Charity Christmas Party for People Who Don’t Get Christmas Parties

So I may appear to be a bit of a brat, throwing myself a party since no one else will, but I figured there are probably lots of others out there, like me, who bust their butt working hard for themselves, their family or for someone else, only to receive little or no appreciation at the end of the year. I decided to fix this by throwing a party especially for us! This party is for the stay-at-home mums and dad, the entreprenuers and solo business people, it’s for the casual workers, like relief teachers (me!) or for people with tight ass bosses that don’t put anything on. This party is for ANYONE who feels underappreciated at times (don’t we all!) and wants an excuse to celebrate.

Whether 2017 was a killer year or whether it nearly killed you (metaphorically speaking), then we need to eat, drink and be merry to celebrate and commiserate all the wins and pitfalls we have faced over the past year. It is these ups and downs that make for this glorious life we are fortunate to live.

The setting will be on the deck and backyard of Neighbourhood Espresso in Currumbin Waters. The owner, Cleo, is an old friend of mine who is kindly opening up her beautiful establishment out of hours to cater for our Christmas bash. If you haven’t been to or heard of Neighbourhood, go check it out. It is my regular haunt when I am catching up with friends, especially with kids, as they have an awesome little caravan, toys and plenty of room to run around. Plus the food, coffee and service are AMAZING! Cleo assures me there will be PLENTY of food catered by her team, including sliders, salads, wraps and some hot food platters. The venue is unlicensed meaning it is BYO alcohol (bonus!) but they will be serving all their usual coffee, tea and cold drinks on the day. Check out Neighbourhood on Facebook and Instagram so you can see how awesome it is going to be there!
I have also been collaborating with lots of other local businesses as I wanted to help promote other upcoming (and established) businesses to help them get an extra kick start. After this whirlwind of a year starting my own business, I know how hard it can be to get your name out there so I thought this would be a great opportunity to help spread the word of some amazing people out there having a go, doing something they love.
Among some of the donated prizes are:

  • Corpmentis have very generously donated $2500 worth of marketing vouchers including “Business Card and Logo Design”, “Google Adwords Setup” and “Facebook Campaign Design and Setup” that you can win on the day. Perfect for any new businesses starting out or established businesses looking for fresh ideas.
  • Wildlings Photography is giving away a Family Portrait and Print credit valued at $300. I was lucky enough to have Camilla shoot my maternity and newborn pics and she is just AMAZING! Be sure to check out her work here.
  • The awesome guys at Woody’s Surf Shack have donated a $50 bar tab. Perfect to help celebrate the silly season.
  • Kelly Elle Salon will take care of your hair and beauty treatments with a generous $100 voucher!
  • Boheme Collection is kindly donating one of their beautifully handmade pieces valued at $40. The perfect piece to bring some creative beauty to your home. Check out more of their work on Instagram @bohemecollection.
  • The lovely ladies at Malfoy & Rose Candles have kindly gifted one of their handmade, 600g Caramel Vanilla candles worth $30. I’ve smelt this one and it is delicious! You can also find them on Insta @malfoyandrose
  • Fat Rabbit is an awesome children’s book series that was written by an inspirational local man, Wayne Patterson. He is suffering from Motor Neurone Disease and wrote the books for his grandchildren that he is hoping to meet. Proceeds to his books go to raising funds for the research of MND, so not only are you getting entertaining and educational books for your littlies, you are also making a difference when you buy from Fat Rabbit. I loved them SO much that I featured them in my latest book “Teacher for a Day- Early Childhood Edition“.  They have kindly donated “The Fat Rabbit Collection” valued at $110!
  • Olsen Avene Community Children’s Centre also loves supporting community projects and generously donated over $200 worth of children’s books. Great gifts for Christmas or for yourself, because as I always say, much to my husband’s dismay “We can’t ever have enough books, right?”
  • Haven Lifestyle is a new kid on the block but set to take storm in the online space. With amazing homewares at reasonable prices, we are lucky enough to have them gifting us some goodies for a great cause. If you are lucky, you could win a gorgeous homewares pack + $20 gift voucher valued at $120.
  • Tropic Abode is another up and coming local business selling candles and homewares. They have kindly donated one of their delicious Soy Candles for you all to win.
  • Teacher for a Day will be donating a book of choice from the range PLUS there will be big specials on my books (which I never do!)  to celebrate launching my newest book, TFAD Early Childhood Edition.
    + more donations to come!

