Saturday, 17 March 2012

School Teaching

There could be many reasons why someone chooses to become a teacher.
For me it was because I love children.
I love talking to children and watching their fascination in learning grow.

I have always had a set of very basic rules when teaching.

1.Greet children as they walk into my room.
2. Smile at children regularly.
3. Always make eye contact with a child when speaking.

This not only builds a healthy rapport with each child, it also shows that you respect each individual in your room.
The rules of discipline do not take long to set.
A raise of the eyebrows, very curt, basic instructions to address inappropriate behaviour and if needed a quick discussion about right and wrong in a particular situation.

If you surround your room with happiness and respect then children will learn very quickly when they have done something wrong.

This blog comes from observing many teachers in the last 3 years (since our family entered the Primary school system).
Teachers who think authoritarian teaching styles make for a good classroom.
Intimidation and humiliation are not good teaching styles.

Children learn when they are relaxed and having fun.
When children are comfortable they become interested in learning.

A good teacher welcomes parents to participate in the program.

Under no means am I saying that I am a good teacher, but I am proud of the rapport and respect I am able to achieve in a teaching environment.

Quite often a "naughty" student is an individual struggling in some way.
Their behaviour is asking for help.
They need someone to discover their weakness and build confidence and skill in that area.

Look around your school and see the teachers that the children love.
See the teachers the parents love.
Their classrooms are always the happy and fun ones.
They have not needed intimidation or humiliation to get through the year.
Their students have enjoyed coming to school and learning in the classroom.

They are not psychologically damaged by how they felt in that class, with that teacher.

The biggest thing I have observed ?


It instantly makes people feel welcome ....... and wanted.

This is only my opinion and I understand not everyone will agree.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Turn that frown upside down.

Tonight Tom had basketball training.
He has joined a team through the school and is in a Grade 1 team (even though he is in Prep).

Amelia saw a lot of her friends at the basketball stadium.
Most of them are in her class at "mainstream" school this year.
Amelia's friends were waiting for their training session to start.
They were running around, giggling and playing with their basketballs.
Amelia was trying to join in whilst sitting in her wheelchair.

I was watching Tom practice (and constantly giving me a thumbs up!), while also trying to watch Amelia who had gone out into the foyer.

I noticed that Amelia's "friends" had gone outside and were playing on the concrete.
Amelia was sitting just back from the doorway, still inside, watching them (still in her wheelchair she is able to roll the wheels to move it).
Trying to watch Tom, because this is essentially "his time", while keeping an eye on her was becoming difficult.

The picture of her staring out at them began pulling at my emotions.
Her back was facing me.
I could not see her face.

Eventually I thought "I really need to go and see how she is".

I walked over and looked at her face.
Tears were streaming down her cheeks.
I instantly hugged her and asked what she was feeling.

"I just want to play with them. I just want to play LIKE them".

Now I was fighting back tears as she sobbed.

Tonight we have talked about "happy thoughts instead of bad/sad thoughts".
You can replace every negative thought with a positive one.
We have also spoken about how crying real tears gets all of the sadness and badness out of our thoughts and leaves all of the good ones behind.
I made her laugh when I told her I would need to wash her clothes now because they are covered in sad thoughts !!!

My ultimate dream is that "they" find treatment or a cure for A-T soon.
They claim that they are getting closer and have organised 3 major conferences in 2012 alone with researchers and clinicians world wide.
One has already happened in India in February, another will be in London in June and another in America in September.
I am regularly speaking to people that have lived with the A-T diagnosis in their family for many years.
They say that this year is the first time they have ever been excited and had hope.

One organisation in Australia is helping fund this research.
They will also be funding drug trials that Amelia will be a part of.
The first world wide drug trial will hopefully be this year.

For $10 you can become a member and contribute to this potentially life saving organisation.

If you can afford $10 please follow the link. Scroll down to donation and type $10 on this totally secure payment website.

You never know it may save Amelia's life and allow her to play with her friends.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Kia Grand Carnival.

Thank you to everyone for your support and enthusiasm about August 4th 2012 (my last blog).
Actually......thank you for you support, advice and friendship on any blog that I write.
It helps me continue staying positive (well most of the time anyway!).

AMELIA Update : Still so happy.
Recently I wrote about a change in her behaviour since she began attending the special school 3 days a week.
The uncontrollable laughing, wicked one liners and happiness she is radiating assures me that the correct decision was made.
The decision to listen to her.
The decision to act on what she wanted.

I now realise that Amelia has been depressed for months.

Every night I stare at her with tears in my eyes.
She is back and I am so proud of her for taking a stand and communicating what she needed.

