“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
George and the Golden Moment
Last year George (not his real name) was in my Year 8 Science class but I only saw him for one or two hours a fortnight because he has ‘learning difficulties’ (translation: he doesn’t learn the same way as the rest of the kiddos in the class) so he spends a lot of time with a teacher aide. George, being ‘on the spectrum', always laughs and lowers his eyes whenever I speak to him (even to say "Hi!" which I still do, even though he’s not in any of my classes this year).
Today I found out thirty seconds before the bell rang that a class needed to be babysat. I was given a stack of blank papers and a stack of sheets with map symbols on them. The kids were to ‘make their own map’.
When I arrived at the classroom (with my lunch in my hand cos I'd been sewing sparkly stuffs with kiddos at lunchtime) George was there with his teacher aide, and she miraculously turned my shoot-from-the-hip lesson into something manageable for him. Towards the end of the hour, I mooched up to George and looked in his eyes (yeah, I’m so intrusive) and told him what a fabulous map he’d drawn. He grinned, repeating my words to himself, and looked down. So I tried again. “George, what did you think of the gymnastics performance at skool assembly the other day? I saw your sister on stage and I thought she was fabulous! You have such a great sister!”
He looked me in the eyes and said,” YES I DO!!!” and I swear I felt some fairy dust sprinkled on my head. Because after school, George’s teacher aide came to find me and said that it was the first time ever that he’d responded like that.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
traffic light curry
i get teased on facebook for all my i'm-making-this-for-dinner status updates. but when you're a mama of hungry teens, food features rather frequently on your horizon. today was back-to-skool, and we all arrived home feeling like we'd been hit by a train.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
we want cookie!!
yesterday, i came across a ridiculous situation with a journalist in her evening gown and a tumblr page about occupying education - and lookit!! unskoolers and classroomers are both in the same boat for once ;P
so i was thinking about how to make current events understandable to kids - and then i saw these words (but the original image offended my apostrophic sensibilities so my own kiddos collaborated with me and we made zees guy
Saturday, October 22, 2011
shopping bag tutorial
i wrote this tutorial for a class
of 25 eleven year olds
who had met the sewing machine
and could sew a straight seam.
as soon as the more able kiddos
had done each step,
they became the experts for the others -
Kids Teaching Kids is definitely my style,
especially with a 1:25 teacher-student ratio ;)
and the best thing? re/upcycling a throw-out.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
hello neglected little heart space
cos this morning i arrived at one of the pooter rooms with thirty leetle mathematicians for a
it turns out there was an eleventh-hour-assignment going on (which i completely understand, cos there are three teens living at my place) so i took my leetle people back to our pad and gave them all a chocolate fish for being so unnerstanding.
fast forward an hour later to a shower of gifts bestowed by last period's gorgeous english teacher: lollipops, choc fishies, choc bikkies, carrot cake and TURKISH BREAD. i know. there is an abundance of love in the universe, cos yesterday's tinned spaghetti dinner option was overtaken at the last minute by takeaways.
healthy mommy award right there.
so tonight i am cooking with