Saturday, October 10, 2015

Get ready for the happy tears!

Ahhhhh, I love this kind of stuff.

Reflections on working life

So this is my first year back working full-time in 11 years. And it’s a big one – every class I’m teaching is new content and every non-teaching role I’m doing is new. Ha!  I have some kind of in-built magnet for ridiculousness.

But we are getting towards the end of the year now and patterns have been established and bedded in.  So what’s it like to go back to work? How’s it going?

It’s been really, really good. Yes, there have been some mad crazy mornings where kids suddenly discover they have no school shirt at the last minute, but on the whole we’ve eaten food and had clean clothes and generally been where we need to be when we need to be there.

Work is rewarding. I’ve always loved teaching and so the whole going to work caper is generally enjoyable. I want to be there. I like the people and the buzz and the kids. I like having my brain stretched (more so after the stretching than during the process).

The kids don’t seem to be too phased. I think because we all go to the same place at the same time and come home together it is pretty much business as usual for them. And we have most of the same days off so there’s only a little bit of juggling with curriculum days and so on.  And as we are at the same location, dealing with late notes, forgotten lunches or discussions with band teachers is easier – I can always pop a note in someone’s pigeon hole later in the day if I didn’t get it done before we left the house.  I know what is going on in Year Whatever so I’m not often blind-sided by finding out there’s a special day coming up that requires me to send 30 milk bottle tops and a cereal box or little Fred won’t get to be involved in the end-of-unit craft spectacular (I totally made that example up but it’s not far off…).

And I decided early on that there are no prizes for martyrdom this year.  I use the dryer lots, I buy more prep-paid stuff for lunchboxes than I used to and we have a cleaner once a fortnight. I am not doing this while still churning my own butter each morning and ironing all our pillowcases – I make choices.  And some stuff has not gotten done that probably should have (a post for another day).

I think one of the things that has become clearer for me as the year's gone on is that my circumstances in terms of life/family/work are unique.  Whether or not a mum can go back to work full-time or part-time when they have X number of children who are X years old is a question that knows of no one answer.  There are many answers as there are mothers and families and circumstances.  And even "identical" circumstances are not really identical because we all have different capacities for coping. That which would induce a meltdown in me might be fine and dandy for someone else.

Before I went back to work, I often wondered how working mums "did it".  My days were already full and I was baffled as to how other mums squeezed more in without the whole house of cards falling down.  The answer is that they don't.  They don't in the sense that my evaluation of what they might or might not be doing is totally.... imaginary.  And whether people are coping or not has to do with multiple dimensions within their circumstances (do they have family near by? does their spouse have flexi-time? do they have access to afterschool care? are their working hours predictable and negotiable? are their extra family issues or health concerns? do they love their job or are they forced into it by circumstances? how many kids? how old? what are their personalities? etc, etc) and it simply cannot be answered by asking, "How many hours of paid work per week do you do?"

For me, this is working well now.  It helped that I think my job is both God's gracious provision for me at this time and a wonderful opportunity for me to serve God in what I do.  Loving it!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Under our care

Rosie Batty points out that care for vulnerable women at risk of violence should extend not just to our free citizens but to those forcibly under our care.  Indeed.

Manus Island regional processing facility (8155612709)

By DIAC images [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, September 28, 2015

It sounds sophisticated when they sing it

Oh, for all you tired parents who are afraid that if you leave the room some great disaster will occur - this is for you.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A moment of wonder

I know.  I've failed to write anything meaningful for ages.  I have no excuses.  But I offer up these two enjoyable clips to make up for it.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

If teaching was treated like pro football

In a parallel universe....  this is a great parody.  My favourite bit is the faux ad at the end for BMW.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Little Lunch

Have you watched any of this new show on ABC3?  The plots revolve around the ordinary going-ons of a primary playground.  It's very watchable and engaging.  As a once-I-was-a-primary-teacher, I think it's really fun.  Not made for an adult audience, obviously, but if you can find a primary student who is willing to watch it with you no one will guess you are enjoying it for your own sake.  Catch up on iview.