Saw my sister, niece and niece’s partner for the first time today in months. Lovely vegan lunch, wonderful to catch up, then sister and I went for a long walk. Now feet are killing me. Orthotic walking shoes hurting more than helping. 😭
We went to the local dog park and watched the shenanigans, although it got a bit too serious at one point and a poor, anxious corgi got picked up and shook by a big dog who smelt its fear. I like dogs but things can go very bad very quickly.
The big dog’s owners were clearly shocked and got him out of there. Little corgi was OK but still very fearful.

We had a long chat with a couple with an Irish wolfhound called Kat (their 8th!) and there was also a glossy black 14 week old Irish Mastiff who has feet
the size of dinner plates already. She was gorgeous but is going to be YUGE.

Anyway I am ridiculously unfit and need to walk more but my feet really hurt. But the main thing is I saw my family and that was wonderful. Oh, and I got to cuddle my sister’s very timid cat Lilly
for the first time! So that was nice.

We talked about Mum a lot, too. Alison has been into Mum and Dad’s house and the new owners have gutted it. Major internal wall taken down: open plan living, kitchen, dining. All the aircons removed (fair enough: ancient)
and Alison asked them if they are going to put ducted air in. They were surprised she asked and could not be convinced when she told them the house is freaking FREEZING in winter. “But it’s double brick.” Exactly. Oh well, they’ll learn.

Anyway, it was a lovely day.
Feet and dog fights notwithstanding.

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More from @msmisrule

14 Aug
I thought people might appreciate a bit of an insight into how things are for teachers during lockdown. Please note this is just my personal experience, and is not a whinge or a plea for sympathy. I am fine, but it's hard, and all kinds of things are out of our control.
My load this year is 3 days English, 2 days library. At the start of lockdown, I had just one class (Year 8) that I didn't share at least one period with other teachers. My HT and I share a Year 9 and a Year 10 class, and I had one or two periods of other people's Year 8 classes.
Once lockdown started, this is how responsibility for posting work went: obviously, I'm 100% responsible for my own Year 8 class, and I took on the main responsibility for another Year 8 class where the split was 4/3 and the other teacher has young kids at home.
Read 24 tweets
16 Mar 20
All day I have been listening to experts talk about the pros and cons of closing schools. Not a SINGLE ONE has mentioned the health and well-being of the teachers and admin and other adult staff who keep schools open every day.
They talk about how children are not at risk, but neglect to consider the risk to the adults who work in schools who may be pregnant, immune-compromised, diabetic, asthmatic, with any number of health issues that allow them to work, but make them vulnerable to COVID-19.
I mean, I’ve known since I was an undergraduate how badly people disrespect teachers, but I didn’t realise until this week that we were considered so utterly dispensable.
Read 10 tweets
19 Feb 20
Following this thread from earlier in the term, I'm continuing to do book talks to promote wide reading with English classes from various grades. (3 in one day on Monday! Phew!) Talking one-on-one to the kids about their reading habits (or lack thereof) is proving very revealing.
I'm really explicit with the kids about why reading for pleasure is important, but also with the Year 10s I really hammer home that if they do not start right now building up their focus and attention soan, their reading muscles, then they are going to be at a huge disadvantage.
Of course, the non-readers already are, and they have a real battle ahead to make new habits and lost ground.

Anyway, here's what the non-readers seem to be consistently suggesting to me: they have this idea that to read a book, you have to READ THE BOOK:
Read 21 tweets
31 Dec 19
I am spending the last few hours of the decade/year/whatever it is watching Springsteen on Broadway and listening to my Twitter notifications go off. My mum is home from hospital; a friend has lost her house. I am depressed and worried but I go forth into 2020...
with a determination to be the best teacher, daughter, sister, friend, feminist and advocate I can be. Also mother of cats, carer of a dying garden and reader and writer. Let us come together and work for better times. Let’s follow Bruce’s advice and take care of our own.
And let’s burn down fascism and evangelical fervour for end days (and let’s also,incidentally, teach people to recognise hyperbole and rhetoric) and let’s do our best to love, but not unconditionally. Read more. Listen more.
Read 7 tweets
1 Sep 19
I'm still working on the section of my thesis dedicated to Nan Chauncy's 1960 time slip novel, Tangara, and have am writing about a scene in which she explicitly marks Whiteness as dangerous to Aboriginal people.
Chauncy describes the white faces of two convicts looking down on a group of Aboriginal people in a gully. Chauncy explicitly contrasts their white faces with the "terrified brown faces" of the Aboriginal people who the convicts will shortly slaughter for food.
Now, the choice of the perpetrators of massacre being escaped convicts as opposed to the nice white family who live on the stolen Aboriginal land where its people are about to be murdered is not incidental, & yet it's striking how Chauncy explicitly describes their skin colour...
Read 9 tweets
27 Aug 19
Just had a student, who finds reading a challenge, return 90 Packets of Instant Noodles by @DebFitzpatrick2, telling me he was able to focus on it & read the whole book, and how much he loved it. Now I have to find another one just like it!
I taught this boy a couple of years ago, and the fact that he has read and loved an entire novel by himself, without "having to" for class, is a huge achievement. I'm keenly nervous to find a great book for him to follow up. I'm thinking maybe one by Nick Earls. @nickearls
He liked the realism of 90 Packets, and how the boy had to fend for himself against difficult challenges. "He was a really good character, Miss," he said. This is why we do what we do. #ilovemyjob #studentsneedschoollibraries #LoveOzYA #teachinglife #publiceducation
Read 8 tweets

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