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

Competition Time! Win the Relief Teacher Essentials Starter Pack.

Get your entry in to win the  RELIEF TEACHER ESSENTIALS STARTER PACK valued at over $120!

All you need to do is LIKE and COMMENT on the Facebook post and make sure you are subscribed to this website at www.teacherforaday.com. (I promise to never spam you and only send you great resources and info!)

 Teacher for a Day- Primary School Edition Gold Star Package  OR High School Edition Gold Star Package
PLUS

  • Handmade LANYARD by Anita @learn.laugh.lanyards
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  • Hackysack
  • TFAD pen
  • Set of Student Reward Cards

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 Tuesday 26th September, 2017.

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

KELLY

 

Need money over the school holidays? Here are some tips for teachers who DON’T get paid over the break

Now that school holidays are upon us, money can get a little tight. Here are some suggestions to make a little extra dough to help make ends meet.

1. Vacation care and holiday camps. These are becoming more and more popular since families can’t afford to take such a long period off to look after their kids. Teachers are the perfect candidates since you are more than qualified to look after them in this setting. Plus it can be a welcome change to just enjoy hanging out with kids without the pressures of testing and outcomes.

2. Childcare centre. Use your skills and approach your local kindergartens to do some hours over the holidays. Often the employees want a break but can’t due to being understaffed. You can relieve them and get the holiday income you need.

3. Babysitting. A relatively easy way to make some casual cash. Many parents (myself included) would love to ditch their kids to someone. Why not you? Start by offering to people you know but if your social circles are childless, then check out some online companies to help you get started.

4. Private tutoring. Most parents have received test results and report cards and may be freaking out at how poorly their child seems to be doing. Capitalise on this by offering tutoring over the holidays.

5. Teachers Pay Teachers. Pull out all your resources, jazz them up in a powerpoint document (watch some youTube vids on how TpT sellers create their resources) and start making some cash! It’s really simple, something you can easily do on the holidays even if you are stuck at home with kids AND some teachers are making $50 000+ per year doing it. Get on it!

5. Go back to your previous employer and see if they need a hand over the break. You know the job so can fit in easily and if you’re lucky they may need some casual help. Don’t feel too proud to return, as you know it is only for a short period of time.

6. Try Uber. Uber is the hot new thing and if it is in your town or city, why not give it a go? You pick and choose your own hours so like Supply Teaching, you’ll still feel like your own boss. If you have an older car, don’t stress, you could give Uber Eats a go instead. 

7. Freelance. Technology has opened up a world of opportunities and people will pay good money for your expertise. Perhaps you are a grammar nazi that could be hired for proofreading and editing, or you dabble in photography in your spare time and could help others out with Photoshop. Get on Upwork or Fiverr and sell your skills. You don’t have to be an expert and you could end up make a pretty penny on the side to subsidise those slow weeks of teaching.

8. Sell your stuff.  Sort through your garage, your shed and your cupboards. No doubt you will have something hoarded away, not getting used, that someone else will be willing to pay for. That food processor you never use. That dusty surfboard still waiting for the “perfect” conditions. That expensive outfit that you didn’t end up wearing to the wedding. Sell it all on Gumtree, Ebay or one of those many Facebook Garage sale groups going around. You will sleep a little easier knowing that not only have you helped contribute to the finances, but the feeling of decluttering can be oh, so cleansing!

9. Win the lotto. Ok, I know you can’t control this one, but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?!

Remember to take off some time for yourself. There is a reason that teachers get so many breaks, they DESERVE them! So if cash is tight, give some of these ideas a go, but be sure to give yourself some downtime too!

Happy holidays!

KELLY

Harmony Day Activities

It is Harmony Day tomorrow. The day where we celebrate differences, diversity and cultures. It is the day to recognise our traditional owners of the land and respect them and their culture. It is the day to bring awareness to the benefits that diversity brings us and to show us how we can live in HARMONY together.

I have compiled some fun and engaging activities that need little to no preparation.

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I hope they help!

KELLY

P.S. If you subscribe to the mailing list @ www.teacherforaday.com I will send a PDF through to you (along with a FREE Cheat Sheet to Getting More Supply Work.)