Wednesday 18th October 2017

I Am Back! 2017.89.

I Am Back! 2017.89.

Ok, I am home from hospital and that is good news!
My very brief post today is to let my lovely blogging friends know that #LifeThisWeek Linky will re-commence next:

Monday 24 July.

I intend to publish the future prompts on Thursday when I link up a post for Leanne’s Loving’ Life here.

I also hope to use some time tomorrow to prepare a photo-centred post for Kylie Purtell’s linky here called I Blog On Tuesdays.

In this pic I am 10 days post-op, outside, dressed in going-home clothes  and mobile for the first time. Pretty cool, even if not a pretty face!!

See you all again soon!


Linking up with Alicia here just to say hi to a lovely blogging friend who was so worried about me on my day of surgery. I love you!



Introducing Telling My Story. 2017.60.

Introducing Telling My Story. 2017.60.

In the past few years my life has changed in many ways.

I could say it has happened from the time I turned 60 I guess and at 67 now, it’s been for longer than I imagined.

I am naming this part of my life a transition yet it is more than that.

Like all humans I am living my life and maybe unlike all humans I am trying to understand myself and my life journey better.

Blogging is going to be one of the ways in which I recount aspects of what I have been learning:

I am a life-long learner.

My story is what it is.

My story.

However, it may help me in writing more about it instead of alluding to part of it or directing readers to past posts.

It is quite hard to confess to finding aspects of life as I knew it have left me and I am needing to become used to what is now.

I will write from time to time and it may be about some strategies and resources I have found helpful.

It maybe necessary to tell  the truth of what it has been like for me. And how that has affected my relationships, with myself included for the past few years.

Like I said, I am telling My Story.

Today makes it the introduction. I do not know when the next one will be.

This work, Stop, from Jeff Foster, in his book: ‘The Way of Rest’ Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love is about mindfulness, stopping, staying present.

I would have to add this is one of my biggest challenges. I wrote about ‘uncertainty’ here last week.


Whatever is happening in the circumstances of your life, stop. Just for a moment.

Bring your attention toward the here and now. Let the moment become fascinating. Gently begin to acknowledge what is actually happening where you are. Come out of your conclusions about life, your dreams about past and future, and being to notice the sensations, feelings, thoughts that are present, right here and right now.

Let your present experience – sights and sounds and smells – become the most curious dance in all the universe. You are seeing, tasting, touching, hearing the world as if for the first time. This is your Garden of Eden, your messy, intense, joyous, and heartbreaking Garden of Eden and you are awake to it at last.

Stop trying to figure everything out. Give in. Give up. Give all to the moment’s embrace.

Fall into not knowing…


I hope that you will find My Story of interest and that it will be something that speaks to you to help you in some way. I do not think we have spoken enough nor even considered what it means to become older, to stop work, to find yourself adrift in some ways where you thought there was security. I write to help me as I look back and move forward into whatever is to come.

Thank you for reading!


Posting for the first time for I Blog on Tuesdays with Kylie Purtell here.

Then joining with Leanne and bloggers on Thursday here for Lovin’ Life link up.



Education & Schooling. 2017.6.

Education & Schooling. 2017.6.

Welcome back to my Tuesday posts which focus on education and schooling!

I have been officially retired from education since 2015 but I will always have a lifetime love of education and learning and here on the blog, I can write and share to help others.

For those readers who may not know much about why I write here on these topics, here is information from my page Denyse Whelan B.Ed. M.Ed.

Denyse Whelan is a now-retired K-6 Australian school educator who has been a K-6 teacher, deputy principal and school principal, university tutor, and ESL teacher of children and adults.

She has more than 4 decades of experience as both an educator and parent in the Australian schooling system, specifically N.S.W. Public Schools. She has worked in schools including the small 2 teacher schools in remote NSW, Central Schools K-12 in NSW, large Western Sydney K-6 Schools.

Her roles as principal  saw her manage and lead two schools in low-socio economic areas of Western Sydney as relieving principal over the decade of the 1990s. Into the 21st century, her substantive school principal role in another area was where she was selected by merit to lead a large school  with mainstream students, a special education support unit, 2 ‘opportunity classes’ (GAT) and an Autism Spectrum Satellite Class.

Denyse believes in life-long learning and that learning takes place formally and informally in our lives every day.

In 2015 I wrote posts about schooling, teaching and all the matters in between that seemed to engage the readers who are, in the main, those who have kids at school or getting ready to start school. In 2016 I added to the mix by asking readers for topics they’d like to know more about and I have been happy to help.

In 2017 I will continue to evolve the purpose of the Tuesday posts, which are always part of I Blog On Tuesdays, and may again be asking for readers to give me ideas about what they want to know more about!

As an educator and parent I always liked knowing when the breaks from the education life would occur and here in Australia we have these at different times of the year. In fact it makes sense because if all the holidays were held at the same time, I can imagine there would be even greater difficulty with getting into popular places for vacations.

