Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Friday, 18 October 2019

last month

 This is my "Northeasterly" sock wool remnants blanket. I am enjoying knitting it a lot. Some of this wool I was gifted a year or tow back by the lovely Christina from A Colourful Life.
 This kept students entertained the other day - I must remember to use it daily. Good practice.
 I'm collecting Christmas picture books - in a few more weeks I'll wrap them up and students can take turns at unwrapping one day to read. We finish school on December 12, so I will start Christmas stuff in a month for so (although one told me on Monday there was only 70 odd sleeps to go! We countdown for student birthdays etc!).
 And the cutest rubbers from KMart for maths. I don't buy much these days - if I am shopping it is for classroom supplies...
 I've been clearing out my house.... huge piles of books to Hospice. Mint condition fiction and some mighty good stuff. I've also donated stuff to two school libraries.
 And was a bit mortified at the state of my current school library, so went shopping for them (donation from me).
 Well the school teacher, ex-librarian HAD to have the Gruffalo pyjamas from Peter Alexander....
 We baked coconut bread at school during Tongan Language Week. It was yum!
I'm off school for a few days - off to doctor shortly - not a fab start to term 4 when there is so much to do.........

Friday, 11 October 2019

WOW... things carry on....

I'm still here! I'm posting a lot more on instagram these days (kimberleyatk).

It's the school holidays - the "holidays" every 10 weeks or so save me as a teacher! From this Monday, I've only 9 weeks left of my first school year teaching! (New Zealand schools start the school year from January 29 this year and finish anywhere from Dec 12 - my school - to December 20 - each school makes its own decision!). It has been the most incredible journey and i've learnt a TON! I do love the NZ system - I'm in a single cell classroom (becoming uncommon as walls are disappearing across classrooms and there can be any number of students in a huge space with multiple teachers teaching - team teaching) and have my own group of students and do our own thing. I can pretty much teach how and what I want ( there is a curriculum, but how I choose to teach it is up to me and my students too, as they get a say as well!). It is awesome. It is HARD! It is the HARDEST thing I've ever done in my life. 60-70 hour weeks are a killer - I'm working on getting that down - I'm glad I've teenagers/one adult "kid", as crikey, how any teacher with their own young children does it, is beyond me! It is your LIFE! It seems like it is your ENTIRE life!

I'm not looking forward to the 9 weeks with testing and reporting and my own assessment stuff... I got up to 24 students, but am down to 15 now, which is awesome, but I am constantly thinking how to move them up (lots of our students come in at a 3 year old verbal/ developmental age, low social skills etc) - there has been MAJOR progress, but still not where they should be. But then I also think, why on earth are we making 5 year olds read and write?! It is crazy! European students don't start till they are 7 and they end up at the same place as our kids.... sigh. I have to do my job...

This is my classroom which I re-set up 2 days ago....




There has been a TON of knitting since June... not a lot done before that while I got my brain around teaching and the massive career change I had made... This is my northeasterly blanket using odds and ends of 4 ply...
 hats for a winter trip over the seas coming up...
 a cowl....
 another hat...
 me in my Tongan clothing and mu newly finished Flax jersey...
 Another flax on a hospital floor - yeah- we've had quite the year with the 18 year old DAMN lucky to be alive after SEPSIS and appendicitus....

I'll do my best to keep blogging again.... hope all is well with all....

Sunday, 24 March 2019

?

I don't really know what to call this post. A week ago a lunatic went on a gun rampage at two mosque's in the South Island city of Christchurch, killing 50 innocent children, women and men who were going about their daily lives in a peaceful way. This senseless event has shaken our country and made everyone look at themselves and how they view others. We've had two memorial events at school in the past week and I'll say that I'm glad I have five year olds as there has been little talk from them to prompt me to say more, of which I'm thankful.
There is a lot of anger and disbelief with many saying "this is not us". Our prime minister Jacinda Ardern has shown incredible leadership around this, with her face even beamed onto the world's tallest building in Dubai as a mark of respect for the dead and her.