These goodies will be raffled off to raise money for The Smith Family Christmas Appeal, helping young Australian families have a brighter Christmas this year. I plan to run the raffle so you can choose which prize you would like your tickets to go in for, so you have a better chance of winning prizes that you will love (although personally, I would love them all!).

Let’s get together, support local businesses and connect with other locals to have a fun afternoon out. Bring your partner, your friend, your mum or your grandpa. Bring anyone who deserves some time out to celebrate another fabulous year of being alive! Let’s eat, drink and be merry! Make sure you grab your tickets here before they sell out as the venue has a limit on numbers.

I look forward to seeing you there!
Kelly
xo

 

Need Professional Development hours? Here are 12 low cost (and FREE) places to find some.

Have you gotten to the end of the year and realised you haven’t completed the required hours of Professional Development for your Teacher’s registration? It happens to me EVERY year!

It is much harder as a Supply teacher to get access to PD but it is an important part of teaching in order to keep up our skills. There are some great courses and information out there to help keep us up to date with the changes going on in schools and classrooms and to keep our skills current to ensure we stay employable!

Remember you need to have a balanced selection of PD to cover all the Teaching Standards. 20 hours of “Professional Reading” won’t suffice, unfortunately. You also need to check your state’s requirements as they all differ slightly.

Here are some avenues where you can access free or low-cost Professional Development –

1. Your State’s Teacher Governing Body should have many free online courses available such as Student Protection, Code of Conduct, Behaviour Management etc.

2. Ask schools you are familiar with if you can sit in on their Professional Development meetings or Pupil Free Days.

3. First Aid and CPR is required as part of your registration and helps knock out a few mandatory hours.

4. PD just for CRT is a thing! There are some great sites specifically for our casual teaching role. CRTPD.com has plenty of free face to face courses, webinars and on-demand PD that you can do. Relief teaching.com has online courses plus lots of other resources for Relief Teachers all for $18/Lifetime membership. Relief Teacher Association via Class Cover gives you access to online webinars and courses for $20/course or unlimited access for $89/year.

5. Online videos can be found at Teachingchannel.org  and Teacherstv.com.au where they have an abundance of online video and training resources all for free.

6. Brite.edu.au offers 5 online learning modules to help build resilience in pre-service teachers.

7. Special needs is a great area to cover with some of your PD hours. Positive Partnerships have free workshops, Sue Larkey and Tony Attwood often hold free online workshops, Readings on inclusion in the classroom by Paula Kluth is a great way to get some more knowledge, along with low-cost courses on Autism from iBehavioural Training

8. Diversity is an interesting area to help build your knowledge of intercultural education and understanding in the classroom, especially if you are in an indigenous or multicultural area. You can get up to 6 hours with a certificate through the modules set by Difference Differently.

9. Create-abilities.com offer free webinars on Maths, Literacy and more for practical strategies for in the classroom and you get a certificate at the end.

10. Mindmatters.com.au have free modules on mental health, tackling important issues to help you have the skills to deal with students in the classroom.

11. Professional Reading is ideal for keeping up with the latest teaching trends and also a great way cover the last few hours remaining for your PD requirements.

12. Facebook Groups like this one, specifically advertise upcoming PDs that are usually free or low cost.

 

Don’t get caught out by not completing your requirements for your Teacher’s Registration.

Happy learning!

Kelly

 

Should teachers make mistakes?

I’ve been feeling a little disillusioned by the teaching community of late. Not only have I been personally attacked and had my credibility defamed in social media, I have noticed others being ridiculed by fellow teachers too, for simple spelling and grammatical mistakes.

I am getting a thicker skin when being ridiculed for errors. I have put myself in that position when I published my books and started a business from it so I’m learning to cop the criticism. I am always so thankful when people kindly bring to my attention an error I have made in a blog post, my website or one of my books. I don’t, however, appreciate receiving a demeaning essay about an error nor do I appreciate being slandered on social media and having my credibility as a teacher and author questioned. I especially don’t tolerate people accusing my customers and fellow teachers as “spelling-illiterate” because they didn’t alert me to the mistake.

