What is this Work Life balance you talk of??

I would like to take to time to thank Miss.T.Firth for her post regarding work life balance.  I am so happy to know I am not the only one feeling this way.  I feel (whilst I am enjoying my placement) these last 2 weeks have been the longest of my life.

I feel as if I am constantly growling at my own 2 children because I am so exhausted from the planning,  my assignments and everything else that happens on a day to day basis.  I wonder if this is my life from now on.  The constant feeling of guilt if I am doing anything other than planning or other work related stuff.

I continued on to read this article posted by Miss.T.Firth that offers up suggestions to try and implement a healthy work-life balance.  I have also found myself staying up late into the night trying to find interesting ways including resources to engage my students to help them learn.  Even though we learnt through out the semester the importance of sharing ideas via different avenues I have never really seen the importance of this until I began actually developing lesson plans.  I therefore have saved a few websites to help with lesson plan ideas which I will endeavour to use in the future.

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To Teach or not to Teach???

So it is the beginning of week 3 of our placements (for most) and I have to say I am cranky, exhausted and feel like I am way over my head!!

Whilst I am enjoying my placement and I have an amazing mentor who is so helpful and always giving me ideas on how to engage students better ( I am working with 6 non-verbal autistic boys who are aged between 5-7).

However that being said I am so tired.  I have found myself planning for the boys only to find my expectations are way too high to then try and think of something they can succeed at.  As we are in a prep classroom only one of the boys is toilet training meaning we spend at least 1/3 of the day changing nappies or cleaning up after an accident.

I then come home to look after my own children who are 11 and 2 to then cook dinner, put them to bed and then find the time to organize my lessons for the next day!!  Half the time I find it hard to keep my eyes open past 7:30 pm.

I have done hardly any of this assignment and to quite frank think I will be doing the very minimum with this one as I’m so exhausted I don’t even care.  I’m currently writing a post to at least fulfill my quota of posts however all I am really doing is complaining just so I at least get 5% of my marks for this assignment.

This subject has left me feeling completely drained and questioning my ability to be a teacher on a daily basis.  Is anyone else feeling like this??? Or is it just me being a princess??

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Professional Placement Problems

Well I have to say I must be one of the few lucky students who have actually had no issues with the organizing of their Professional Placement.  Luckily for me I am returning to a previous placement therefore I guess I did most of the hard work as I contacted my school initially and then forwarded on the correct forms to the Prac office and then corresponded with the school’s deputy principle directly.

I was reluctant to post that I was having few problems as it seems so many other students including Esther, Kia K and Georgie who have been having issues their Professional Placement or are still yet to be placed therefore having to postpone their Prac (which then causes turmoil for their own work, organizing of families and childcare etc).  As mentioned in Colin’s forum post this really does put a lot of students at a disadvantage and if USQ are unable to accommodate for the current number of students they enroll in this course then perhaps they shouldn’t allow so many students to sign up especially if they can’t all be placed at appropriate and relevant sites.

All that being said I am lucky enough to have met my mentor last week ( who seems extremely lovely) and also my students who will be in my class.  I will be working with a prep class who rely heavily on Auslan for communication as most students are non-verbal or have very limited speech.  Also as I am currently working as an educational interpreter for a deaf girl my mentor is extremely excited to have me as she is wanting me already to start teaching her more signs so she can also better communicate with her students.  ICT at the school doesn’t look to be a problem as there is a wide range which can be implemented and my mentor is happy for me to use these as I see fit if they suit the learning requirement etc.

Whilst all seems to be slotting into place at the moment, I have seemed to have lost my mojo and am finding it hard to motivate myself so I stay on track  allowing me to focus primarily on my teaching and planning whilst on prac rather than worrying about other assignments and work that may be due for other subjects

All I can say is thank goodness for the holidays and sorry to my kids because this could quite possibly be the most boring 2 weeks of their lives ahead of them as I prepare for prac and continue on with the pain in my behind that is University!!!

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Disagree but Thank you!!!

I have just finished catching up on all my fellow student’s recent blog posts and the last blog I read was this one from Sandy!!!! It is great to see that she has really loved learning and working through this course and all the content and especially learning new information regarding ICTs.  However I would like to politely disagree (oh no here comes more complaining).  While Sandy states that the last 10 weeks have gone so quickly I on the other hand feel as this last semester has been the longest one of my university career.

As we edge closer to prac  I can’t help but think this has been one of the most stressful and full on course I have taken so far.  I feel there has been so much content to cover in such a short amount of time that if you were to ask me about some aspects I simply wouldn’t be able to tell you what I learnt.  I will however admit I have enjoyed learning about cyber safety and bullying etc as I do feel I have been a bit lax in this area previously.  Reading through some of the “Scary Stories” on the Week 8 Learning Pathway (yes I’m still only working through week 8) has really opened my eyes to what can go wrong when engaging in particular activities and accessing different websites on the internet.