May the world come to its senses and nothing like this ever happen again in New Zealand. Jacinda has moved fast to ban all military style weapons - I don't understand why anyone needs a gun personally. We now have armed police outside mosques/schools etc - this is NOT New Zealand - I'd never seen any police armed here, until this hideous event happened.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Singapore


8 weeks ago we were in Singapore. it really seems like a lifetime ago! It was such an incredible city - I could truly easily live there  if it wasn't for the HUMIDITY! I'm a hot person and walking out of aircon for as little as 10 minutes there did me in! I learnt very fast NOT to wear skirts or dresses in such humid weather or I'd pay for it fast! I travel very lightly, but didn't really count on clothing sticking to me! We ended up in a routine of going out early morning (and things open much later there - even finding breakfast to us was challenging - we basically went to the local Food Republic every day!) , coming back around noon, diving into the swimming pool to get cool, a change of clothes and then repeat a few hours later, and then back late at night for the 3rd swim or shower! I easily went through 2 full changes of clothing a day. I hence ended up at a Uniqlo finding $S10 shorts and buying multiple pairs (as I seriously travel very light - 4 of us coming home had only 47kg of luggage in total and we did shop too!), plus some stuff for my work wardrobe. I also shopped at Muji (stationery and tees) and Kinokuniya - OMG what an INCREDIBLE HUGE, HUGE, HUGE bookshop! Thrilled to find Chinese New Year books for school! I also went out to the IKEA to find some stuff for school.

These photos show the downtown area on our first day there. We were totally blown away by the cityscape - well the entire city island really. It was so easy to get around, so very safe, so some days we all just split up and went out own way to see our choice of musuems etc - my teens are happy at roaming around cities by themselves and the MTR train system is the best! 
The only really busy part of the city to us was Orchard Road - otherwise to us it seemed to be pretty uncrowded - even mostly empty train stations/trains. 
There is sooooo much to do - we stayed 6 days which was enough, as by then the heat had exhausted me! 
More another day - I highly recommend it for a holiday with a family of teens!

















Saturday, 2 March 2019

A month has gone by...

I started school with 4 x 5 year olds on January 29. As of March 1, I have 17 x 5 year olds!
My days are crazy. They are mental. 17 x 5 year olds - many of whom are not ready for school and not ready for an hour of maths, an hour of writing, an hour of reading. It can be "sit down. Stop touching me. Sit down. Please do not hide. Please do not touch the stapler. Please do not touch the sellotape. Why are you eating MY lunch? I don't know where your shoes are. I don't know where your bag, lunchbox, jersey, hat is. Sit down. Do not kick or hit him/her. Sit down. Let's talk about keeping our hands to ourselves. Please do not rub out your neighbour's whiteboard. Stop stroking my leg". It is EXHAUSTING .

60 hour weeks. Attempting to teach 17 x 5 year olds to write/ do pencil grip all by yourself, to make sure you have all 17 of them all the time, lots of hugs, you're awesome, you CAN do it ( and you will! ;) ) , we just do our best, many with limited vocabulary.....

I feel like I repeat the same things over and over and i do have a firm voice (of which I totally get sick of using, but when multiple crawling around, hiding, hitting, saying no etc etc...) but it is HARD!

I think primary school teacher workloads, the mental strain , the pathetic pay etc is totally under-estimated. I have NO idea what my family are doing. I'm falling asleep after being at school from 7.30am to 4.30 - 5.30pm every day and then with shit Auckland traffic where it can take 45-90 minutes to drive a pathetic 17km home...

It IS awesome, but boy am I whacked! And let me see - it's the weekend. I still have to plan for next week.....













Monday, 28 January 2019

Up High in SIngapore

We're in the middle of a heatwave - well it's not the heat of Singapore, which we visited nearly 3 weeks ago. It is an INCREDIBLE city state/island - I had no idea how blown away I would be by the place. So much to do, so safe, that 4 of us could all go our own ways and find stuff to do (our musuem tastes differ!) and get back to the hotel on the fabulous MTR trains easily. The teens *loved* it (and the duck for breakfast every day!).
We splurged going up the top of the Marina Bay Hotel one night - this actually freaked me out as I am very sacred of heights - we were out on this platform thing overlooking the city. All I wanted to do was sit in the middle of the platform and not look down anywhere- even if the view was stunning (but no sitting allowed - Singapore comes across as a very conforming place...)  I was too freaked to even take photos near the edge myself... 
I also learnt that I just can not cope with wearing skirts and dresses in Singapore - the heat is insane and sticky after 10 minutes... ouch!

The views were spectacular....