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The sun is shining, the birds are singing, holidays have arrived, Christmas is on its merry way and I spent last night dancing til my feet were bruised after slapping a random hot boy’s bum. Life is good.

I awoke this morning in a panicked state after dreaming that I hadn’t planned any lessons for the week, couldn’t teach anything normal I had thrown out all writing materials and my Preps had turned into 16 year olds. I need a plough to get past all the teacherish gifts of mugs, hand lotions, make-up bags and chocolates, yet it doesn’t feel like the end of the year. Evidently, the fact that work is over hasn’t quite seeped into my brain yet.

I watched my work life get packed away, carried by a train of tiny children and dumped into the boot of my car this week. I won’t miss the meetings or the writing of reports, however I know that while I’m off on my own adventure, my heart will yearn for some things.

I’ll miss walking around on yard duty in the playground while children probe me about my love life and gush about their aspirations, providing me with more entertainment than I could beg for.
“Miss, when I grow up, I want to be a teacher, just like you….hair in a bun, Chinese eyes…”

I’ll miss teaching my kids the ‘Nutbush’, ‘Macarena’ and ‘Timewarp’ during Sport lessons. That’s what happens when I’m asked to teach Sport. And, if you ask me, these dances are essential life lessons.

I’ll miss watching 23 children yelling “T-SHIRTS! T-SHIRTS!!” when asked which music they would like to listen to while they munch their lunch. My kids are addicted to Taylor Swift. Their mothers must curse me as their children sing the lyrics of ‘Love Story’ while in the bath. But I know for a fact that four of my girls are receiving tickets to Swifty’s concert from Santa. Because Santa’s cool like that.

I’ll miss complements that make my mornings easier. Being greeted with “Good morning Butterfly!” or “Good morning Optimus Prime!” is a pretty big complement from a 5 year old. Or implies that I look like a Transformer. I’m not sure.

I’ll miss doing a happy dance and high five-ing everyone in the immediate vicinity upon witnessing that after 10 months at school, a little girl has figured out letters signify sounds and can write a sentence phonetically. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll miss getting teary watching children dressed as angels sing carols. I’ll miss giggling about inside jokes regarding fruit cheese with my fabulous colleagues. I’ll miss Friday night “debriefs” (read: gossip). Sticky fingers. Crowning kids with sparkling birthday hats and eating cupcakes made my mums. Sticker bribery. Dress-up days.
How much do you want to bet I’ll be back?

What do you miss?

I encountered an interesting old, old lady this week. She made me cry.

Well, she didn’t intend to. I didn’t know her. And it wasn’t her so much, rather her whole situation.

We took some Grade 3 students to visit the Nursing Home across the road and I watched with pride and wonderment as these kids, who run around like crazies most of the day, presented themselves as polite, sweet cherubs. They chatted to the residents in rehearsed sentences, making friendly enquiries about families, children, lives.

Most of the elderly ladies, seated at Bingo tables in lavender and silky scarves, chatted to them about kittens, First Communions and school. Both parties were doing a good job at making pleasent conversation.

Except for one lady, hunched over a walking frame, reciting poetry in a loud and commanding voice to an 8 year old audience of mesmorised (although somewhat frightened) children. These kids stood in front of her like statues, with glassy, teary eyes as they listened to her speak with grand gestures.

It was a moment in which the Earth seemed to stand still. I watched the old lady and the children, and no one else in the world existed. Them and Me. Me and them. When I glanced up at my best friend, another teacher who came along, I knew she had seen the water creeping into my eyes.

Especially when a little boy whispered, “You’ve got a real talent there!” A smile lit up the lady’s face and she exclaimed, “Fancy you telling me something like that! Gosh!”

The lady told me she was 89. Born on the West Australian goldfields, she used to recite that poem, in the same clear, commanding voice, when she was young. I imagined her narrating in front of large crowds. Except that now she only speaks to the same people, other resident and visiting strangers. And I dreaded that day, if it ever comes, when I will have wisdom and experience, but no room left for fresh new future dreams…

When I was 12 I made a time capsule. (I lived on a farm and spent many a long, boring hour thinking about the future, when I wasn’t rocking out to Hanson and cutting out pictures of the Spice Girls from TV Hits magazine). The big plan was to reveal it when I reached the far away, imaginary age of 21.

