Grateful 28/52

Last week it was back at Uni but I took a cheeky day out tot he city to see an art exhibition that was in the Flinders Street station ballroom. One word – amazing! I loved the journey the exhibition took me on with its focus on care for the environment and each other. Patricia Piccinini is an artist who I have always followed and this exhibition the audio tour on your phone created a wonderful connection to the work. I came home way more wiser to our ways on this earth and way more respectful towards caring for the planet. The whole exhibition made you contemplate the fragility of life and how as humans we do have the power to make teeny tiny changes that can help our children’s future. I was so grateful to have the time to go and visit this show so it could have the power to change me too.

Grateful 27/52

I have loved having the freedom to do whatever. The only issue I had to deal with to get some projects completed has been the weather as it has been super cold outside over the weekend and it was not the best time to work on my nature strip garden. Instead I went out for brunch with a friend to the city all rugged up, we have made plans to catch up once a month, which is something to look forward to.

Today I write this when I am now officially back into study mode! I have my air diffuser with some focus essential oils to get into the groove. I have to say that I am so grateful for having the time last week to order outdoor furniture from IKEA and I made it with my daughter and it looks fab! All my indoor plants have had a makeover and have been repotted or cleaned and they look beautiful. Plus I have been sewing away and making dress pinafores for my placement coming up in August/September and that has been a lot of fun. All this has happened in between teenager sleep overs and appointments for the dentist and the like.

Yay to a week of completing projects and having time to myself.

Grateful 26/52

The biggest thing I am grateful at the moment is time. Time to do nothing. Time to just be. Time to pet the cats. Time to do some gardening. Time to watch TV and do whatever I want to do! I am really enjoying this time with propagating some plants with help from books from the local library. I am also sewing and have a couple of projects in the works with an overall dress, they are so comfortable. Not having to sit around on my computer and do Uni work is an absolute pleasure as work has been pretty full on with the last few days of term and having the time to chill in the evening has been the best! I only have the next week to enjoy the time I have left so I will treasure each day and hopefully get all the stuff that needs to be completed – done!

I have an IKEA order of outdoor furniture to come this week so that will be a project with the kids. I also have to find a car as Dad’s 20 year old car registration is coming up in August, so I gotta get that happening. It is such a mission to find a car but hopefully we can manifest one easily enough? I also ordered some pots from IKEA so I am looking forward to setting up some more little plant friends around the place. All very exciting, as some things have been on my “to do list” for ages.

But no pressure here, it is time to relax and enjoy this free time before Uni starts up again next week!!

Grateful 25/52

Time is something that is such a precious gift that we never know how much we appreciate it until the free time is no longer there. I have been just rolling along and just getting things done I did not realise that I needed that time just to be and have nothing in my schedule. Last weekend we finally had some sunshine, so I spent most of the day in the garden catching up on all the amazing plants in my garden. I have a little project on the nature strip that has been on and off since we moved in and I finally had some time to give it some love. There is still heaps to do but having a garden to appreciate and take care of makes me feel so grounded. I love to take care of living things and seeing them flourish, especially seeing the earthworms and collecting them for my vegetable garden on our little courtyard. Gardening is an ongoing passion that began with succulents, now it extends into my house with my indoor plants and the yard around our house. It is a perfect way for me to chat to the neighbours and spend my days in the dirt, so I am thankful that I have the ability to take care of plants with the energy to keep them alive!

Grateful 24/52

Sometimes life literally throws you challenges that make you want to give up, due to the annihilation of your values. My profession makes me particularly vulnerable to this, where interactions with little people can truly upset what you believe in. In particular, experiencing children lack of respect for their teachers. I understand children have strange ways of expressing themselves. It was through an incident where a child was relentlessly throwing sand right up to my face was the time that truly made me think what the hell am I doing this job for? I was thinking that this child cannot even listen to stop where the stronger the reprimand the worse the throwing became, picking up more sand and then aiming it higher and higher, and eventually, the sand was in my eyes. Children can be bullies and it is at this time when I feel, “stuff this there is no way this kid can learn anything!”

But it is at these moments we need to go inside ourselves and find why we are so triggered by these behaviours. Yes, I have had my time with domestic violence in the past which was the initial trigger that welled up the tears but digging deeper I realised that it was the sadness I felt for a child that feels that the only way they can interact is through testing boundaries with other humans. I am going to come out of this week feeling grateful for a supporting team at work and for my family to realise that there are many people like this in the world. This little person will not be the only one who challenges my values of respect, trust, and kindness – adults do the same thing but we choose to distance ourselves from toxic humans. I realise that my time with this child is only a blip in their life and the only way for me to teach kindness is to go back to that group of children and just be there, listen, and learn. It is through shared experiences that we develop our resilience and learn from each other.

So thank you little human, you have a lot of carry in your life but you need to realise that there are people who care.

Grateful 23/52

The last 12 weeks have been intense and now that I am finally on a break from Uni I am so, so relieved! It has been so full on the last few months since I had my birthday in April until now. We even went for a holiday but it does not even feel like we even had a break since I fractured my elbow and then… Boom, I was working full time, studying and pretty much 7 day workload for over a month! We are in lockdown for the second week and I could not be happier as I do not have to be anywhere except work!

