Sunday, November 20, 2005

Saturday afternoon

What's been happening? I know you're wondering. I haven't posted for a while and boy have I been missing the buzz. There have been several good things happening (it's not worth going into the bad things) One of the real satisfactions of teaching came the other day when I had my writing class in the computer lab working on their family stories, some of which are well written and really crafted pieces. I'm sitting there, totally unnecessary (the point I have been trying to get to) hearing voices from around the room - Jess would you conference my story with me, Nicky can you come and read this - what do you think, what does 'enticing' mean, and a little later, what does 'intensely' mean? (I later found these were words Elise wanted to use in her story but was confirming their meaning before she used them). There was a real buzz in the room, the very buzz one does associate with a workshop.And then there's preparing for the Year 12 orientation classes that happen next week. These students have only just emerged from their year eleven exams a few days ago and now they are in year twelve. We want them to have a sense of the classes they are going to have next year and so they start before their holidays. They may not consciously think much about the work they are to do but at least we can plant a few seeds that may germinate over the holidays and give the students a sense of agency and control about how they approach Year 12. In English we will be starting with the short stories of Henry Lawson. But before that we will talk about their goals for 2006 and give a clear indication of where they are headed by the end of that year. They will also write a letter to their teacher so that we have a sense of our students as people and in my reply they will get a sense of who I am as a teacher. Of course most of these students know me as I have had them before in different English classes. We will start looking at the Henry Lawson stories through artworks of Tom Roberts and Fred McCubbin and others illustrating what life was like in the Australian bush in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow blogger face to face where previouly we knew each other only through our online personas. It was great. It made me reflect how different or similar our online persona is to our 'real' persona. (I have great trouble with that sentence as I am sure that both personas are real, but then what is reality?) In this case N's online and f2f personas were closely aligned. Even though I haven't posted much lately I have still been reading voraciously and listening to podcasts. I have still been learning and reflecting. But I've had writer's block! Hopefully that will go away soon, because I love my virtual community. I just found this and though it very funny. I hope you enjoy it too.


  1. It sounds like you're very busy at school. As for the writer's block, it's your blog, and your rules.

    That's a great link, BTW.

  2. Henry Lawson's work can have power and relevance for young Australians, especially when it is taught thoughtfully, as it seems that you have done. Using Roberts' and McCubbins' work to enhance interest and perspective is a great idea.

    I know two students who had such a good teacher of Lawson that more than 20 years after being introduced to Lawson's work, they re-enacted his walk from Bourke to Hungerford.