Tuesday 19 November 2013

Art in the Classroom

One of the things I absolutely love about being a teacher is doing cool art projects with the kids.

We have been working on some art based on our reptile topic.  I found camouflage art on Pinterest so we did it in class.  I love the results, you need to look really closely at some of them to see the reptile in the artwork.

I could teach art all day long!

Thanks for reading.

Rachael xo

Sunday 17 November 2013

MIA - Part Two

Late rose from the castle, picked the week we left.
The Castle.

While missing in action we moved from the castle at the end of July.  Our family dynamics had changed with the Cowboy moving in and his son coming to live in weekends and holidays. We had the Cowboy's son living in the former sun-room/playroom which was lovely over summer until the rain came and it leaked. It leaked a lot and in a lot of places. Our landlord did a dodgy repair and it still leaked. We moved the Cowboy's son into the craft-room/sun-room, along came a big rain storm and that leaked too!

During all of this we moved into winter and the castle became unbearable.  Coming home from work/school to an inside temperature of 10 degrees Celsius became too much. The castle being the wonderful historic airy space that it was could not be heated much more than that. My poor old bones couldn't cope with it. We would take to our beds with bed-heaters on (electric blankets).

The final straw was a new landlord who had serious hoarding issues and used the castle grounds as storage for his many "I might need it one day" items. It was annoying to have to walk out to the road and up the hill and back through a gate that only partially opened (because of his stuff) to collect mail.  It was not nice when he moved into the basement below us and undertook renovation projects anytime of day or night. And, we won't go into his toilet ablutions or the fact he drew off our power without telling us.

So anyway, we went online and we found a place and took a weekend drive to view and we got it. It's the polar opposite of the castle, its 10 years old, not 110 years old.  It has this going for it:
Insulation - no thermals needed
Dishwasher - goes without saying
Fully fitted kitchen - bench room is surreal, when I DO cook I still tend to huddle in a tiny part of the bench, its what I have been used to.
Insulation - did I mention this?
Drive in garage - press a button, drive in, empty the car, walk into the house, press a button, shut the garage door. For a teacher with arm loads of books each night it is seriously cool.
Insulation - did I mention this?
Indoor outdoor flow- doors off dining and living room go to outdoor area.
Laundry - still a novelty, open the lid, pop the clothes in, press a button. No more spinning the machine around over the bath, hanging the outlet hose over the bath and connecting the intake hose to the toilet system to feed the washing machine ( I kid you not!).
En-suite - in my semi old age I sometimes need to get up in the night. NO more braving Antarctic like conditions, a short stumbling step and I am there.
Insulation - did I mention this.
Clothes Line- does not hang over the motorway therefore clean drying laundry not tainted with carbon dioxide. Our whites are white, I like!
Quiet - the constant roar of traffic on the busiest road in New Zealand passing your living room/bedroom  24/7 has been replaced by birds tweeting - imagine!
Insulation - did I mention that?

above the kitchen sink, cos that's how we roll!
So this new place is nice, pleasantly nice, soullessly nice. But it's home for me, the Cowboy, the Princess and the Cowboy' son and we like it.  We gel here as the funny little family we are evolving into.
My Granny's piano.  Belongs to my nephews but I look after it. Currently in the dining room.
It's easy, warm, sunny and comfortable. We have infused it with our 'stuff' and personalities. It suits where we are right now. Are you convinced? I am!

A corner of the living room. Collectibles  in the form of books, wooden dice, candles, Buddha, Russian doll, red theme.

Thanks for reading!
Rachael xo

Apologies for the quality of my photos, not the best in the word, but you can't post without visuals, can you?

Saturday 16 November 2013

MIA - Part One (this one is for you Andi ;-)

This is my classroom before I 'Rachael-d' it. It's quite different now.
Missing in Action.
That's where I have been - Missing in Action.
Way back in May I secured my very first teaching position. Since then I have pretty much been in survival mode, treading water,.
I teach a year 5 and 6 class (9, 10 & 11 year olds).
It's pretty cool to have your own classroom to decorate, it's kind of like an extension of decorating a house if you are into that sort of thing, which I am.
However the reality is that as a new teacher once you are in the swing of a term of teaching all decorating goes out the window.
The mode of the day is survival...
Survival does not include decorating your classroom.
Survival does include planning weeks of teaching and learning that follows a curriculum and is geared towards your students achievement results at a level that is measured nationally.
Survival does include managing the behavior of your class so that they can work towards those national results.
Survival is not catching every bug that travels the universe and your classroom within a term.
Survival is trying to balance work and personal life and deciding to postpone that till another day.
Survival is resisting the temptation to have a glass of wine every night and 75% of the time (could be higher) failing dismally.
Survival is giving up on having a house where every room is clean - at the same time.
Survival is looking at the pictures in your recipe books and cooking poached eggs on toast - again.
Survival is removing the chipped polish off your toes, 3 months ago, and never getting around to repainting them.
Survival is spasmodic texts to family and friends and single sentence (sometimes a single word) emails.
Survival is saving your social life for the school holidays and still not having a social life because you are either comatose from exhaustion (not wine), sick from being run down, doing a make up of being a bad partner/mother for the last 9 weeks and trying to cram quality time into a two week period while still whipping into school to re-do wall displays, plan something, print something, find something and so it goes on.
Survival is forgetting all of the above because a student has moved forward to the next level in their learning.
Survival is knowing you chose the right profession because of the thrill you get when a student does move forward in their learning.

I do love being a teacher!

Thanks for visiting!
Rachael xo
p.s. thanks to my friend Andi who motivated me to blog again "Rachi, I do miss your blog!" xo