I have been loving this book I borrowed from the library with its gorgeous layout with information on so many plants! I was devouring the information and now I need to get myself a copy to focus on adding more plants to my collection. That is truly something to be grateful for my plants that are enjoying themselves in our temperature controlled house, now with solar!!

Grateful 22/52

What a week! I just handed in my portfolio from my teacher placement on Sunday and then it was time to start the case study for my next assignment and I was also back to work for a full day on Wednesday. I was so thankful for this gorgeous evening out to capture the blood moon lunar eclipse. We had beautiful clear skies that evening which meant it was quite a chilly, winters evening outside. I ended up grabbing my tripod to capture this beauty and watch the eclipse from my front garden – it was beautiful and definitely something to be thankful for this week!

We are now back in lockdown 4.0 with 45 cases at the moment, thank goodness for the COVID vaccination and I have had the first dose – the second one is in August. Till then, gotta stay safe! x

Grateful 21/52

What felt like weeks was only 21 days but it was the most intense of times! Especially when I had to catch up on study on the weekend!! Full time working and studying is way too much. I am actually catching up and starting a new assignment today so I have to say I am grateful for the family for keeping dinner on the table that was one less thing to worry about after I came home from my meetings or time with the kids. Every day I had a new story of what was happening at school! Such an amazing experience and here is my critical reflection because as teachers – we love to reflect on everything 😀

I have learned that teaching in a primary classroom is a very demanding position requiring you to juggle multiple roles of not just the teacher but the manager of the classroom and the mediator of the children. Plus there are the meetings after work that require reflection on teaching practices within the Professional Learning Community to help guide the practice and focus on areas of teaching for the students. This practicum has changed my professional approach to gaining an even greater respect for teachers and all of the work they do to teach students. The behind the scenes organisation and preparation to make lessons happen is just a small part of the magic of teaching. For my intellectual development, I have learned so much with regards to interacting with children and have learnt to appreciate them as individuals, it was truly upsetting to experience at the beginning of my placement that school was the safest and supportive place for some children to be. The insight of this understanding has been phenomenal in seeing into the community in which I live and that there is a lot of suffering out there for children and at school they see positive role models. For my personal and ethical development, I have to say that I am now looking at myself from a new lens that I have travelled an emotional journey with this placement to see that children no matter what level they are at need the individual support they deserve but the reality is that one teacher with 20 students that task is near impossible. So I have felt that whatever I can do so this group of children can take away one thing with them whether that is to cut with scissors or learning to be organised, I wish them all the success in the world.

Teaching is a job that requires new ways to compartmentalise all the jobs that need to be done by making multiple lists that are just endless. The way children are looking for challenges in their learning has made me realise that, if children say their classwork is boring they are not being challenged enough. It is really important to find that fine line for children, which is the just right place in their learning. What I have learned about the teaching profession that I was not previously aware of is just how overwhelming it is and how important it is to have a supportive teaching team. The challenges that teachers face with inclusive classrooms is huge and what I have seen is that the model that exists now within the public school system can be seriously damaging to the children and also the teachers. I believe in inclusive learning but because of a lack of funding there are children that fall through the cracks and do not get the help they need because they are in the wrong learning environment.

What I would do differently if I had to do this again is to prepare myself for the emotional rollercoaster of the placement. I now know that there are many facets to the community that is seen at the microcosm of the school level and that itself is confronting. Nothing can prepare you for the challenges in the classroom but it helps to have someone that is there to support you like my mentor teacher. I think I would have set up more conversations with my psychologist over the period to actually deal with the emotions I was feeling about the children with some of the situations they are dealing with. Our school teaches Auslan (as our shared language for the whole school) and I would have thought that would be a way of communicating for all with children with speech/language difficulties. As a teacher, you just want to solve problems but sometimes they are out of your control.

The impact on student learning has been that some struggling students were given the opportunity to work with a teacher one on one and I feel that will help them understand what they need to do for the future. Sometimes I see that students want to read with me and that all they want to do is for someone to actually care about what they are doing and give them some positive feedback. I know this because of the trust some of the information the students share with me, I suggested to her to draw and encourage her to visually represent what she wants to say which she is really good at. I would say that these experiences with a handful of students in the class gives me hope that they look at learning in new ways.

I certainly have a new respect for teachers and the multitude of experiences they have to deal with daily.

Trish

Grateful 20/52

Look now it is midweek and I have been so flat out that I have not been able to be thankful for what this week has given me. I know it has provided plenty of experience working with children but man I am so tired with working full time in a classroom and on the weekend I am writing my portfolio for my placement. Times to craft with the kids in class has been super fun and I am thankful for these opportunities! I have 3 days to go on my student placement and then it is back to the kinder to be with the really little kids. Even though the time is so crazy at the moment it is a great time I am enjoying with the teaching team I am working with and so grateful for learning something new every day!