Wednesday 23rd August 2017

Archives for March 2017

Trees In My Street. 2017.49.

Trees In My Street. 2017.49.

In this part of Australia we have been waiting for signs of Autumn to arrive. So far, not many.

However as I write this, the weather is on the turn so to speak but before then we are in for a pile of rain and wind thanks to the recent Cyclone Debbie and a cold front meeting it as the rains come down the coast to where we are.

Yesterday morning, Thursday, I went to a walk in our street to notice the changes in the trees. Finally! A few changes could be seen.

Here they are:

What are you noticing about the trees near you?

Which season are you in?

Denyse.

Joining some photography link ups here: Jen and Sue

Joining The Ultimate Rabbit Hole with  Sammie and friends too here.

 

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Casual Teacher Ready To Teach! 2017.48.

Casual Teacher Ready To Teach! 2017.48.

I developed a ‘classroom-in-a-box’ for my first day back teaching in a classroom after some years in June 2012.

I am a K-6 teacher who likes to be prepared for all contingencies – ok, I am ‘over-preparer’ – because as a former K-6 principal I know that casual teachers cannot necessarily be guaranteed to:

  • know exactly what class or grade they will take even though they might have been engaged to teach a particular one because between the time of engagement and the reality of that school day, plans might need changing
  • have equipment and resources for a day in the classroom made available to them, particularly if it’s not been known that the teacher they replace was to be absent
  • be given any guidance or plan for the day as schools are incredibly busy and dynamic places
    get a chance to do any kind of preparation on arrival at school, e.g. photocopying etc.
  • So, what went into my (self-titled) ‘Classroom In a Box’?

This post brought back memories of sharing these photos as slides to the new and upcoming teachers who were students I tutored back in 2013 and 2014 at a Sydney University. If anyone reading here wishes to use any of my ideas or the photos they are copyright free by me for personal use by teachers.

Denyse.

Linking up with Kylie Purtell and friends here for I Blog On Tuesdays. I hope you’ve enjoyed my education and schooling posts over the years! See below:

News from Denyse:

I have LOVED presenting posts about education and schooling here each Tuesday since January 2015. In fact there have been more than 100 original posts!! Before then I also linked up to I Blog On Tuesdays from 2012 onwards whenever I had a new post. I am reducing my blogging output now and I will be only posting on Tuesday intermittently. I will continue to be a blog reader and commenter as past of the I Blog On Tuesdays team. This is not saying goodbye but I am taking care of myself and blogging less! I wrote about why here.

 

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Three Month Review. #LifeThisWeek 13/52. 2017.47.

Three Month Review. #LifeThisWeek 13/52. 2017.47.

Recently I was asked what this prompt might mean and I responded that any kind of review would be fine. It is always up to bloggers to take the prompt and interpret as they wish. However, I am not even sure that I knew what I would write about when I chose it. It became clear last week when I wrote this here:

I have chosen to reduce my blogging output as of this week so as to be more mindful of my self-care and self-kindness. I am not making any further intentions at this point. My life has been on a learning curve as part of ageing and transition to living with both a chronic condition (IBS and its accompanying limitations) and the stress which is part of my inner being. I am wanting to feel less inward pressure on myself and needing to care for myself more. Blogging has been a part of my life for more than 6 years and will continue to be but I am blogging now for when and if I choose to. I know that regular readers will completely understand my new(er) direction as of today! Thank you!

So. That’s out there now.

Yes, Monday link ups will continue. Yes, so will the prompts. I will write fewer posts on a timetabled weekly basis as I did. Tuesdays at I Blog On Tuesdays here with Kylie Purtell required me to have new content each week. For over 100 posts this has been possible but I have made the choice now to blog less on Tuesdays. There will be a post tomorrow! If you know anyone who is wanting to teach or get some work teaching casually this post is must!

It’s been a really interesting three months. I have taken two posts from each of the months and highlighted them for the mix of content and how the year has gone for me and what has changed, if at all.

January.

I made the decision on 1 January that each Sunday I would consider an INTENTION to match my needs at the time and then to write about how that progressed the following week. I linked these posts to Leanne’s Link Up each week. After last week, there will be no more. I actually felt too much pressure on me to keep up!

The year always seems to start somewhere in blogging land and beyond with a word of the year. So, I was original (not!) and did this for the 2nd link up for #lifethisweek for KINDNESS. Here it is. What I have learned from this is to be KIND to me first is a challenge but in looking after myself better (see above about cutting back on blogging) it seems I am remembering my word!

February.

I do love writing about education and schooling and in particular to help families with young children going to school for the first time and in the primary school years. I combined my now-regular practice of MEDITATION along with what’s happening in schools for this post. 

Regular readers and commenters know how much creative pursuits such as ART & MANDALAS are now part of my retired-life. Each weekend I link up with Sammie – The Annoyed Thyroid – for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole and this was a creative life catch up.

March.

On Fridays I join up with a number of photography link ups and I admit I do not comment on anyone’s posts in general others than the hosts. I am not naming the link ups because lately there have been fewer appearing. However, I did love this one I made as a tribute to the planet and knowing we live in a WONDERFUL WORLD.  What is interesting for me is that THIS time, I used other people’s photos!