I will also say thank you to Sandy for providing this free list of IWB activities as I am sure they will be of great help when it comes to starting to plan for my lessons for Assignment 3 and also others which will be used during Professional experience.  I have to admit I am definitely a novice when it comes to the uses of IWBs as my current school I work at unfortunately doesn’t have many throughout the school which includes my classroom.  After exploring this website it is obvious I have lots to learn however some of the websites look like they will be of great value both now and in the future!!!!

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Take this Lollipop!! I Dare You!!!

Lollipop by AdmlCrunch, on Flickr
Lollipop” (CC BY 2.0) by AdmlCrunch

Did you “Take the Lollipop????”

I have to admit I clicked on the link ready to do this activity however when it came up saying do I consent to Facebook using, distributing etc, etc all of my personal information I became a little intimidated and immediately closed down the page and read through what actually happens instead.

The whole experiment (if that is the best thing to call it) was scary!!  To think if I had of clicked on that site my personal information would be then provided to some weirdo who would then get in his car and make his way to my house to get me or even worse……my children!!!

While I have to admit I don’t usually click on things (especially when they state they will share my personal information) I guess my question is how do we really know we aren’t sharing this information on a regular basis??  As I mentioned in a previous post I am very bad at regularly changing my passwords to different sites and just because a site tells you they will share your information this doesn’t mean they all will!!!

So I could be scrolling through all the different articles etc on Facebook as I regularly do and click on something that seems safe and then BAM some weirdo has all of my personal information and is now on his way to my house to get me!!!

I have to admit this for me was a real eye opener!!!!  I am now definitely aware and conscious of the changes I need to make and precautions I need to adhere to in order to keep my family safe!!

Great learning activity!!!  However I still don’t know if I’m brave enough to “Take the Lollipop”.

Are you???

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Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship!!  What is it???

Well I have to admit I was a bit unsure as to how I was going to start this post and what I would even write.  But then I thought I would simply be honest and say honestly I really don’t know how to describe my relationship to “Digital Citizenship”.

I mean I know how to use a computer and I know how to get on the world wide web and all that and as we make our way through this course I do feel I am gaining a bit more knowledge with regards to this but I doubt I will be running out and taking all these wild risks and utilising all these wonderful new apps and technologies that will be amazing and help and enhance my students learning (Sorry David if you are reading this).  I will do what I need to do, in the limited amount of time we have in order to get my teaching and work done!!

Then we come to cyber safety!!!  This I have to say I am very lazy and lax about.  I mean half the time I don’t even have my computer’s antivirus up-to-date!!!  Also these days you need a password for just about everything you do so keeping track of and remembering every password is a challenge let alone changing them on a regular basis to prevent my identity from being stolen (I probably shouldn’t even be admitting this on here but honestly hackers out there the only thing you will get from me is debt, debt and more debt).

As for cyber bullying I feel I do have some idea about this issue as I have a nearly 11 year old daughter who I have to protect.  But then again I know that like all parents I can’t be there to protect her 24 hours a day therefore it is up to me to teach her the importance of this and how to be responsible.

Anyway so I completed the 1st quiz for teachers and it appears I have no idea as I only got 1/4, however when I completed the quiz on cyberbullying and internet safety I got all of the questions right except for the last one!! Who would have thought you would have to supervise your own parents while they are on a site you use at school??

Guess there is more I need to learn and know after all !!!!!

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Lack of Understanding!!!

FUJIFILM Disposable Camera Uturundesu 16 by ryuuko86, on Flickr
FUJIFILM Disposable Camera Uturundesu 16” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by  ryuuko86 

So I just wanted to share with you a story relating to my daughter that happened this week!!

My darling daughter is 10 yrs old and currently in Grade 5 at school and on Wednesday I packed her up and off she went on her 1st school camp!! Nothing out of the usual happened, she was very excited and was counting down the days and then hours until it was time to leave to head off on her 1st big adventure on her own.

However as we were packing her bag on the weekend, we came across an item on her list of items to take away with her!!  So towards the bottom of the list there it was a waterproof, disposable camera!!!!  What the????

My 1st thought was do these still even exist?? and next where on earth am I going to find one???  So off I went to Kmart!!!  Thank God for Kmart!!!

Anyway I got home and showed my daughter the disposable camera and then proceeded to explain a few things to her like…… “Now don’t go wasting the pictures as you only get 36 and you have to wind on the little turner thing here and look through this square before you take the picture to make sure you know what you are taking a picture of!!”

So after rambling off all of my instructions my daughter piped up saying “I don’t get it!!  Where do I look at the picture to make sure it looks good?? and my friend is moving away at the end of the year so do I take 2 pictures so I can give one to her??”

It was at this point I had a little chuckle to myself thinking of course she would not get it!!! When in her life would she have seen an old style camera that is heaven forbid not DIGITAL!!

I guess my main thought for this post is we definitely do take for granted our digital technologies and how they contribute to our environment.

My young daughter now gets to experience the excitement of putting that film in so it can be developed only to find out that more than likely out of the 36 exposures she had on that camera only half will be lucky enough to turn out any good!!!!!

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