It was simply that. A mistake!

Yes, I did pay an editor to edit my book. But guess what, they are human. I then sent through the changes to my designer who, you’ll never believe, is human too! No matter how many steps you take, when you are writing books with thousands of words in them, there will still be mistakes. Does it mean the book is any less beneficial? Myself and hundreds of customers don’t seem to think so, but if a spelling mistake is enough to deter you, that is fine, I get it. I’m a teacher which means I have to be an expert in every area of education, right???

To be honest, I’m not as phased by the online trolls as I once was, especially when I have some amazing people having my back. But it was reading other teachers getting torn down and discredited as a professional in their teaching role over a simple spelling or grammatical error that has spurred me to speak out. These negative comments can be more damaging than you would think and can especially knock the confidence of new teachers.

This may be a generalisation but we as teachers are supposed to be caring, kind and supportive in our profession. If some of these people treated their students the way they put down other teachers online, I would be appalled. There is ALWAYS a nice way to point out errors. EVERYBODY makes mistakes. Even these keyboard warriors aren’t immune to the common error.

                         “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” Theodore Roosevelt.

Spelling a word wrong DOES NOT make you an incompetent teacher. I doubt that ALL teachers out there are experts and aware of EVERY single grammatical rule. Does that make them unworthy to teach? I don’t believe so as there are many other strengths that teachers need to possess rather than perfect spelling and grammar skills.

Teachers have a million things going on in their head at any given time, a mistake on social media of all places does not warrant a public crucifixion. Why are people so quick to pick out the negatives rather than helping out or appreciating the positives? I am urging everyone to think before you criticise. You don’t know their story or what is going on in their life. Perhaps they are dyslexic and have battled to become a teacher. Perhaps it was just their “smart” phone acting not so smart. Let’s just remember to always take the kinder approach in these situations.

You may also like to know that even best-selling authors have mistakes in their work.

I’ll leave you with these…

5 Famous Novels that Have Huge Mistakes

On the error-riddled writing of The Hunger Games

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/14-worst-typos-ever

KELLY

P.S. I’m sure some of you will take pleasure in finding grammatical errors here. Have fun! 😉

 

 

Saying “No” to gay marriage

On this day 7 years ago I got married. How lucky am I? Not because I got to marry my best friend and soul mate, nor the fact that after 14 years together we are happier than ever. I am lucky that the body I was born in is white. I am lucky that the vessel that carries me prefers the opposite sex. I am lucky that this vehicle of mine is able in both body and in mind.  I am lucky I have never experienced discrimination or injustice a day in my life due to these small factors.

 

I naively thought that saying “No” to gay marriage wouldn’t be an option in this day and age. I thought we had grown as a nation to become more accepting of differences and to support equal rights for all. Sure, I knew the religious folk who have been indoctrinated with their close-minded views would not be voting “Yes” on the subject and I suspected people of the older generation might poo-poo the idea too, but recently I have discovered close friends and family not voting “Yes” and this has quite frankly p&$$ed me off!

 

I’ve heard the arguments from a friend saying “I can’t be bothered as the issue doesn’t motivate me enough to vote. Something like youth suicide is more of a tragedy than gays not getting to wed.” What about the fact that LGBTQI teens and youth have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts. Do you think perhaps open acceptance and equality for LGBTQI might change these statistics? That by voting “Yes” you will actually be saving lives??

 

Another friend was much more adamant that he was voting “No.” He worriedly said “Gay marriage is bringing too much change to our country. Our country is fine how it is. What else will they try to slip by us if this passes?” What the heck do you think will happen??? Their weddings might upstage ours? That their open-mindedness and acceptance of all people might rub off on us? Pfft!

 

This same friend is of an ethnic background and immigrated to Australia when he was young. He could be considered a “minority”. If it wasn’t for change and progression he may still be considered a “savage” or a “slave” and not have any rights to vote. If it wasn’t for the open-mindedness and movements of change-makers before us his mother, sisters, wife and daughters would not be educated or given the rights they have today. If it wasn’t for change, his interracial marriage could be frowned upon. Is change really such a bad thing?

