When I was a teenager, I played a lot of Sims. If you are the nerdy, slightly overweight girl that boys don’t notice, a game like Sims can let you live in in a world where a date isn’t just a fantasy you talk about with your friends. I also learnt, friendships blossom when you put energy into them, and people like gifts (this should be obvious, but there you go) – these are lessons I’ve taken into adulthood. And yet I, like many parents and educators, have reservations about our children’s access to ‘screens’.

I’m going to admit it. I only heard the term VUCA recently, and as soon as I heard it my eyes rolled so hard I could see the inside of my skull. The last thing Education needs is more jargon and another acronym. But, several months ago, I read an article that no only used VUCA in a way that didn’t make me want to brain someone, but also questioned our objectives for educating our children in a way that had me nodding the whole way through.

I have a depression and anxiety disorder. In my history there is a pattern of depression, panic-attacks and self-harm that began when I was a teenager, but bloomed like a weed when I left high school. And, in my early years of teaching, I was neither diagnosed nor effectively treated for my disorder. I’m sure you can imagine how that affected me in my role as teacher.

Whoo baby, it’s an election year! An election always feels a bit like putting a bet on the Melbourne Cup to me. There’s that air of excitement of seeing if you backed a winner! And, it’s possible that I’m the last remaining adult in the world that believes that one vote can make a difference (although if it’s a difference in the right direction depends on your point of view, I guess). It’s also great time to run your own classroom election. But if the thought of that makes you squirm, you’re not alone.

Last year my older brother said to me that he was feeling weighed down with a sense of doom about the future of the world. He felt that there was so much that needed to be done to rescue our planet, and was fearful that it’s already to late. Of my three siblings I sometimes think that it’s my older brother that I have the most in common with, but I don’t share his pessimism for the world. As educators, I think we’re in a unique position to foster change in young people so that the future is a brighter place.

If you, like me, have been using PowerPoint since computers were boxes with with humming towers attached to them, then you may have forgotten a few little features that could make you life easier when making presentations, games, or even PDF worksheets for you classes. Let me give you a quick reminder of what you might be missing out on, so you can save time in the future.

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

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Turn Your Students into Researching Legends17 PowerPoint Slides with Research Tips, Tricks and Tasks