Monday 30th May 2016

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!

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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!


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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?


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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


Things I Know About. #TIKA149/365.

Things I Know About. #TIKA 149/365.

Things I Know About.

This will be a series of posts.

I will post them each THURSDAY. Starting 4 June —– should I work it all out properly!

The series might contain certain numbers of items I believe I “know about”.

For instance, next week will be:

10 Things I Know About…I.C.A.D. 2015 celebrating the commencement of the challenge over here

The following week will be:

9 Things I Know About…Reports. It is the time of year for teachers to be completing written reports on their students from the first Semester and preparing to let parents know more in written form about their children’s progress.

Do you have some ideas of Things You Know About….that might be of interest to your readers?

Each week I would enjoy having some bloggers link here and I’m happy to see how this goes for the next 11 weeks.


Denyse xx

PS sorry I forgot to add link earlier Grace… here it is…

PPS Hope some weekend rewinders may decide to come on board!


My Role As a Mentor. 125/365.

My Role As a Mentor. 125/365.

I’ve always liked helping people.

I now want to help those who’d like to have a confidential chat about their career.

Specifically in education.

This is a role where I can help people look at their career path in a way which may help them unlock new ways of enjoying their professional life, matching it with their personal/family life.

However, I do this with only one goal in mind. Helping people.

It’s being a listening ear where required and offering opinions when sought.

Do you know anyone who might like to have a chat about their career?

Email me:

Find me here: @denysewhelan1

I’m happy to chat on-line, via phone and in person.

Best part?

It’s free*. 

I believe in giving back to those who are in the career where I gained so much.

I hope that I can help someone looking for that confidential time to speak with a fellow-professional.


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Perhaps someone who reads this on Essentially Jess’ page might be interested.

*It’s free for the first time I chat with you as that will depend on whether I can be of assistance or may need to offer other ideas where you can be helped. I have an education consultancy and my rates are reasonable but my preference is for this to be a one-off chat and that’s why I saying it’s free. I want to be a safe, confidential listening ear!



Is Your Child Ready To Start School in 2016? 118/365.

Is Your Child Ready To Start School in 2016? 118/365.

This title is not unfamiliar to my long-term readers!

However it is ‘timely’ for new readers and those who may wish to consider this for their pre-school aged children.

I am a retired K-6 principal and I spent decades of my career devoted to the early learning years in education in NSW schools. I am now an education schooling consultant to a 8 Early Childhood centres in Sydney. Over the next month, starting today, I offer the families there a chance to ask me the questions that concern them about starting their children at school.

It is, of course, a big decision, and there are many factors to consider. Here is a partial excerpt from my previous posts. Ask me any questions in comments if you wish!

How do I know if my child is ready* to start school next year?

*remember there are still more than 8 months before school actually starts, it isn’t now!

  • Your child is within the age-range for being able to start school. In N.S.W. Public Schools, your child must be turning 5 by 31 July of the year you wish to enrol. Check Private Schools’ & Faith-Based Schools’ policies which can be different.
  • Your child is becoming increasing interested in the world outside family & home, and asks questions relating to learning “what does that mean?” “How do I grow?”
  • Your child is able to dress with independence, visit the toilet alone, take care of own belongings, and eat & drink without direct parental supervision.
  • Your child is at relative ease away from parental/carer oversight and full-time care.
  • Your child is becoming somewhat ‘disinterested’ with at-home life, restless with day-to-day activities, and appears to need more socialisation & challenges.

Does this seem to match your child’s behaviours about now?

Next week I will post about how to help prepare your child for starting school and (hint, hint!) is does not require lessons, learning to write, read and be able to say the times table!!


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Joining Jess on I Blog On Tuesdays. Thanks for the linky, Jess!