My 12 year old self, possibly decked out in my favourite 1997 outfit of black baggy tencel overalls (yes, tencel… don’t judge, you were probably wearing it too) and aqua Piping Hot oversized t-shirt, thought that by16 I would be pretty much grown up. By 21, I would surely know all there was to know about the world.

I have a hazy recognition of tucking an assortment of symbolic items into a cardboard Nike shoebox, wondering what life would be like then.

My high school diary, scribbled with notes from new found friends, bragging about how a boy smiled at us on the train (A boy! A real life boy! Needless to say, I went to a girl’s school…) My journal, purchased by my parents on a day trip to the beach, where I wrote riveting accounts about what I ate for lunch and how I had bought some new stickers for my collection. A copy of Dolly magazine = my 12 year old self’s Bible. Considered contraband in my household in my early teens, I used to sneakily buy it after school because life wouldn’t be worth living if I didn’t know the latest entertaining issues covered by Dolly Doctor. (Does anybody else remember the infamous letter about the chick with the Barbie dolls and interesting urges??!!) A Yo-Yo. Photos of my good self sporting some ridiculously oversized headbands (what’s changed?)

Hidden inside the box under a cover of crunchy pink tissue, much to my mortification/fascination/curiosity I found a cassette tape that I had recorded of my favourite songs (‘MmmBop’ anyone? Appreciate it, I probably spent a good 30 minutes next to the radio listening to the Hot 30 Countdown, poised to pounce on record to get that). I also felt the need to discuss my life.

12 year old self predicted that by my early twenties, I may have achieved the following:

Moved out (Ba bow!) Been to Uni (Check). Moved away from the farm (Check). Travelled to Sydney (Check. Dream big Laura!) Gotten married (Again, ba bow!) Had kids (Hahaha. No.) Be working as a vet (I think I failed to recognise that I pretty much can’t do Maths). I also predicted that in the future, I might have a flying car (I think I watched a little too much of ‘The Jetsons’), I would probably use a machine to listen to music rather then listen to CDs (Bingo! How come I’m not working for Apple?)

Life at 12 was simple in a way, but much more complicated then life now. I spent a lot of time reading magazines in my room, writing letters to my friends, daydreaming about marrying Zac Hanson and praying that one day I would be as cool as some of the girls at school, who flounced around in curvy bodies,  blonde highlights and black tattoo look necklaces.

And I would definitely reach Sydney.

Preps give the best life advice. It’s a proven fact. One of the little girls in the class next door welcomed a new baby brother to her family and her classmates were summoned to write down advice for the newborn.

‘Always remember… don’t waste water’

‘Always remember… to be nice to your family. Especially your sister or she will make it bad for you’.

‘Always remember…don’t eat too much food’.

I am entirely aware that I lack the wisdom of the 5 year olds I teach, however I will give it a shot.

girl bulldogPic from We Heart It

To all the babies born out there today, always remember…

The people who matter don’t mind and the people that mind don’t matter. (You can always trust Dr. Suess to come up with a gem). You will regret not  taking photos, you will rarely regret taking too many. Say goodbye to your family before you leave the house, it might be the last time you see them. Likewise,  when you are having an argument with your family, remember that there will be a day when you would give anything to speak to them.

Put chocolate biscuits in the fridge, they will be crunchier! There’s no such thing as too much chocolate. Smile at strangers and dogs with happy faces. Wear bright nail polish, but take it off when it chips. (If you are a boy baby, either skip the polish or wear black. I think it’s sexy). Wiggle your toes when you have a needle.

Watch old movies when you are little. Make use of your local library. Never wear runners when you ride a horse, if you fall off you might get dragged. (I have a scar on my wrist to prove this). Buy the best food that you can afford. Marry someone who makes you laugh. Don’t give up on learning a second language- one day it may come in handy and if not, it will help you pick up! Advice from my mum: Learn to play an instrument, then if you are broke, you can always busk.

