica Jones. I know she’s not exactly the greatest role model but damn, she’s just awesome. More amazingly is how much I am astounded by David Tennant’s Kilgrave. He is really compelling as a villain and an amazing actor. I’m currently watching episode 8 (AKA WWJD?) and I just love it.
  2. Good friends. Malinda at work and Caro from decades of friendship keeping me sane, Coop coming home for the holidays, Rach getting her dream job, Mich being there for me when I needed it and most of all J for being everything I need and more.
  3. Water. Swimming keeps me sane and helps clear my head, and   though I’ve been dry of late I’m hoping to get back into it soon.
  4. Perth. With this weather and the amount of driving around I’ve done lately I’m falling more and more in love with my home town. I can’t wait until the school holidays so I can explore more of it with friends and family.

Back to reports for me now, I’m hideously overdue with them and trying my hardest to stay on track. I don’t know why I consistently do this, procrastinate and lose motivation for things that I know will benefit me and make me feel good in the long run. It’s getting real old real fast and I don’t know how to stop it.

Delightfully positive right? Hope you are having a good weekend.

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Hello October!

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Things that I want to accomplish this month include:

  • Finish reading the Thone of Glass series by Sarah J Maas – I’m addicted and currently in the middle of Heir of Fire (book 3).
  • Swimming at the pools a minimum of 1km per session, and at least three times a week.
  • Eating at least two pieces of fruit per day, and at least two servings of vegetables per day. Doctor says I have dangerously low iron levels so I’m looking to completely revamp my diet, starting with a new love of mushrooms and spinach!
  • Going to the beach at least four times this month. I’m ridiculous, the second the sun comes out a light goes off in my head saying “well. must be summer, time for thongs and bathers and sand and seaweed!”
  • Walking/running at least once a day – again. with the aforementioned revamp. I call it “Operation Hottie.” I’m also doing the Colour Run on the first of November, which I know is more fun than run, but I still want to do well!
  • Keep my bedroom clean. End of term saw me doing a lot of mindless dressing in the mornings without any time for laundry at night, resulting in the Everest of dirty clothes piles in my bedroom.
  • Stick to my Lorna Jane Active Planner – it’s all pink and amazing, and the core of my 12 week aim/Operation Hottie for the next three months. And on that note..
  • Lose at least 2cm from some measurement in my Lorna Jane planner. I’m trying hard to remember it’s less about weight and more about how my clothes fit me (especially with all my swimming making my arms so BUFF), but who doesn’t want to see that number on the scale go down? And finally:
  • Watch my darling Eagles take the flag this Saturday!

Hope you had a fantastic September and that your plans for the last three months of the year are coming along great! Just 12 weeks until Christmas!(shudder)

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Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors

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Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. Another one I haven’t been keeping up with, but this week’s is an easy one for me; I have a lot of Auto-buys! I do want to expand it as new books and books with that author involved/the subject, as with a couple of them being in the great library in the sky can’t exactly bring out a new novel! And of course, GRRM:

  1. Agatha Christie
  2. Meg Cabot
  3. Rick Riordan
  4. Nick Hornby
  5. GRRM
  6. Truman Capote
  7. JRR Tolkien
  8. Matthew Reilly
  9. Ann Brashares
  10. Lucy Knisley (she’s amazing!)
  11. Sue Grafton
  12. Gregory Maguire
  13. Lauren Conrad
  14. Waris Dirie

A range of crime/mystery, fantasy and chick-lit, which is pretty much me in a nutshell!!

What are your auto buys? I’m sure I’m missing about ten million I’ve forgotten!

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Music Monday: Fooling Around

Morning everyone! Long time no see etc. I’m really becoming slack with some things, and while I may have a full time job right now, I need to learn how to balance everything so I don’t let anything slide.

Today however, it is cool and rainy outside, after a weekend with Perth’s hottest August day on record and some awesome sports. My “current mood” is quite melancholy though chilled, almost as if I’m having my own day inside reading and listening to music instead of battling to sit through a thousand and one oral presentations (because yes, I planned so well as to have two classes doing presentations on the same days, so smart!).