 

Many of these people in my life who are voting “No” are parents. Will they still be OK with their decision if one of their children is LBGTQI and says “Mum, why can’t I marry the person that I love like you did with Dad?” Or perhaps their child is too frightened to confide in them due to thier bigoted views. What if their child became one of the suicide statistics? Would they still be happy with their “No” vote?

 

Others have said, “Why do they need to get married?”  I say, “Why did YOU need to get married?!” It is a well-known fact that heterosexual couples have already tarnished the sanctity of marriage through adultery, divorce, marrying for visas, marrying for money, marrying for fame. All the LGBTQI community want is the same rights as “us” and to marry for the right reason- LOVE. Who are we to deny anyone this right that we abuse so freely?

 

We are the LAST developed English-speaking country not allowing same sex couples to marry. To me it is ludicrous we are even having this discussion and that people aren’t seeing what this issue truly is- a fight for EQUAL RIGHTS.

 

You have a chance to make a difference in the lives of our fellow mankind. Be the change you want to see in the world and vote “YES” for LOVE.

 

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Dalai Lama.

 

Sincerely,

Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

Do you remember the old saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”? It seems that online that sentiment goes out the door. I am curious as to why people feel like it’s ok to say negative, nasty and degrading things online? Would you say these things to a person’s face? I would like to think not, yet when armed with a keyboard these “warriors” think it is OK to put other’s down.

 

In the past week numerous negative things have happened toward things I have posted online. Someone criticised the name of my book and business, I was degraded as a teacher after making a spelling mistake, many, many people went over the top with how terrible it is to have a shark in the water with a stickman surfer and on a public teaching page I was chastised for advertising and someone’s post asking advice about my book was deleted.

 

I mean no harm to anyone. I am more than happy to support and promote other people that are also helping Relief Teachers. I am merely trying to help and provide a service to Relief Teachers. I am also not perfect. I am human. I can be that person that picks out spelling errors (even on teacher’s work, shock horror!!!) but I would never condemn a person online about it. I’ve had a couple of lovely people notify me privately of my errors and I am always so grateful as yes, I do make mistakes. However, it seems not everyone acts that way and by trying to help others through this business platform it has opened me up to snide comments and negative criticism.
I have had hundreds of positive words and comments said about my work and how much it has helped people. However, it is those handful of horrible remarks that really stick with me. They give me a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, make me not want to log on to my computer or phone and make me doubt what I do.

 

I’m sure I need to get tougher skin, and hopefully with time that will come. However, I feel this is not OK. These comments are coming from teachers. People that are supposed to be teaching and showing compassion, understanding and kindness. Is this how they treat their students?

 

I know there are people out there copping it much worse than I am. Our children in particular are dealing with a tough time of cyber bullying and my heart breaks for them. If I, a confident, grown woman can feel so distressed by words that are nowhere near as harsh as what some children and online personalities are dealing with, no wonder we are dealing with an epidemic of mental illness and suicide.

 

I urge everybody to think before you type, as you would if you were having a conversation with someone. Because those words are aimed at someone behind that computer screen, and yes, words do hurt.

Why are teachers running from the profession?

Someone reached out to me asking my advice on whether they should switch from doing relief teaching to classroom teaching. As much as I wanted to shout “Of course you should!”, I couldn’t. Although having your own classroom is the ultimate dream for anyone studying Education I have encountered far too many reasons that convince me that supply teaching is the way for me.

Just this past week alone I have encountered-

  • An experienced teacher going part-time as her only option of coping with the work/life balance after being transferred from her school of 10 years.
  • Another experienced teacher, transferred an hour away from home, who has resigned from the coveted ‘permanent position’ to do relief as he felt the travel time added to his day bought his pay down to minimum wage and felt it wasn’t worth it.
  • A teacher that reluctantly took back her resignation as she was talked into sticking out the whole year.
  • A new graduate quit her class at a Catholic School after one semester and opting to do supply teaching instead.
  • Numerous teachers quizzing me about how much work I get, the pay and how they are thinking of quitting to do Supply Teaching.

So you have to ask yourself, why are so many teaching running from what should be such a rewarding and fulfilling career? So many passionate people walking away from doing the one thing they really love.

