Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tomorrow is another day

While Monday is marvellous (my day off), Tuesday is tedious. I'm thrown into a "6-on" day and it's very trying and exhausting. I have been reminded tonight by Vicki Davies that I do love teaching but that I need to be like Fred Astair and keep on re-inventing myself. Certainly my little forage into technology, particularly this year, is helping in this regard.
I've got the nicest year 10 class this year. I've had so many difficult and challenging year 10's over the last few years that I had forgotten how positive and interesting young people can be at this age. I can remember an excellent year 10 class I had about 20 years ago. I had a very good class about 8 years ago and a nice one about 6 years ago. So they are a bit rare.
This year's year 10 are great. There's one fabulous group who listen attentively, try their best and talk to me just like I am a human being! They've done a really good job with their blogs and seem to be enjoying this alternate way of presenting English work. Some of my students started reading my blog today - I'd provided a link on their homepage. I wanted them to see how I had presented my 6 word story and photo and how I had provided some background info on what had inspired me. I felt a little strange them reading some of my more personal entries - like my daughter's recent disappointment - but they were lovely about it. Hopefully, reading my blog will provide them with some writing modelling.
Anyway, I had this good class first two periods. Second two periods I had my rather challenging year 8 class - they deserve a dedicated post. In the afternoon, the yr7's -nice but high energy. My yr11 class at the end of the day? Well they can also be hard work. So I was feeling quite washed out by the end of the day - I needed Vicki's pick me up. Oh, and a wonderful podcast from the US and Columbia-cute kiddies with strong Spanish accents. Must do some podcasting with my students or get a flip video - something different- who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Christian the Lion - the full story (in HQ)

"That's life"

That's what my grandson said in response to the loss of a potential little sibling. My daughter has had to experience the sadness of a miscarriage at 10weeks. She says it has been a bitter sweet experience. There has been much loving support from the tight knit community where she lives. Families have been bringing food and flowers and transporting the children to and from school. The little life that isn't has been buried under a daphne bush that Ishaa has especially chosen because this is the time of year it blossoms. We're going to visit for the day tomorrow and do what we can.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A 6 word story - Searching the key to new horizons.

Lauren O'Grady has created a wiki where contributors are invited to display a photo accompanied by a 6 word story. I had a bit of a think about it - she wanted us to write something about ourselves. I prowled around the house with my camera looking for something suitable and found it in the music room. My son, who is a professional musician and teacher, has persuaded me to take up the piano again. So, between the keyboards of the piano and my laptop, I have been searching for new ways to extend myself and feel more personally developed and challenged! Thanks Lauren for this affirmation - now to ask my students to do this same task...

A Rainy Day in all sorts of ways

It's my precious day off and I'm trying to make the most of it. Wading through a pile of year 11 essays on language analysis is no guarantee of cheer. I suppose the process of analysing written and visual persuasive language and describing the most likely effect on the reader is a skill some people never master - hence the popularity of tabloids. But I also did not prepare my students thoroughly enough - the preparation time was rushed and they didn't do enough practice runs. Some of the stronger students have produced reasonable discussions but the majority? - Let's just say we'll need to do more practice - certainly before they hit year 12.
It's been raining continuously which is exactly the type of rain we need to break the drought - but it's very dreary and cold. At least the guys are here to fix our heater at last.There are all sorts of noises emanating from beneath the house where they're working.
There's bad news for my daughter's pregnancy. In the last 3 days there have been ominous signs that all is not progressing well. She will have a blood test today so hopefully she will know for sure. She is only 10 weeks pregnant and of course lots of people have experienced this heartache - but it's hard to cop. My daughter's 2 older children are very sad -particularly her 9 year old. I think it's the loss of the idea that hurts the most.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Time for a Post

I figured it was about time I made a new post. I've given up waiting for something really startling to blog about so I'll just web log about ordinary stuff. Our gas central heating unit is still not fixed so we are still cold. The open fire and the little blow heater are stopping the lounge room from turning into an icebox - but only just.I'm also wearing lots of layers of clothing so I suppose that's what we should always do instead of burning off more fossil fuels. We're hell bent on self destruction I suppose.
I went swimming this morning - I'm a bit obsessive about swimming 20 laps two times a week - which is 2ks a week. I'm quite quietly proud about that actually. It's the sort of physical endurance feat I never thought I could do when I was a young person. I used to do lots of dance / calisthenics as a young person which kept me pretty fit but now I swim.
We've planned a 10 day holiday in Tasmania- going with my much younger brother and his wife so that'll be fun. We were supposed to share a Turkish holiday together last year but my brother was too busy and couldn't make it. He's an immigration lawyer and does some great things for distressed people. Anyway, my sister-in-law was still able to travel around turkey with us for 3 weeks.She is actually Turkish / Kurdish and was over there anyway working on her thesis for her PHD.She was a lovely travel companion for us and an invaluable translator - especially when my husband wanted to track down his family roots in a little town outside of Ismere.
At the moment I'm wading through Year 11 essays analysing persuasive language. Some of the students understand the process well and others just don't get it. They want to summarize what the article is about rather than identify the persuasive techniques and discuss how these devices position the reader. We'll have to do a lot more practice. Well I might go and watch some Olympic sporting event but you should check out the ad that channel 7 refused to run.