This week’s music, and really this month’s music, starts with Elvin Bishop’s Fooled Around And Fell In Love and throws in a little bit of The Runaways, David Bowie and Marvin Gaye among other awesome tracks. One of my favourite movies ever and my favourite album at the moment – Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1. 

My favourite songs on this album are I’m Not In Love, Fooled Around and Fell In Love and Spirit In The Sky, though that is changing daily and depending on my life events. What I love about this soundtrack is that It’s throwback music which I have always been a fan of (ask my dad!) but for some reason goes hand in hand with intergalactic adventurers. The movie is one I watch when I can’t sleep or need a cheer up (thanks Netflix!) and this album is quickly becoming one that instantly relaxes me. Admittedly a lot of albums can do that, but rarely ones from multiple artists. One of the main reasons I am looking forward to the next Guardians movie is seeing what they do with Awesome Mix Vol 2. 

Off to mark some student work, or continue reading Invasion of the Tearling. I feel like we all know which one will end up happening…

Happy Monday!

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PS: Happy birthday to my Galentine’s date Rachael! xox

Party (appropriately) Time!

Hullo!

Me right now. Well not exactly, I’m still at school.

I can finally emerge from that dreaded teacher hibernation known as reports, as I have officially finished mine for the semester! made all the more difficult of course by my own procrastination in leaving myself piles and piles of marking, but I managed it and feel so so so SO much lighter as a result!

I had so many students who were working at an A or B level, but because they didn’t hand work in their grade was dragged down to a C or D, which is disappointing to me. BUT I do also get some satisfaction out of the look on their faces when they realise their laziness has in fact NOT worked out for them at all.

I thought I would share a couple of my comments for my advisory class. They have to be around 300 words and they are the kids I know best. These two are a male and female student on complete opposite ends of the spectrum, but I love them equally:

(Girl) is a creative and talented young lady who makes her passion for reading, writing and art known every day. I personally enjoy talking about books with her; it is heartening to see such a pure love for something so often taken for granted. Her involvement in cadets and the (company) project has allowed her to use her strengths to grow as a young person as well as for relationships that have been beneficial to her at school. (Girl) approaches her work with an individuality and surety that is rare for someone her age. While she completes all her work creatively and to a high standard, I would like to see her share that passion more within the classroom. (girl) gets along with everyone in advisory and though she expresses herself confidently in small peer groups, I would like to see her collaborate and cooperate with the class as a whole. At times (girl) does retreat into her work away from the collegial atmosphere of the class emerging when required. (girl) works well with others and has shown leadership across the year group. (girl) always seems prepared and if she isn’t she finds what she needs in order to complete her work.  She regularly organises her file into a neat, presentable state. I think that (girl) has the capacity to be successful in whatever field she decides to pursue. I think it will be up to her though to decide what she wants and to go after it 100 percent without letting anything get in the way.

And my other delightful cherub:

(Boy)has shown himself to be a very caring young man, always one of the first to want to help when one of his classmates is in distress. In one-on-one situations (Boy)has been able to communicate well with classmates, and I would like to see him work on forming strong relationship with everyone in class. I believe that once (Boy)finds something in common with someone, he is loyal to that and it allows him to relate to them in some small way. (Boy) had had some stumbles this year so far but what I so admire about him is his resilience and his eagerness to be at school no matter what. With his individualised program continuing to be developed, I think that (Boy)will be able to find things at school to work on and be proud of. When it comes to class work (Boy)relies heavily on guidance from teachers and mentors to complete his work and stay on task. (Boy)can be a polite, helpful and co-operative member of Advisory and the year cohort at times.  However, sometimes he engages in behaviour that is hurtful toward others.  This behaviour has decreased somewhat but he still can try to eliminate it all together to keep his reputation as a positive and helpful person intact. I enjoy talking to (Boy)and getting to know his passions. I think there are many opportunities for (Boy)at a school like (school) and I am excited to help him pursue them. Ultimately though it comes down to him putting in the effort to focus and communicate his needs and concerns. He has started to show that he is able to do this in small stints, the more we work on this the more successes I believe (Boy)will have at school.

I genuinely love these kids, and desperately wish I could teach them again next semester. Fingers crossed!!

Love,
Andrea

It's useful being top banana in the shock department.