 

I put it down to a few things.

There is a severe lack of support for new graduate teachers. They are often lumped with the students nobody wanted. There is a “sink or swim” mentality put on these teachers. Unfortunately, these factors can ruin a potentially fabulous teacher as they are put into an even more stressful and overwhelming situation than it already is. Classes aren’t always so horrible, but those experiences can be enough to scar a new teacher for good.  There is also little support. They may be appointed a mentor but the mentor is often too swamped themselves to help as much as they need. New teachers often feel like they aren’t ready when they graduate and don’t have enough experience to do it alone. If they survive the year it is usually with their heads barely above water and with a lot of sacrifice. It shouldn’t be that hard.

Another obvious gripe is the unnecessary paperwork and testing. This can be extremely time consuming and stressful to teachers and often a waste of time. Teachers are made to gather “data” for the bosses to show off to others which serves no purpose or benefit for the teachers or students. Just let the teachers teach, that’s what they love to do.

Teachers also feel like they don’t receive the respect they deserve, particularly from parents. Parents no longer support teachers but question their motives and actions. Your son hasn’t got an award yet? Perhaps he isn’t as perfect as you think he is? Or perhaps he just needs to learn patience as there has to be someone to receive theirs last. We need to teach our children resilience. We need to not fight all their battles or email the teacher 6 times a day about a trivial issue. The second the child knows that you are against the teacher or undermine them in any way, you are making it harder for the teacher to gain respect as the authoritarian in the class, making their job harder than it already is. Cut teachers some slack and respect their professional judgement. They are the “professionals” here after all.

 

Teacher’s aren’t complaining about wanting higher wages, although they most certainly deserve them. They aren’t whinging about the hundreds to thousands of dollars they spend each year on resources for the children’s benefit, which is unheard of in any other profession. Nor are they up in arms about the ridiculous hours they put in outside of the 9-3 everyone perceives that they work, no such perk as overtime rates here. All teachers want is more support in the classroom for the students that need it. A helpful mentor when we first start out. Parents that don’t undermine us and support our professional decisions. Administration to remember what it was like in the classroom and that don’t delegate more paperwork for the sake of paperwork.

It upsets me hearing that so many teachers aren’t happy and wanting to leave the profession. Until teachers are given the support and respect they deserve they will keep leaving (or at least keep putting my job in jeopardy with more competition in the supply pool!!!)

Let’s value one of the few professions that really make a difference in this world and make this a job worth fighting for!

KELLY

 

 

High School Edition Competition

Gotta be in it to win it!

Like, comment and make sure you have subscribed to www.teacherforaday.com to be in with your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of the High School Edition

Conditions of entry-

This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to Teacher for a Day and not to Facebook. The information you provide will be used for this competition only and will not be shared with any third parties.

  • Competition is run by Teacher for a Day.
  • Entrants must Like and Comment on the Facebook post AND be subscribed to the Teacher for a Day website to be eligible.
  • Only available to Australian entrants.
  • Winner will be chosen at random, provided they meet all the requirements.
  • Winner will be drawn on Thursday 1st June, 2017.

Gotta be in it to win it so share the love peeps!

KELLY

4 Behaviour Strategies for Supply Teaching Survival

Behaviour is complex. You never really know why someone behaves the way they do and it is a particularly tricky thing to gauge when you are a Supply Teacher. You walk into a class and the only thing you know are the names on the roll. You don’t even know who those names belong to, let alone the students’ background, learning needs, ability level, temperament, religion, culture, family structure, friendship circles, allergies or many of the other elements that make up a human being. You are constantly behind the eight ball and coupled with the stereotypical situation where supply teachers aren’t well respected by students, makes for a tough gig at times.

So how do we beat this behavioural battle? There is no definitive answer as each student is so different and complex, but these are some strategies I implement to help make my day go more smoothly.

NOTE- I hate spending my days yelling. I find all it does is make for a horrible day and I go home with a headache. So whilst my approach can be firm and occasionally ‘yelly’ for effect, I prefer to take a more engaging, fun approach so that we all enjoy our day a little.