TOM Update : A bit emotional the last few days.
Will be keeping an eye on him.

SCOTT and AMANDA : Stressed.

We need to get "the ball rolling" for the car, car conversion and electric wheelchair.
The time that it will take to organise ALL and wait for the small amount of funding from the government , is almost a year.
Amelia is showing us that she is ready for an electric wheelchair now.

On the weekend we began the process of looking for a suitable car for a car conversion.
The special school had sent home a list of suitable cars.
Most are vans or mini buses.
Some were WAY out of any reasonable price range.
A lot do not have any air bags in the back for the children.
After our horrendous accident last year (that Tom still has nightmares about) I will never drive again without rear air bags.
I watched our kids bounce onto their air bags.
It was the only thing between them and the bus that collided into us.

So we are left with a Toyota Tarago and a Kia Grand Carnival.
Tarago is about $60,000.
Kia is about $37,000.

To get a car brand new car works out cheaper than buying it second hand.
There are savings to be made by needing a conversion at the initial sale.
Plus we can accomodate the car to OUR families needs.

When we sell our car we will need approx $15,000 to buy a Kia (lets forget about the Tarago now).
Then we will need approx $37,000 to pay for the conversion (the government will pay $10,000 of this).
The conversion includes lowering of the car, installing the rear seats to one side wall and bolting Amelia's chair straight in once it is in position inside the car.
That is just a brief overview.....there is a lot more involved.

Then you still have to get the electric wheelchair.
Approx $17,000 for one suitable for Amelia (the government will pay $8,000).

So......$15,000 + $27,000 + $9,000 = $51,000.

So does anyone know someone that works at Kia ????!!!!!!


Sunday, 11 March 2012

August 4th 2012

Amelia's Project has begun for 2012.

It is like a "well oiled" machine has begun running again.

Last year at our very first meeting, approximately 45 people came.
I sat up the back nervously shaking and listened while "The Power Machine"
(Jemimah) began the conversation of fundraising and helping US.

That night they set a goal amount of $20,000 to raise during the year.
That money would send us to Disneyland.

I can remember being both extremely humbled by the support and incredibly guilty they were dedicating so much time to US.
This constant guilt took 6 months to subside.
Every time we have a meeting it appears again.

There were so many Amelia's Project events last year.
It was very overwhelming.
Sausage sizzles, Cup cake stall, MacDonalds Night, Amelia's Project tins, random cash donations and the biggest fundraiser I have ever attended "The Amelia Night".

Donations for this night mainly came from friends, families and local businesses.
Forget the BIG corporations, almost everything came from those around us.

It was relaxed, fun and social.
It was a celebration of life
It was a room full of love and kindness.
230 people were there.
We made sure the "negative, sad and informative" was done at the beginning and finished with a fun, inspiring speech to "make your life amazing".

Then the auctions and raffles began.
So did the alcohol and socialising.........

Five hours later an announcement was made that we had made OVER $50,000.
You could have heard a pin drop in the silence.
Seconds later there was a ROAR of happiness, surprise and excitement.

We were going to Disneyland.
We took our little girl to see "the most magical place on earth" and it definately lived up to that.

This year the goal is money for an electric wheelchair, car and car conversion.
Our quote so far is $37,000 + $37,000.
We are obviously trying to research every option available.

The BIG thing for this year......???
The Amelia Night !!!!

Frankston RSL have kindly offered to have us again.
Darren Eichenberger has also kindly offered to MC again.
Tickets will be $60 each which includes 3 courses, DJ and a dance floor.
It will be on Saturday 4th August at approximately 6:30pm.

I have begun my search for donations.
Amelia's Project Committee are beating me in the amount collected.
If you can please feed my competitive nature and let me know if you can help me with ANY KIND of donation (big or small) please let me know!

We have a master copy of our donation letter so please email to request one, if you can assist in me WINNING the amount collected !!!
Vouchers, gift cards, products of any kind, homemade items, memorabilia, holiday accomodation, furniture, alcohol, a new car (ok, we probably will not get that!!!!!)  ANYTHING !

This year we will be selling 200 tickets.
People are already talking tables and single tickets.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE start getting yourself (and whoever else) organised.
Due to the overwhelming demand, the tickets will go on sale on
TUESDAY 1st MAY at 10am.
Contact details for ordering tickets will be publicised soon.
I do want anyone to miss out.

Finally I want like to file a complaint.
The committee said we need a DJ for entertainment.
I thought I was the entertainment last year with my alcohol consumption ???!!!!
Very offended girls ......... !!!!