Wear sunscreen. Wear clothes that suit you.  Girl babies: Don’t let anyone con you into thinking that denim tights are flattering. Think seriously before you get a tattoo- if you wouldn’t want that picture hanging in your house forever, don’t get it emblazoned on your body. Swim.

Try to laugh or at least smile everyday. Even if you are just laughing about how bad your situation is. Everything will be ok in the end, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end. (That’s not my quote). Believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy for as long as you can. And go on swings until they break under your weight.

The pay may not be amazing, but the feeling of being treated like a rock star every day is. I seriously think that teaching is one of those jobs that has just enough of those rock star moments to keep you coming back.

Rock Star Moment #1

As I was wandering around the muddy oval on yard duty today with 10 Prep girls traipsing after me, Lucy said to me “Do ya know what my dream is? That everyone in the class is away and you just get to teach me. That would be sooo cool”.

I guess I could look at this comment in two ways, either I don’t pay Lucy enough attention in class or she really likes me. I prefer to choose the latter.

Rock Star Moment #2

I was chatting to one of my parent helpers while the kids ate lunch, when she said, “The girls dress up as you every afternoon when they get home and play ‘schools’. They wear black leggings and high heels and cover themselves in jewellery. I will definitely have to video it for you”. Guess it’s good to hear I have a signature style…plus it’s nice to think someone wants to be you even if they are 5 year old.

Especially when you feel like you are stuck in rotational work uniform, have chipped fingernails and got caught in the rain walking to your car (meaning your freshly GHD’d hair has decided to give itself weirdo bendy waves).

Rock Star Moment #3

I love that when I am so over thinking about assessments, reports, Running Records, timetables etc….I see 23 grinning faces fighting for window space and peeking through my classroom door’s window when the morning bell rings. I love the way they shout at me to let them in and almost fall over each other in their scramble to get in the door.

Rock Star Moment #4, #5, #6, etc.

Having 5 year olds quote back to you lame jokes and pointless stories you told them MONTHS ago. Hearing “Oooh that’s good! You are SUCH a good artist!” when you draw a stick figure ostrich on the board.  Hearing the a Prep child respond with “She knows because she’s a teacher. Teachers are smart” . Bless! Being offered the lolly bag with 2 Freddo Frogs in it on someones birthday. Finding mis-spelt notes and crayon drawings on your desk, addressed to you. Knowing that a five year old trusts you enough to run to you and nuzzle into your neck when she is crying.

To all the teachers out there…

When it’s the end of the day, you’re counting down to holidays and you’ve just sent a five year old to the Principal’s office because they told their classmate to “Get F*CKED!” (as I did today), try to think of the Rock Star Moments.

Days of My Life

August 2017
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...and it got me thunking... A dip platter is my idea of a perfect meal beach Beyonce` would know Bill Cosby was right and kids do say the darndest things birthday girl bloggers bloggers who rock boys with black nail polish are the sex bushfires champagne child of the 80s chocolate Christmas cupcakes make the world go round dancing to cheesy songs could end war forever david jones dogs are some of the best people i know dreaming family fashion fashion thrills me forwards free friends morph into family frogs Gen Y gluten Gossip Girl XOXO half a letter and half a list Hamish Blake gives me a lift on my ride home Hard to believe but sometimes we are even cooler then Carrie Bradshaw headbands are what dreams are made of Heels equal power honest I'm actually 15 i'm bored therefore i blog i'm such a girl i adore kids books I am you are we are Australian I can't remember as I was a bit smashed i love HK and all its mango drinks i really hope you don't know me i still believe in Santa i wish i spoke in amazing quotations I would have a Diet Coke IV if i could jokes just a moment life long love Lilo Lily Allen Melbourne Miley Cyrus miranda kerr my friends are the best friends once upon a time i loved Hanson parents are intesting sometimes read my brain sad but true sometime i think little kids are smarter then me Spice Girls Spring has sprung Summer Sunday Taylor Swift teaching this show is my life travel unrealistic is more realistic we're all dying too weekends when I'm bored I'm crazy when will i will i be famous? Winter yes i rock singstar

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