Take me back when teaching was easier!!!

stressed teachers for online teaching

I often like hearing the personal stories of individuals it gives perspective and often I am grateful of the labouring that has gone before us to where we are now, but then also there is an underlying statement within that resounds “It was so much easier back then!’ Perhaps one could say they were way fewer distractions for the students. Term 3 contains usually those crazy moments where teachers have those extra cups of coffee and perhaps some sweet snacks here and there. So as I am reflecting on all the very hardworking educators back in the day or in the present I thought I would like to give some points of encouragements that might help to bring some of the past and some of the present together.


  • Creative Writing: Creating shading and art behind poetry and front speech Orals of these (A.B Patterson is always a favourite)
  • Outside games that entice imagination and comradeship/team building/leadership
  • Daily weather and news reports for the day (This covers a lot of KLA’s with keeping it fun and interactive for Students)
  • The yearly seasons and knowing our trees and plants that bloom and why and how they benefit the Australian bush and rainforests (bushfires and plants that germinate with bushfires, fish and dolphin relationship as per the indigenous culture, Cockatoos and parrots mark seasons of this Great Southland
  • Explorations and Expeditions that we can track to capture history whether they are virtual or excursions or camps, there is always an awaiting adventure or thought-provoking for the now
Old times Bulwer School on Moreton Island

Tips on how to survive as a Tourism business during Covid_19

By now we are probably so over hearing the words: Pandemic, unprecedented, we are in it together, social distancing and I am sure there are more buzz words out there that are starting to make us cringe.  Even though language is important whilst changing culture and dealings within the crisis it can get way too much mentally right? Well one thing is for certain from here on things will be different! There will be a ‘New Normal’.

To all my Tourism Friends and Colleagues here are some tips that we have personally implemented during our ‘hibernation mode’ as a business and I really hope it helps adds to your : NEW NORMAL

  • Wording whilst responding to customers and clients during this time are not We are closed until further notice  for business but rather we are currently in hibernation mode as a business. Therefore when responding via phone or e-mails it gives platform that the scaling of the current staff and tasks are different.


  • DIVERSIFY YOUR BUSINESS: Become creative on how you can create sales through different avenues, finding the need within the community or destination and the resources that you already have within the business.  It could even look like having a sub-side business perhaps


  • Negotiate with Landlord about your rental agreement


  • Implement  and register Jobkeeper and look at your current staff and who they are assist them where necessary.  Before reinstating, remember you want staff that are happy to adapt differently, can work in different roles or a few different roles as part of their job


  • Encourage staff to upskill and participate in online training and education.  So many deals or even free things to learn currently.


  • Have a closer look at your Assets or Capital, are there things that could be sold, or reduced
  • Analyse Bills like registrations and Insurances and see if they are applicable to the business for right now or you could re-adjust by reducing some of them
  • Implement operation strategies with signs,images and your policies that are Covid-19  friendly when re-opening with business operations

By Nicole Alder


How to overcome the Burnout as a Teacher

blog-teacher-burn-out-1.jpgSchool has been crazy. You’ve stayed up way too late way too many times. You’re exhausted, you’re overwhelmed, you’re stressed. And you constantly feel guilty that you don’t have more to give to your family.

Teaching is totally taking over your life. But that’s just how it is. If you want to be a good teacher, this is what it looks like?

But we keep going because we believe in what we’re doing. We might even say we love it, despite the challenges. So we slap our faces, somehow make it home, and dive right into the next item on our to-do list, determined to do our best for the kids.



6 resolutions that will help you reclaim your time and work balance 

1. Stop making choices out of guilt.
Realize you can’t do everything, start choosing what is best, and let go of the rest.

2. Do the main thing first.
Choose the most important thing you must get done today and do that first – before everything else gets in the way.

3. Maximize planning times.
Eliminate distractions and get focused so you can get more done at school – and take less home.

4. Use schedules to put boundaries around your time.
Plan your days so you get done what you need to and still have time for what matters most.

5. Ask “how can I?”
Stop feeling stuck. Rather, release your creativity with the question, “How can I do this task in a reasonable amount of time?”

6. Stop trying to figure it all out yourself.
Find support that keeps you from having to constantly re-invent the wheel.


1. We need sleep

There is an ancient proverb that described  “anxious turmoil” , basically calling rising up early and going late to rest as being in vain.  Our bodies are designed to need rest to replenish.

An occasional necessity is one thing, but if we are habitually going to bed too late and getting up too early, we are going to be exhausted – which means we are going to be less effective, and we likely will burn out.


3. We need Rest.

Taking one Day to rest.  But what about you? Do you take a day off each week?

I’m not counting Saturday where you run around like a chicken with your head off cleaning your house, running errands, and trying to accomplish everything you didn’t have time for during the week. That’s not a day off.

Neither can you count Sunday if you spend the entire evening planning and stressing about school.  Ask yourself what would have to happen in order for you to be able to take a day of rest each week?

Maybe you can find ways to work more efficiently. Maybe you need to be more focused when you work . Or maybe you need to simply realize that the work of a teacher is never fully done, so we have to build wise boundaries around our time.


4. We need friends.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, God designed you for fellowship – not only with Himself but also with others. We are unwise to try to go it alone – to push aside our friendships because we’re too busy.

Not only do friends encourage us, but our friends (and/or spouses) should be the one helping to keep us in check. When they say, “you’re working too much,” we need to heed their warning and make adjustments while we still can.


