If you’re a parent, grandparent, or guardian in Victoria about to tackle distance learning for – what is it now, the fourth time? – then I want to wish you luck. I’m right there with you. If you’re feeling a little trepidation right now, again I’m with. Honestly, keep having flash backs from last time. Turns out I’m not great at teaching my own kids (if you’re a full time homeschooling parent you have my utmost respect and awe).

We really are all in this together. My family has been so lucky that lockdowns and distance learning is the greatest hardship we’ve had to face on the Covid rollercoaster, which is sadly not true for many, many other families across Australia and the world. If distance learning does nothing more, at least it affords some extra time with our children (which in the moment may seem like a special form of torture, but hopefully we’ll look back on it and laugh – manically).

Good luck to you all. Send me some luck too. At the very worst it’s not the end of the world if they play board games and watch telly for four days. Really. It’s not.

Let the fun times begin!

When I began my teachers’ degree my intention was to become an Indonesian and English teacher. Thanks to some dodgy advice from the admin staff that enrolled me (just pick any subjects, you can always change them later), I ended up as a Indonesian and Humanities teacher, and I’m thankful I did because I honestly believe that Humanities is one of the most varied and interesting subjects in a school.

My beautiful B1 turned the big 1-1 on Saturday. Having had his foray into double digits limited by Covid last year, he was determined to make the most of this birthday (as we all should) and kept us busy with a list of things to do.

It’s been 11 years since you changed our lives forever, B1. I can never repay you for everything you’ve brought to your father and I, but I will keep trying to everyday. We love you.

When I was doing my BEd we had a discussion one day about a journal reading in which the author envisioned everyone having access to information though electronic devices. Sound familiar?

B1 and B2 are doing NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) this week. I’m not a big fan of NAPLAN.

I was in my second year of teaching when NAPLAN was introduced and I had my first cohort of Year 7s go through the process. At the time it was new to all teachers, and I remember there being a general sense that NAPLAN could be a good diagnostic tool, helping us to identify students who were slipping through the cracks or flying under the radar. It didn’t take long, in my opinion, for NAPLAN results to become weaponised against schools and teachers.

If you are a mum, a step-mum, foster-mum, a grandmother, or a mother-figure, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I was certainly spoilt by my beautiful boys, who both made me a present, and my husband even though I’m not his mother (he sent his mum a gift too).

This year I asked my children not to get me anything from the Mother’s Day stall at their school. A time honoured school tradition (who hasn’t spent a dollar at the Mother’s Day stall growing up), it wasn’t something I had initially worried too much about. But, then I volunteered to work on the Mother’s and Father’s Day stalls one year, and I was really unhappy about the hard sell put on kids, the emphasis on buying as much as you possibly could, and the values that they were being taught. This, coupled with my own bugbear about transparency (what are they actually fundraising for?), cemented my decision. But, not without consequences.

Ooo, controversial.

It can depend, can’t it? You might feel appreciated by your partner, but not your boss. Your kids, but not at dinner time (when you’ve slaved over providing them with yet another healthy and delicious meal, that you’ve also planned, bought groceries for and dished up, only for them to take one look at it and say their full. Not that I’m bitter). Your co-worker, but not your friend.

And sometimes, it’s because what you want to be appreciated for isn’t something that’s actually important to the person you want to be appreciated by. My desire for my children to appreciate me for filling their plate with broccoli and zucchini is probably unrealistic.

This May 4th (also my birthday) and 5th Teachers Pay Teachers is having an appreciation sale. By using the code THANKYOU21 at the checkout you can get up to 25% off your purchase. Of course, if you’re a Star Wars fan, these dates will be easy to remember.

The sale is sitewide and, because I appreciate the hard work passionate teachers do and want you to get the most out of the sale, and because I’ve been very fortunate to receive the benefit of others experience when starting my TpT journey, I want to point you in the direction of some other teacher-authors who’s help and advice I truly appreciate.

All of these teacher-authors have been so generous giving me tips, advise, and guidance as I’ve begun my journey. I’m sure you’ll find something amazing at each of their stores.

Let’s keep the love going. Tell me who you appreciate in the comments!

In April the thoughts of many history teachers turn to ANZAC Day (April 25th). Marked on the anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand troops being deployed in World War One, ANZAC day is often as much about nation building as it is about commemoration. Australia’s efforts in Gallipoli were the first time the newly independent country entered a war as a sovereign country, rather than a colony of Great Britain.

I had never heard of the Learning Pit until my eldest son started primary school, but I like it. As teachers, educators, and parents we both see the children in our lives enter the learning Pit (or refuse to enter) and come out the other side, and we experience the learning Pit ourselves.

I’m having my bathroom renovated. As I type this two gentlemen are demolishing the contents of my bathroom, and jackhammering tiles off the floor. My anxiety is through the roof. Not because I’m worried about the work they’re doing, or the mess, or that the cat is freaking out. It’s because I hate having people in the house. I hate having my routine out of whack. I can’t concentrate. I haven’t done anything productive all day.