So, here, thanks to the friendliest and sharing blogger friend Maxabella is HER post from 2016 which lists ALL of the Australian School. Holidays. Thank you Bron for ALL that research and giving me permission to use it! And this is the full post here

Have you any children who are already in school?

Do you have kids who are not yet in school?

Perhaps you too have a teaching background!

Tell me a bit about you in the comments for this first post back in 2017!


Joining Kylie Purtell here for the first of I Blog On Tuesdays for 2017. I Blog On Tuesdays is a linky which accepts ORIGINAL posts PUBLISHED on the TUESDAY of the link up!

I am part of the commenting team called #teamIBOT and enjoy visiting as many blogs as possible on Tuesdays!


Who Are YOU dear Readers? 366/46.

Who Are YOU dear Readers? 366/46.

Readers who visit here…… Hello! Glad you came over!

Readers who visit and comment…..Good day and thank you!

Sometime a blogger gets a little lonely….and can also be more than curious.

I write these words, and as you know I add a photo or 3.

I also get to share parts of me with you. News and views and all that too.

But today I wonder,

  • Who are you?…tell me a little about you!
  • Where are you reading ‘me’?, place…
  • How did you find my blog? ..facebook…subscribe via bloglovin…twitter…linkups..other?
  • How do you get the updates when I post?...see above…
  • What’s the best thing I can learn from you, dear reader? Tell me!

So, my post today is short and asks more questions than gives answers.

I await your responses in the comments!

I’m excited!

Thank you everyone.



Joining with Kirsty  here for I Must Confess…where today I am asking you to do the ‘confessing’ here!

And I am also visiting Open Slather with the lovely Alicia here!




This Blogger’s Etiquette Checklist*. 366/42.

This Blogger’s Etiquette Checklist*. 366/42.

I blog to connect. Each of us who blogs does so for many reasons. This post is not about content, nor getting stats up, finding out how often bloggers need to post…no, this is about my ideal blogging behaviour*!

My reason for writing this checklist is two-fold.

Being a blogger is a responsibility I take seriously.

Being a blog commentator is a role I believe needs to be consistent.


I write to connect. Connection in my version of definition is a two-way process.

Hence, my blogging etiquette checklist*…just for me* but happy for you to share!

denyse whelan facebook profile picture

Here she is…This Blogger

  • this blogger will write a blog post and carefully check for accuracies and add necessary links and photos
  • this blogger will ensure all is ready to publish, and press ‘publish’ or ‘schedule’ according to plan
  • this blogger will have links to various social media ready to also distribute the blog post
  • when readers come to visit and COMMENT, this blogger will respond.
  • the response by this blogger can be on the day, but no later than a day or two.
  • the comments made by this blogger will be engaging and ensure appreciation and encourage the readers to return
  • when adding blog to linky parties, this blogger always, always comment on the host’s post and make an effort to return to comment on at least 3 posts of other linkers
  • when hosting a linky party, if I ever do, I will ensure that I comment to each of the bloggers who join the linky
  • If my linky (hasn’t ever happened!) became huge, this blogger would ask for help from her blogging community.


Do you agree with my list*?

*this is all about me being me. I made the list up. Whether anyone chooses to follow My Blogging Etiquette Checklist is completely optional!


stories 150

Joining Anne at Domesblissity for Thriving on Thursdays.


Joining Grace at With Some Grace for Flog Your Blog Friday.

Thank you for having the link ups ladies!


6 Secrets of School Day Success. 366/19.

6 Secrets of School Day Success. 366/19.

This post is sponsored by “insider knowledge and a reality check” to enable families with kids to prepare for ‘back to school.’

  • Two school hats (labelled inside with large print in texta!) will pay for themselves each morning and afternoon when one cannot be found. Or it has been left outside, in the car, at a friend’s house…you see what I mean? Why is it important? Because ‘no hat no play’ rules are IN and you do want your child to let off all that pent up energy do you not?


  • Wearing the school’s recommended uniform is vital. I know it may seem ‘unimportant’ in the overall scheme of things, but kids especially want to be the ‘same’ as their peers. If cost is an issue (and I hear you on this!) there are wonderful second-hand uniform pools at every school. Check with the front office staff who will know all about it.


  • Pack a small snack that’s easily eaten and unwrapped for ‘recess, morning tea, little lunch’ or whatever it is called at your child’s school. Emphasis is on ‘small’ because during the break time there may be 10 minutes or less for the supervised eating time, and then the children play under supervision in the playground.


  • A drink bottle of water that is cool and can be kept cool is essential as nowadays schools recognise the value of regular access to water during lesson time and as school returns in Summer months, your child will need water. Water helps the brain too. Thinking and learning time!