Recently I wrote a post about LEARNING for the Tuesday education blog post. This time however, it was about my learning and I asked readers about their learning. We are lifelong learners in my opinion.

My three month review is done. Well, not quite. I am humbled and delighted to have so many supportive blogging friends (met or not yet met) and this is why this space and its community will always be important to me. I do hope that you too find the world of blogging to connect as I do. I blog to connect. I said that day one 2015 and that remains. I do not blog for fame, money, sponsors nor stats. 

I blog for me and for you to connect with me whenever you can.

Thank you! Let’s hope our Monday link up community continues and that you are here too!

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

Thanks for linking up this week.

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week!

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!

* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Daylight Saving is Over”.


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Merrylands East P.S. On Show. 2017.46.

Merrylands East P.S. On Show. 2017.46.

Merrylands East Public School’s principal John Goh and I have been professional colleagues since we were in executive teaching roles in Western Sydney in the 1990s. Early this century, I retired as a school principal close to the time John became a school principal here. We caught up a few years back via twitter and I attended  Teach Meet events where John was host or one of the presenters.

John is both a promoter of public schools and a humble man. He speaks loudly about the need for schools to have the full funding from the Gonski reforms as the students in his school have benefited already from this. I know he would want me to add that to work alongside the staff at his school is a highlight. John does playground duty each morning and often posts a morning selfie on twitter. He’s in the SES and uses social media to let us know about keeping safe in all the weather conditions.

In February 2017 he was part of TedXSydney Salon. The talk  was live-streamed and this is his bio from the site.

John Goh is currently the principal of Merrylands East Public School, in South Western Sydney. He leads a culturally diverse school of around 380 students with 85% of students from a non-English Speaking Background and 10% refugees. John’s dynamic and innovative staff are part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Program. Together, they have a passion for the use of technology in learning and student engagement. In recent years, John’s school has achieved the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award for their sustainability programs and infrastructure and the NSW Director General’s School Achievement Award.

Credit:http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/edpod/a-early-start-to-the-day/5563060

I visited John’s school a few years ago and even then I was impressed by the ways in which he and his staff were ‘undoing’ traditional teaching models. John added resources that save the school money including water tanks and solar and in this way, funds can be channelled for students’ needs. He had some spaces transformed and kids were using technology to communicate with kids in remote schools in NSW. He also has an area in the school set aside for gardens and produce grown there has been supplied to the canteen. This school is in an area where many people do not live with a backyard so fresh is always appreciated. John and his staff are helping kids see the food chain in action! I loved the playground signs!

 

Merrylands East P.S. varied its school hours some years back and there have been benefits. Some media about this and other matters can be found on ABC’s Life Matters here  and ABC’s Radio National here

What inspired me to write this post, with John’s permission, was what I saw on SBS TV last Sunday night. I have much pride in introducing this wonderful segment with teacher Lee Hewes and his class. They tell the story themselves  here on SBS!

Credit: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/03/08/

I am a proud public education supporter and I hope you enjoy seeing what one school is doing so well!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell and bloggers who blog on Tuesdays here.

On the weekend I am linking here with Sammie and friends for The Ultimate Rabbithole.

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Autumn. #LifeThisWeek 12/52. 2017.45.

Autumn. #LifeThisWeek 12/52. 2017.45.

This prompt was strictly from my calendar. In the northern hemisphere Autumn/Fall commences September 21.

In the southern hemisphere we call the season Autumn from March 1.

The reasons I like Autumn are:

  • cooler evenings
  • cooler days
  • sunshine that does not burn (as much)
  • plants changing – losing leaves or adding new flowers
  • sense of calming down after the extremes of weather in the previous season of summer
  • a gentler season as daylight saving finishes soon
  • time for more indoors leisure

However, Autumn just hasn’t played well to date in many parts of Australia and with record high temperatures, bush fires, drought, flooding, cyclones and more…there sure are no falling leaves (except green ones whipped off trees in the winds) YET.

My autumn photos from late last week:

An hour before this shot, I had been looking at almost completely blue sky!

The garden is doing well….but I fear my sweet peas might drown…I have snail bait everywhere because nothing eats my new plants!

Photo taken from inside the car. Normally tranquil lake affected by high tide, southerly wind and constant rain.

I remain someone who still tries to find autumn leaves where they are gathering and sometime soon I “hope” I will trek again to the more inland spots on the Central Coast to find them. I have wonderful memories of taking 2 grandchildren on walks around our old neighbourhood gathering autumn leaves for craft and having the fun of crunching them under their feet..and even lying in them. Not me, the kids!! A snippet from a favourite song I always taught little kids..with hands like leaves falling down…

Autumn leaves now are falling, red and yellow and brown

Autumn leaves now are falling see them tumbling down

So… Autumn leaves WILL be falling in some places I am sure…

but for now all I can offer is this lovely 1 minute of gentle autumnal leaves falling: Credit:

What is the weather like where you are now?

Is it autumnal or are you moving into spring?

Denyse.

Joining my Monday link up friends here: Alicia for Open Slather and Kell for Mummy Mondays.