1. Pick your battles.

You don’t know the students well enough to know their ability level or their usual participation level so choose your challenges wisely. Give reminders for the correct behaviour but if you get a lot of resistance or it continues anyway, back off unless the behaviour is escalating or disturbing others. Tactical ignoring is a great strategy for niggling behaviour issues.

If the student is wiggling around or standing up at their desk, but are still working, let it slide. If a student is doodling while you are talking but not being disruptive, that is ok, they may need to do that in order to focus better. If a student is working slowly or not at all, give reminders that their classroom teacher requested for this work to be completed. It’s not the end of the world if an activity isn’t completed so if you give them a consequence for not finishing, follow through but don’t punish yourself by demanding it is completed if it’s not achievable. If the class is chatty, try your best for quieter work, but sometimes you’re fighting a battle even their classroom teacher doesn’t win, so don’t stress too much if you don’t achieve the silence you desire. Although you may have high expectations, you don’t have the prior knowledge of their capabilities so sometimes you just have to let it go.

2. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
You don’t have the rapport that the classroom teacher has so some kids want you to earn their respect in order to show you respect. If you come in ruling with an iron fist, it can go one of two ways. They might be scared sh@%less and behave how you would like OR some students will ark up and wreak havoc if they feel like you have been unjust towards them. I tend to steer clear of the iron fist and try to take a more relatable approach.

You can do this by having a little fun with the class, crack jokes, tell the class a bit about yourself, ask them about themselves and engage them with things they might be into, even if that means you need to “dab” to get attention, or land a bottle flip for the boys. Respect is power and the quicker you gain it, the easier your day will be.

If there is no plan left, choose activities you know they will like. Challenging or boring content will generally cause more resistance and behavioural issues. Try to slip in a fun 5-minute game here or there. There is rarely time in the curriculum for a little fun these days so it’s nice to be able to add a little enjoyment to their day. Plus, they will often work harder to get the chance to play it again. Win, win.

3. Handle with care.
Reiterate the school behaviour policies and lay down your expectations and rules from the start. Be firm and consistent but also be realistic. In an ideal world we would love our classes to work harmoniously, in silence and complete all set tasks without a hitch. Sadly, that will rarely happen, so be willing to bend a little to keep the peace. If you say something, be sure to follow through so that they know you mean business but if you can see a student’s behaviour escalating, do what you can to deescalate the situation. You can’t cover content while you are putting out fires all day so aim for a trouble free day. A teacher would rather return to hear a child did no work than a child was suspended due to an escalating conflict you had with them over something menial.

4. Your problem.
Administration doesn’t want to deal with the students you can’t handle. To them you are just filling in for the day so any issues can sometimes be a reflection of you and your teaching skills so try to avoid calling in the big guns if you can help it. There are obviously times when you will have no choice; a student leaves the classroom, a fight breaks out or a student starts trying to hit and attack anyone in sight while you are trying to teach a Music lesson (all true stories).

Try your best to deal with all minor behaviour then and there and don’t leave trivial behaviour issues for the teacher the next day either. They don’t want to hear that Donna stole Daisy’s rubber or that Derek said “Sh@%” and that the teacher will need to follow it up. If you want repeat work, you need to appear confident and capable. Do NOT complain when you sign out at the end of the day what a horrible day you had, it’s a sure fire way to get your name crossed off their Supply Shortlist.

 

We all have our own style of teaching. I’m in awe of those (generally more experienced/retired) supply teachers who can assert their authority within moments, have students working silently; too scared to step a foot out of line and don’t take on the emotional drain that I do when yelling. For me, this more relaxed, keep the peace approach seems to be working. Don’t get me wrong, I have challenging days but for the most part the students and I have fun, have a laugh and I go home telling my husband I had another great day. Remember you are only filling in for the day. Your job is to keep the cogs turning seamlessly, not shake them up with your own ideals and opinions of how things should be run. Don’t rock the boat and you will get repeat work, guaranteed!

KELLY
Find more Behaviour Management tips here
Are you nervous when it comes to teaching younger students?
Do you lack confidence when teaching older students?
Combating a chaotic classroom: Ways to avoid your day turning pear-shaped Part 1- Whole Class
Combating a chaotic classroom: Ways to avoid your day turning pear-shaped Part 2- Individuals