When you think of the ancient city of Pompeii, what image comes to mind? For me, it’s the casts of the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. There is nothing more poignant than these casts of people frozen in the moment of their death. Despite this, the process of how the casts were made is something of a mystery.

I was a fourth year uni student when I first heard the advice (from a classmate) ‘don’t smile ’till Easter’. While this may not make sense to readers from the Northern Hemisphere, here in Australia our school year begins late January/early February, and we finish up in time for Easter. Thus, ‘don’t smile ’till Easter’ translates as ‘don’t soften up with your students until Term Two’. Luckily, I recognised this for the nonsense it is, even then. Here’s my top three reasons for throwing out this advice.

Happy New Year!

Yes, we’ve made it to 2022. We may be exhausted tired a bit weary but we’re here.

I become unreliable once the middle of November roles around. My head is filled with thoughts of mince tarts, and presents, and Christmas carols, and family get togethers (but not sugar plums – they just don’t sound that appetising). Things I should be doing, like regularly talking with the people here, get pushed waaaaay back. And so, at this stage I will say farewell for the rest of the year.

I hope, whatever December brings for you, whether Christmas, other religious celebrations or simply a chance to kick back in the sunshine and take a breather (here in the Southern Hemisphere, anyway), that you and your family stay safe, keep well, and we can all rejoin each other here in the New Year (I, for one, have a good feeling about 2022).

Talk soon,

Love Wendy

What’s your go to dinner on a Friday night? Do you whip something up or, like many families around the Australia (including mine) the end of another busy week is a good excuse to get a take away. In the little town I grew up in we were limited to fish and chips, dimmies and chiko rolls, pizza (not delivered), or Chinese. Getting pizza delivered TO MY HOUSE still blows my mind. And it turns out, the Ancient Romans were partial to a take away too.

This week, on Thursday November 11th, we remember those men and women who sacrificed for their country. Those who served, those who administered to the sick and injured, those who knitted, baked, donated and raised funds, those who waited for their loved ones to come home, those who were filled with grief when they didn’t, and those who welcomed home loved ones only to find a stranger had returned in their place.

Recently my eldest, B1, was diagnosed with dyslexia. His reading and writing has been something of a concern since he began primary school, and there hasn’t been a year that I haven’t gone in to the school to raise concerns with his teacher. Since he got his diagnoses I’ve joined some Facebook groups to support parents and the question, ‘how do kids leave school not being able to read’ is one I’ve seen come up.

But, if you’re a teacher, it’s not that surprising.

Ah, it’s that time of year again when it’s not alarming to see bones scattered in your neighbours front garden, and children start salivating of the lollies they’re going to collect. It does seem incongruous celebrating Halloween in Australia – there is nothing remotely spooky about a warm spring evening – but of course Halloween has travelled to us from a time and place not our own.

Three types of people baffle me. People who say they don’t have time to read, people who don’t like magic, and people who say they find history boring. 1. Always prioritise reading over housework, 2. Magic is literally the impossible made possible, and 3. How can the story of the world and everything in it be boring? Answer, it can’t!

Of course, the way we’re taught history can be boring…

Your worth as a teacher is not measured by how tired you are. It’s not measured by the number of projects you take on for the school. It’s not measured by that creeping feeling of desperation you feel as ‘report writing’ gears up. It’s not measured by how often you say yes to your principal, or colleague. Spending the first week of the holidays run down, sick and sick-of-it, is not a badge of honour.

So, why do we do it to ourselves?