Thursday, 24 August 2017

Mind block ... gone?

For way too long this year I've had a mindblock. There have been a majority ... a plethora... a HUGE amount of reasons for this.

Finally... I'm pulling myself up and out of it.

The POWER of NOW!

So... to get back to where I was but maybe also not where I was but my next step further on from that....

I keep thinking about the quote from #LukeCage last night: "Sometimes backwards. Move Forwards. Always."

In a lot of things we do at kura I feel like we are moving backwards. Then we have a giant leap forwards. People get scared or revert back to old ways and then we go backwards again.

It's a lot like that quote that Pop's would say. Just need to keep pushing forward.

I talked to one of my students last night who talked about how much better she feels with her mental health and in particular her writing. Have been watching her progress this year and am happy to see her more happy in her own skin finally. But so good to see her writing passion come back.

It has taken me a long time too to pick this blog back up again. Not for lack of trying. I have a huge list of topics in my bullet journal. I just didn't know how to start writing again.

It's more or less about the need to be appreciated and letting stuff I've held onto for a long time, go.

After my mirimiri last week, I feel so much bettee but know I need to have it done again soon. Still little niggles in my back and it brought up so much stuff that I need to keep getting it sorted. Wairua, hinengaro and tinana. All connected.

I'm behind in my reo Māori class too which is frustrsting. I need to push on with this also.

I'm behind in my marking too. I am finally in a good place to get everything sorted. Sometimes backwards. Move Forwards. Always.

Ma te wa whanau ❤

The Power of Now - Reflections on Eckhart Tolle's Novel

Nau mai haere mai!

So... last weekend a colleague suggested I read a novel called 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle.

For the longest time, my thoughts have always been on the ... what next? Rather than acknowledging and enjoying the NOW. For me, the now was always just a step towards the next and I never really enjoyed each moment.

I'm taking a bit more time to appreciate things lately. The random side liner questions, making more time to check in on students, (just remembered that I didn't check in on one kid today who looked really uncomfortable sitting next to another student... but then seemed to lighten up once we did film analysis...must check in tomorrow), and the recognition of the small things people say or mention to me to help push me in the right direction.

I've always been a believer in predestination. Not something that has been chosen for us by a faceless being... but a path that we chose for ourselves. Here we have to make choices to find a way to achieve our goals and hopes and dreams.

I hope that I can continue to find this peace in my mind. Where my mind isn't cluttered up with all these thoughts. Where I can actually breathe calmly without worrying about the next thing.

What's most important though is ensuring that I remember the importance of now. That I can ultimately change my life by being aware of the moments in front of me. Being aware, understanding and taking positive action to create a better, more positive life.

No way near finished reading this book yet... but already it's making an impact.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Social Studies Discussions... Coal and Dinosaurs and Diamonds

Yesterday my social studies class and I were reading the second half of a one page - double sided info sheet about coal. It took me 40 minutes to read through what would have taken me 10 minutes to read out loud normally.

Lately, my social studies class have been asking more and more questions. It usually happens about this time of year too which is really cool.

Questions from yesterday:

* So are dinosaur bones just mashed up under the ground to create the oil then? (Pretty much. This was my final answer after a VERY long explanation of the extinction of the dinosaurs and sediment over the years and friction of the earth and compression...)

* So peat can catch on fire? (YES! The original question stemmed from me asking them if they knew what it was and then me sharing my story about nan and the peat stories she has about the drive to Hamilton looking at the farmer's fields and saying that they'd catch on fire and that houses sink or lower because of the peat then students asked whether that was what was happening out in NGO.... and then that lead to me saying it could be due to the proximity of the lake and the rivers and the moisture content in the soil which led to a student asking - what lake? 😓)

* How do we make diamonds from coal then? (An answer I'm not too sure about yet... but know it has something to do with carbon...)

* Miss, do you know about the protest that happened with  ......? (Those side liner questions that I somehow managed to bring back into the discussion to make him feel involved but also not get the others angry for the irrelevance AGAIN from this student...)

* Miss, we should have a different election candidate on different days... so we can have more time with them...

*Miss, why do we always have to highlight the important information? It takes too long... ( To which I replied: If you have enough information to get started, then go for it. Other students already have and some have even finished their assessment already..... Wish this student would take more initiative.)

And then... we finished the coal info sheet and began our assessment.... finally.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Reset Button Needed

Today I read a blog post by my friend Shannon.

This past week has been difficult. A student passed away. That day was also the two week date since my Gran passed away.

It also was the week I unlocked my six years of teaching achievement :)

About this time of year is when I start remembering the bad stuff that always seems to happen at this time of year. This time of year was also when I first started teaching. I remembered my six week anniversary this time while driving the Kēmu YES business group to their next meeting. They were proud of me too. :)

Back to Shan's post though.

She mentioned the need to fight for your own passion. Mine, like hers (she's beyond inspirational and so incredibly awesome.... there's not enough words to truly ever convey just how much she meant to me as a uni student and now too as I see her resetting her sights on her dreams), is always writing. Writing for a purpose.

It's the thing that comes so naturally for me but in the last year or so there's been a block there. Maybe because I needed to get to this point to truly appreciate how easy it is for me to write and to make my writing actually have real meaning.