  • It may be contradictory to your need for your child to display independence for his/her belongings but it is advisable to check the school bag’s contents at the end of each day. I know schools have apps and reminders and email systems but there will still be ‘notes, letters, invitations and more.’ You will also get the so-called advantage of seeing what food was actually eaten that day.. which leads to the last point:


  • Lunch. It is not like at home. It is usually a 10 minute eating time, under the supervision of the class teacher or within a group of classes. Children are encouraged to do their eating then and once the bell goes, it’s time for play. Sometimes the children can take their lunch boxes with them to finish the contents or they may choose to grab the piece of fruit or one last item. This is why I advise parents not to supply the  ‘perfect packed lunch’ some sites show as suggestions because it may remain uneaten despite it being prepared with love and goodness in mind. The basic need is a sandwich (or equivalent) a drink (water is fine) and a piece of fruit/vegetable and maybe one small treat. More than that for little ones is too much.

Do you have any secrets to add from your experience?


dreamstime_xs_8495872 copy.jpg school in playdoh copy


education 150

Joining Jess over at Essentially Jess for I Blog On Tuesdays.



The BLOG Report 2015.348/365.

The BLOG Report. 348/365.

It’s time to review the almost year of blogging every day here.

Whilst it isn’t quite the end of the year, today is the last link up for I Blog On Tuesdays over at Essentially Jess’ blog until after the festive season, so I wanted to make the occasion one of reflection and fact.

With photos!

Do I think my idea of blogging every day for the year of major transition worked out for me?

What a good question! Yes and No. Ok, Yes. In fact, there were some days the ideas and words flowed easily and I was encouraged by the responses to my blog’s posts and then there were the ‘other days’. I will admit, as I have in a few posts, that my emotional health (and sometime physical reactions to said condition) which was a direct result of the MANY changes we made (that I became affected by more than I ever realised) made it imperative for me to have a ‘reason to do something’ every day. This last sentence shames me and I do hope Emily Hawker does not read such poorly constructed one.

Do I think that I appealed to a wide range of interests on the blog this year?

Maybe and yes. This year was about a ‘blog post a day’ keeps Denyse OK year and I trusted myself enough to write what interested me. In the beginning of the year there was a LOT of silence from any (no?) readers until I got back into my familiar bloggy rhythm and sought out some ‘old friends’ links and some new friends’ links then I started to get readers who commented! My favourite thing about blogging.

What did I learn about myself as a blogger and the blogging community?

I’m glad you asked that! I learned that I love to connect. In fact, that IS what blogging is about for me and why my blog’s title contains that word ‘connect’. Life gets lonely in the retired from the busy professional life category, especially when you add moving house and leaving family and all you know behind. My blogging mates, and those who’ve become regular commenters (even if I have never met them) have really helped me engage most days and I LOVE that. I am hooked on connecting every day…which leads me to my last question.

Will I be blogging every day again in 2016?

yes I will! However, I really need to review how I number my posts. Maths was never a strong point and it turns out, I will not end the year on the correct number /365 because I blogged twice on 10 April!! Next year I intend to shake up the categories somewhat and add some. I will also be blogging day specific for categories for 5 days of the week with some freedom for weekends. I am going to consider and plan this soon. Watch this space!


I make a promise that I read every comment and always respond. I do!

So, in counting up the comments keep in mind they include one from me and one from the commenter. That’s why I call them a conversation!

From 347 posts to date this year, the posts received:

Zero Comments: 114 posts…all quiet.

Two Comments: 61 posts = 122 conversations!

Four Comments: 37 posts = 74 conversations!

Six Comments: 39 posts = 78 conversations!

Eight Comments: 33 posts = 66 conversations!

Ten Comments: 22 posts = 44 conversations!

Twelve Comments: 20 posts = 40 conversations!

More than Twelve Comments: 22 posts = too many  conversations to calculate as these went as high as 18 comments.

What great conversations!


I knew things were going to change for me in 2015…this taken at end of 2014 as I said goodbye to my ‘home town’ Sydney.


So, dear readers and those who comment…THANK YOU so much for your kind and caring support this year. I am happy to have suggestions made for topics and categories in your comments which will help me in my planning.

Almost a year later, here I am celebrating my birthday with the youngest GD who, along with all my grandkids 'make me Grandma I love to be'

Almost a year later, here I am celebrating my birthday with the youngest GD who, along with all my grandkids ‘make me Grandma I love to be’

I’d like to thank Jess again and the wonderful world of IBOT for welcoming me back and here we are again! It’s Tuesday.

Love to you all. Denyse xx



Classroom In A Box. 245/365.

Classroom In A Box. 245/365.

I developed a ‘classroom-in-a-box’ for my first day back teaching in a classroom ( after 3 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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. be given any guidance or plan for the day as schools are incredibly busy and dynamic places
  4. 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?

Here is the power point ALL about it..because for two years teaching pre-service K-6 teachers at the former University of Western Sydney, now Western Sydney University, I presented this as a talk.

I hope you find it helpful.

I am happy for it to be used (in part or all) by “new to the classroom” teachers who are finding their way via casual teaching.

Let me know in the comments what you think of it and I am happy to answer questions!




Denyse Whelan. Classroom In a Box. Shared For New Teachers