i've been a bad LJ friend. so much has happened to you guys that i've missed out on, and it's taken a while to catch up on things. hope people are looking after themselves, first and foremost. livejournal is an interesting phenomena because it feels like you can become such a close part of someone else's life, regardless of distance. it offers an intimacy and closeness far removed from the surface tension of facebook. tho FB has immediacy & convenience. i'm glad i was an lj'er before a fb'er, that's for sure. i've learnt a lot on this blog & discovered really amazing things.
my time away from LJ in this past year has been more than any other in the 11 years i've been a member. i hope to improve that.
...Boring teacher stuff
on friday my deputy principal called me into his office & offered me a new position in the school. i am torn whether to take it or not.
some context: i've been at my school for 7 years, in the same office, teaching the same subjects (English and Social studies), teaching the same year groups (8 & 9 & sometimes 10, in the "Middle school" part of our high school).
2 years ago i was turfed out of my classroom of 5 years & put into another room. a student teacher i had at the time gifted me with the most beautiful mural on one wall, and an ed assistant who was also arty did another smaller one on the other side. i have decorated & it is a beautiful, gorgeous room - i would hazard to say that it is the most impressive classroom in the entire school of 1200 kids (so a lot of rooms!).
murals just after they were painted in 2009, before i'd settled things up.
i work with a wonderful (mostly) group of people. My boss is awesome (again, mostly). i have access to great resources and facilities. i have not been in a hurry to leave.
My goal (that i have been brewing on in my head) is to go for (and get) my Level 3 Classroom Teacher. I have no idea if the US or UK have a similar level. but basically in exchange for a helluva lot of hard work to put the portfolio together & gather evidence that highlights stuff you *already do* there's a payrise to about $85k, plus 0.1 fte (half day equivalent) of non-teaching time given to you to do more awesome shit.
Level 3 CT is no joke. it is serious fucking business. there is a LOT of kudos awarded to those who reach it. it has a big FUCK OFF application process & you have to present why you're so awesome to a panel of your peers. there are 5 criteria you have to fulfill, and supply evidence. Evidence includes things such as: letters, certificates & awards from teaching, data from increased performance of your kids, etc and so on. it is a pain in the fucking ass.
a lot of people have been hassling me about going for it & providing as much support as i need to get it, including my principal, the other deputy principal, and a bunch of peers. my school has a lot of talented teachers and of course, it would look good for the school to have x% of Level 3 teachers on staff!
i'm okay with most of the criteria, but one of them i need to work on A LOT. it's to do with community involvement (beyond the normal Parent Teacher contact etc and so on), and to do with building networks etc. it's a pain in the ass.
so i've been planning this teaching program with a little group of special kids that i teach. i have them in year 8 & then roll with them into year 9. i've been REALLY EXCITED about what i'm doing and how i'm going to do this. I got the idea from a Big Picture presentation i went to (http://www.bigpicture.org.au/
). i'm also interested in Montessori education as well, so a lot of this stuff has already been floating around in my head.
so then on friday Mick offers me this position as an Industry Links teacher. Industry links is an education pathway into TAFE or Trade certificates. the school has had an unexpected jump in enrollment into the Year 11 course - from 60 kids currently, to over 100. so rather than say No to the kids & have them completing Senior School courses that they aren't into, they want to make a new class.
I laughed & asked why i was "the first person he thought of" and he listed things such as:
- personality type
- excellent behaviour management (the type of clientele for I.L. may be dodgier than mainstream!)
basically, grooming my ego. He then said there was no one else on staff who would be suitable & otherwise they would have to advertise the position publicly.
my first thought was NO & i told him as such.
Then i thought i better think about it for a while, so i called him back & said i'd have to do that.
so now comes the thinking. Pros
- great for my teaching: it's teaching Upper School kids (16+ yo's) rather than the 13 & 14yo's i've been teaching for the past 9 years.
- community involvement (it's part of the program)
- a challenge
- the kids enrolled would be ones i've already taught in Yr 8 & 9 so the teaching would be FUCKING AWESOME and very exciting. Cons
- moving office & moving classroom (this is a big one!)
- working with a bunch of new people (i know them, of course, but i don't KNOW them)
- losing my current year 8's & any chance of implementing the awesome program i had in mind
- teaching maths (i'd be the core teacher, so would have the kids for the majority of the day & teach them set skills as opposed to subjects)
- NOT teaching Social Studies, which i fucking LOVE LOVELOVELOVEOVOEOELOVE (get the picture?)
idk. i've talked to 3 ppl & 2 are pro and jed is sort of against. mainly because Mick has pulled this shit on me before - stroked my ego then asked me to do a massive favour which has involved a shitload of work & general craziness.
i'd like to talk to some of the current IL teachers to see what they think. i think that might be on the agenda next. Lips
another thing that has been pretty consuming for the past 6 weeks or so is this fucking allergy thing i have had that has resulted in HUGE swollen, chapped lips. fucking AWFUL.
at first i didn't think it was an allergy, just a reaction to the cold we've had here & not drinking enough water.
then i googled doctored & allergy was mentioned A LOT. plus once i thought about it i realised it was a sensation i had felt once before when i ate a SHITLOAD of broccoli in one go - my lips got tingly & swelled up!
as i've been eating a LOT of broccoli (like, daily; i buy the microwave "Steam Fresh" vegies and have with dinner), i cut it out entirely.
i also cut out Flouride toothpaste, courtesy of sprinklerized
neither of those things had any sort of significant result. started taking an oral anti-histamine. used a SHITLOAD of different lip balms as well. various self-appointed doctor friends of mine reckon it's the lip balms at fault. i'm like, WHATEVS.
i've been using straight vaseline for YEARS. like, since i was 12. every now and then i use something different & have never had a lip reaction. i also like to use the Palmer's Cocoa Butter (choc mint flavour! omg YUM) one - never had a problem.
if it happens again tho i'm going to try a lanolin based product as everything on the market seems to be petroleum based.
it just happened RANDOMLY & followed a set sort of pattern. it's happened twice now & followed a 2-3week course.
best thing was zapping it with natural honey & leaving to soak in for about 10-15mins, washing off, then covering with calendula oil & then topping off with Carmex.
BUT overusing calendula oil causes tiny pimples, so have to be careful of that shit.
i've got a doc's appointment on monday. fortunately, (or not) the lip thing has gone away but i hope he'll be able to give me some insight into it anyway.
horsey update next!