I've written a lot over the years. Diaries since I was five, blogs since I was 14 and this particular blog that was started six years ago when I began teaching. Recently I got into bullet journalling. My mind is currently racing behind the typing scenes as I try to figure out what next months spreads will look like.

I'm all about modelling behaviour when it comes to learning new things. Part of my modelling has been lost as my frustration has taken over. My inability to create real, lasting change. Without a management unit or the 'respect' given as a result of those time allowances... it's hard to truly help change things. I've drifted along this year. Just trying to reset things for myself, in my class, in my teaching life, at home and within myself.

With writing though, it's always there. Writing competitions help. So do sitting down or in my case right now, laying down and waiting for the electric blanket to heat up. Sometimes I can just make up pieces of writing as I speak in class. Those times I wish I'd record myself because they're quite cool pieces of writing and always leave my students quiet and in awe haha

Writing used to be my way of sharing my passion of teaching. My real passion though I guess is helping people. To learn, to grow and to achieve in all areas.

My learning recently has been to enjoy the moment. Be there. Aware. And help myself.  So I have been. Trying at least. It is difficult to stay positive always and ensure that my learning continues. Whichever direction I go I will end up wherever I'm meant to be.

I also need to stop comparing my amount of blog posts to previous years. Some years there will just be more to write about! Other times the learning I am doing will take precedence, as it has this year, causing my lack of writing as I process things.

Big passion still... youth centre with ability to uplift our kids and our community.

Also... change the world and build a network of people to work together to ultimately empower and lift positivity of all those on Earth.

Just want to find myself again this year. I lost my way a wee bit back there... and redefining who it is that I want and need to be.

For those interested in reading Shan's piece- click here

Sunday, 18 June 2017

For Gran

This past week, you took your last breaths. You said last goodbyes to those who visited you and asked for help from those who were meant to care for you.

You were the one person I could truly talk to. Open up to. Share my thoughts, feelings and ideas with. I can do this with my Nan too but it's just different.

I already am craving ginger refreshers and those marmite onion toasty thingys you'd make us. The lolly jar and the biscuits you'd keep for us when we came to see you.

The butterflies on the wall of your house. The photos that showed the years I missed out on and the years I was a part of.

The way you just seemed to understand how I felt and could give a simple explanation and wise words to help get me through the next struggle.

I said today that we better be having some awesome korero in my dreams from now on. ❤❤❤❤

All I could think of today was singing Whakaaria Mai and saying the words, 'presented with'... perhaps the last words you heard on your way to the hospital for the last time.

Gran... no more pain. No more hospital checks or stays. No more being stuck in a small space. You're free, finally. After all those struggles. You are truly a warrior Gran. You are an inspiration. You led by example, helping us along the way.

This week, we said our farewells. Played your favourite music. Remembered the best times with you. We shared our memories and I wonder what will happen next with us, without you.

But you're still with us. The smell of your White Diamond perfume and wearing your watch I'd bought you before your last surgery.

The memories, the love and guidance.

The way you could bring complete peace at a moment's notice. Somehow. How did you do that?

I still have a lot of questions. I guess I'll have to wait til later to discuss in more depth.

I hope you were proud of me when I did the first reading for you during your requiem mass. Your coffin was so pretty. Truly. The funeral directors made you look so pretty too.

It was so good being able to sit by you again. To sleep close and send our love to you. To watch everyone and enjoy being with them. To know that I have a place with them, even without you there to make me feel wanted.

I realised just before that I haven't been writing in this blog for a long time. I've had a mental block and possibly even a spiritual one where I've told myself certain things that aren't true.

I need to write more. I have more stories to share. I have more people to help. But like you probably know, I need to work on myself first.

With all the love and positivity I can send out in one small bubble of hope...

Love you Gran xxx

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Drop In Centre - Planning for Passion and Direction Forward

For a while now I've been wanting to open a drop in centre for our youth. Our youth are hungry - hungry for love, encouragement, appreciation, guidance, direction and of course, kai.

We have an incredible amount of services here in Rotorua. I don't know much about how they all work together - I know that they must do - but surely there is a step missing.

I think my plan is the step missing.

We have an incredible youth centre in the middle of town. They have great programmes and opportunities for our kids. The majority of these programmes cost money though and our kids don't often have the money to do them, let alone a bus fare there.

For our kids out here - there is very little direction and focus. Not much to keep them busy. Therefore, those that do get into trouble, will.

Our youth don't have many positive role models. There is an awesome organisation called Big Brothers and Big Sisters which now have a branch here in Rotorua. The last time I researched though they only catered for the primary and intermediate aged kids.

There is an awesome group of people doing sports in the suburbs and keeping our kids out of trouble.

Our youth need more support in staying busy and finding their passion. At our schools we have different clubs and sports for those inclined. There is and always has been a massive group of kids who don't have a direction, no focus and definitely no support towards their goals.

Our youth need mentoring. They need support and encouragement.

There are so many services helping the kids. I just am unsure whether the services are catering all the kids out there.

An audit needs doing - to figure out what services are being used, what services are even out there.

I need to figure out how best to decrease the amount of youth in youth prison and ensure better outcomes for all youth.

My plan has and always will be a drop in centre. But there's more to it. It needs to be an overarching programme that works with all of the other people to create positive, supportive and more direct support.