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Posts Tagged ‘support’

  1. Support

    8 February 2015 by shartley


    Daniel Dawes at Record Crate, Glebe, 7 Feb 2015


    Rachel Collis at Record Crate, Glebe, 7 Feb 2015

    Tonight I travelled to a small venue in Glebe to see a former colleague and a (different) former colleague’s wife perform in a double act. At the gig, I was hoping to see many of my colleagues from my former place of employment but other than my close friend and one other they were sadly absent.  My friend and I like a bit of adventure and apparently crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a bridge too far for most.  We once went to Fairfield RSL to see a completely different colleague perform with his band and it seems that it was too far west for the rest of our colleagues.  Tonight was a lot of fun – both of the performers are excellent musicians, and we even bought their CDs!

    I was once berated for not doing enough for the school I was working at.  It came out of the mouth of someone high up the sport hierarchy at the school and because I didn’t coach a sporting team, he figured I needed to become more involved.  I asked if he knew what I actually did for the school and he avoided the question.  In that particular year I coached a debating team, presented at three different major conferences in three different cities for the school, interviewed potential students on a weekend (and had my car smashed when I was rear-ended on the way home), ran professional development programs, wrote articles for journals as a representative of the school and more.  But because I didn’t coach sport, I was considered to be not contributing enough.

    Colleagues need to support each other.  Not just in the staffroom when someone’s distress is right before your eyes or when a manager forces you into a meeting together, but as a courtesy, a responsibility, as a team.  I’m not saying that every weekend you need to go out with a different colleague but when opportunities arise for a little adventure, to try something different, find out some other aspect about a colleague, take it when you can.  It’s like when you go to the school musical and you find the brat in the corner of your classroom who if isn’t being disruptive, is falling asleep, has an amazing voice and the reason he falls asleep is that he is out performing every night to pay for his Mum’s medical needs.

    My son is in Year 10 (not at my school) and he has mild autism and anxiety issues.  He doesn’t pay much attention in class and combine that with literacy needs he tends to be a low performing student.  It is a constant struggle at home to explain why it is important to do as he is asked by teachers and to pay attention.  Last week he came home from the Swimming Carnival quite pleased with himself because he was the only entry in the IM 200m for his gender and age and he was told this week that he was runner-up for age champion.  He thinks he will be going to the zone swimming carnival for the first time ever but none of us are sure of the rules.  Another first, is that he is keenly paying attention in assemblies for announcements and constantly checking the sports noticeboard.  I wonder if there are any teachers who see him differently now or if they just don’t care.

    It is important they we see our students and colleagues as whole people and that teaching and working with others should be a holistic experience where we connect in a more profound way than our superficial exterior roles demands of us.  We talk about schools as being a community but there is so much more we can do to help make it a truly supportive community that nurtures and cares for all of its members.

  2. Fitness

    24 January 2013 by shartley

    Ah fitness.  Never been my thing.  I’m the type you’d find buried in reading, watching TV or eating and drinking with friends.  I love cheese and wine more than most things in the world.  But as the muffin top rises and the doctor visits increase fitness has become a necessary evil.


    Pain in the bloody arse.

    I’ve been seeing my current Personal Trainer for about a year now…once a week…or less. I’m busy, you know.  I recently walked to training for the first time.  It’s a 2.5km return journey.  It has also been the walking path I take with my dog, oh, about once a month.

    There a lot of people involved in life’s journey.  I have a friend whose husband, 15 years older than her, walked out on her and their kids for a much younger woman.   My friend is now a fitness junkie.  She regularly has deep tissue massages, ice baths and other tortuous activities I can’t imagine ever doing.  Sometimes her energy is encouraging.  Sometimes it’s not.  What I walk in 30 minutes she runs twice or thrice as much.  But she does kick my arse when we go away together.  In a good way.

    My husband occasionally walks with me.  However, he can’t resist my pleas for chocolate late at night and has many times dashed to the local servo for a packet of mint slice biscuits.  I then eat two thirds of the packet.  He makes Milo to wash it down.  Hot or cold, doesn’t matter.

    My children sometimes walk with me but currently it’s the school holidays and by the time they’re awake we’re entering sunburn territory.  You see, I’m an ultra-white, redheaded, freckly woman.  I only go out when there is barely sunlight and scoff Vitamin D tablets daily.

    What has helped the most, dear friends, are women I’ve never met offline.  My Twitter friends, @madiganda @torkee and @karlao_dtn, started the new year supporting each other’s endeavours to be fit and healthy.  I’m probably the least energetic in the group but they let me tag along anyway.  A blog post titled Why exercise buddies work: “Find someone who can challenge you!”  basically confirmed that I’m the weakest link.  But we must be doing something right.  We’re still at it and a fifth person is joining our humble team.  We’re all teachers gradually returning to work so hopefully the busyness of school doesn’t kill our motivation.

    I’ve now increased my usual walking path to 4km and I’ve lost a couple of kilograms.  I usually take my very excitable dog.  This morning I left a bit too late to commit to the whole 4km so I returned to my 2.5km route but with spurts of running.  Well, that was a joke.  I picture funniest home videos hiding in the bushes as I shuffled along, one hand holding a plastic bag of dog poo and disposable latex gloves and the other gripping an iPhone and wildly swinging as the dog ran side to side pulling the leash every which way and tripping me over.  I use RunKeeper as another motivator.  Today it provided a funny record of poo stops, bursts of speed increases and virtual pauses that didn’t occur in real life due to the dog’s jerking around.

    I was once a super skinny teenager through biological chance, supported by the healthy diet my Mum provided.  Never in my life have I been fit.  I want to be slim, about half way between my teenaged weight and what I am now, but I also want to be fit.  I want to enjoy running and having energy.  I don’t want to be puffed from just walking up a flight of stairs.  I want less stress.  I also want to eat cheese and drink wine.  May this January journey continue through the rest of the year and beyond.

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