Week 12/52 Link Up for Life This Week is here:

Thanks for linking up this week.

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week!

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!

* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “3 Month Review”.


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Week 12 Intention. Practise Self-Compassion. 2017.44.

Week 12 Intention. Practise Self-Compassion. 2017.44.

After living a life with many distractions, busy-ness to the max and more, I have found the quiet times in retirement are quite a challenge. Why? Because there are more stretches of time and space in which to think.

For me, it’s interesting to notice how I continue to strive and how I continue to want others to see me doing well in my quest for greater equanimity in my life overall and better management of my IBS.

Who is out of this real or imagined group who support me? Often it’s me.

I remain steadfast in my older, learned early, self-critical views and I am S L O W L Y learning to remember my self-compassion when I am not doing so well. It is not every day because I am making progress!

I am pleased to note, that when I started a Self-Compassion Course on-line with Kristen Neff and Brene Brown my overall score was: 1.93 and when I completed the course it was: 3.11

“Average overall self-compassion scores tend to be around 3.0 on the 1-5 scale, so you can interpret your overall score accordingly. As a rough guide, a score of 1-2.5 for your overall self-compassion score indicates you are low in self-compassion, 2.5-3.5 indicates you are moderate, and 3.5-5.0 means you are high.”

So, what I take from that ‘score’ is I am improving in my self-compassion and I am remembering to speak more kindly to myself in difficult circumstances.

My Week 12 Intention.

This week I am going to practise self-compassion more. In fact, I will even make it something I do throughout the day in the smallest way. It might be a ‘go me’ under my breath or a literal ‘pat of kindness’ on my arm when I need soothing.

If you want to take the self-compassion Test, it is here: It is free and I find the work of Kristen Neff and fellow researchers fascinating. Self-esteem it is not!

I wish you well if you decide to take the test. It is very insightful.

Denyse.

UPDATE: I have chosen to reduce my blogging output as of this week so as to be more mindful of my self-care and self-kindness. I am not making any further intentions at this point. My life has been on a learning curve as part of ageing and transition to living with both a chronic condition (IBS and its accompanying limitations)  and the stress which is part of my inner being. I am wanting to feel less inward pressure on myself and needing to care for myself more. Blogging has been a part of my life for more than 6 years and will continue to be but I am blogging now for when and if I choose to. I know that regular  readers will completely understand my new(er) direction as of today! Thank you!

A reminder is in this image: 

 

Joining with Leanne and her lovely team for the  Lovin Linky on Thursdays here.

 

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Words and Pics This Week. 2017.43.

Words and Pics This Week. 2017.43.

It’s been a blah week because of the weather and I have made some time, where I could, to get outside for capturing a snapshot or five. As I do.

Here are some of the pics I took this week…and some words in the captions.

Saturday morning. Driving along and saw how still the water was. I was rewarded with this capture and many others! How amazing is nature!

 

I’ve grown sweet peas successfully back at our former home so decided this year to give them a go here. Love the sweet pea flower. Memories of childhood and taking flowers to school to the teacher.

 

My view from our back verandah. The house at the back is unoccupied since it was sold (this is the garage) is very old, made of fibro/asbestos I guess..and this is my view…making it better with trellis added to back fence to coax the sweet peas up!

 

After a weekend at home because of awful weather I ventured out to see the big seas and high tide at Soldiers Beach.

 

A walk around the garden and this pattern of raindrops caught my eye.

 

This 8inx8in mandala on black was both meditative and creative to complete. I could not stop adding to it. It was such fun. Now off to a friend for her to frame to put in her new house!

 

I hope your week’s been a good one. Mind you, the weather…let’s not talk too much about it shall we?

Denyse.

I am linking to photography friends who host links: Sue and Jen on Friday and over the weekend with Sammie here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

 

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Creative Learning. 2017.42.

Creative Learning. 2017.42.

My Tuesday posts have been about Education and Schooling since I started the new look blog in January 2015.

I am branching out today to write about what I have learned about being creative. I am educating myself!

In the past I might have given myself a go at some art or some kind of scrapbooking or even some making craft.

I did classes and I liked some of what I learned.

But I learned something about myself. It was that I don’t actually enjoy a formal lesson because as soon as I had them I found my creativity drying up. No-one actually criticised me I guess except myself. I did not measure up to what I thought a product should look like.

Until 2013.

I was enjoying playing with art and craft (an old Infants teacher never forgets doing that with little kids!) with my grandchildren but I felt I needed more. Then I was introduced to a website here and fun challenge called Index Card a Day.

 

Fast forward to 2016 and I discovered another love. Making mandalas. It was a match made in creative heaven. I had bare minimum of a lesson via a book, and got some materials and then I let my creative self take charge.

This is why I now love my creative learning. It is self-paced. I am not afraid of sharing because I already like the process and the product is secondary.

Taking the pressure off has made the world of difference! I can see that this is something that may affect others who are creative in terms of art, music, drama, writing and photography.

Has something like this occurred for you or someone you know?

Denyse.

Joining Kylie Purtell and bloggers here who blog on Tuesdays.

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