5. We need inward renewal.   I truly believe that we have our inner self that needs self-care and replenishment. Some do this through prayer or meditation, at time that is a quiet where you can reflect and think and dwell on good things, to centre our thoughts our affections through times of quiet, refreshing exercise, wonderful music, wholesome reading and conversations, doing a sport you love. These are key to replenish, they are key to prioritize so that you are refreshed and energized.  To NOT view them as luxuries we wish we had time for.




5 Hints on how to set up your classroom for a win for your first week

  1. Classroom Set-up; Think about the colours of the decor and theme for your Classroom Primaryclassroom. Ensure that it flows through all your boards, like Maths Board, Literacy, Reading corner, Rules, Birthdays etc.  Check out Pinterest for colours and themes if you are stuck.  You could choose a theme such as owls, smiley faces or chalkboard and hessian for Tropical Island theme.  For Subject only in High-school you might theme it to what you are studying.  I remember one of my fellow colleagues doing a Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe theme; she did the life-size lamp placed in Narnia and Life size Aslan cut out of cardboard, it was stunning.
  2. Welcome gift. Welcoming each student and putting worth and value on them as an individual should not be underestimated.  Why not make each child a welcome gift sitting on their table ready to be explored. These can be erasers, pens, water bottles, little bubble blowers, quotes, magnets, 1 x lollie.1st day of school gifts
  3. Words and language; I truly believe words and how we speak can lift and build into a student.  So research some amazing quotes to inspire them as an individual, incorporate these around your classroom
  4. Don’t let students manipulate you with their emotions.Have you had a student start bawling when you gave them a detention? Have you experienced a student’s explosive anger when they don’t get to go to morning-tea or lunch? Many times the student’s emotions are genuine, but often times students will play up their emotions to see what you will do. The trick is to remain calm and stick to your consequences and rewards. Once your students see that you will remain calm, resolute, and unshaken in the midst of the storm of their emotions, students will typically try those tactics less and less.
  5. Rules and Procedures; If teaching higher grade levels please take note that some procedures need less time especially during the first week (see last weeks post).  Keep your rules visual, simple, clear and consistent. This could be : Respect yourself, your peers, your teacher and your surroundings. Raise your Writing Goalshand silently to speak, Follow all directions quickly the first time they are given.  Then Make a list of consequences.  These could be documented; Warning, Complete a Behaviour Think Sheet and move seats, Parent or guardian contact, Referral to deputy or HOD of Grade.



Written by Nicole Alder


What not to do on the first day of School

1. Let the little things go. The biggest mistake made during first year of teaching was letting little things go. A little talking here, a student with their head down there – no biggie, right? Wrong. When we let the little things go, we give our students the impression that we either don’t notice or don’t care about their behaviour. And the problem is that those little things won’t stay little; they’ll quickly escalate to full-blown problems. The answer? Simply address the small things with a simple statement such as “Greg, please sit up. Thank you.”

2.  Lay down the law. My personality doesn’t lean this direction, but I’ve seen teachers, in an attempt to avoid letting the little things go, take the opposite extreme. They decide they need to lay down the law and show the kids who’s boss. So they jump on any small infraction and whack the kids with the biggest punishment possible to show them that they will not tolerate misbehaviour. This isn’t a wise approach either. Yes, you need to address the little things, but often all that’s needed is a verbal correction. And if consequences are in order, give appropriate ones; don’t inflate them just to scare the students.

3.  Make it a “fun day.” Okay, yes, the first day of school should be kind of fun and exciting. But you shouldn’t intentionally make it a “fun day” or a “party day.” If you do, you are setting a very bad precedent and are just asking for your students to be out of control. Instead, start off the school year as structured as possible. Then, once the students are used to structure you should be able to add in some fun activities without losing control.Teacher 1st day of School frame
4.  Go over all your procedures. Please don’t torture your students by spending the whole class going over a sheet that contains all your procedures. This is so boring, and it’s probably also what every other teacher is doing. Yes, you absolutely need to teach your procedures, but you should teach them as they come up, not all at once on the first day. And if you have procedures written on a handout, just let your students read them for homework.

5.Spend no more than 30 seconds talking about fire drills. Okay, if you teach primary  you might be justified in taking more like 2-5 minutes. But for middle school and high school, please don’t. Just don’t. These poor students are hearing about fire drills in every class, and it’s not like they’ve never done one before. Furthermore, it’s not as if they’re going to remember exactly which direction they’re supposed to leave the building in each of their 8 classes. Instead, go over fire drill procedures as quickly as possible. Then later in the week you can go over them in more detail when the students’ brains aren’t being overloaded with procedures.

6. Dress down.Even if you typically dress somewhat casually, the first day of school is not the time to dress down. Your students only get one first impression of you, so the first day of school is the time to pull out the most professional outfit you have

7.  Just wing it. If you try to wing the first day of school you will probably survive it just fine, but you’re also wasting an incredible opportunity to start the year off right. Instead, plan every minute so that you are prepared, confident, and organized. The best way to start class is to have some type of simple assignment ready for the students as they enter the class. This will keep them occupied while you deal with the inevitable confusions of the first few moments of class.
8.  Let students choose their own seats. Even if you plan to allow students to choose their own seats at some point in the future, you still want to assign seats on the first day. Why? First, because it will help you learn their names more quickly. And, second, because allowing them to choose seats and then trying to figure out who is in which seat wastes a whole lot of time. In addition to having a seating chart ready, plan a way to tell students their seats as they enter class instead of after they’ve already sat down. For example, have the seating chart displayed on a smart board or projector. Or, have each students’ name and seat number on a post-it note on the wall so they can quickly find theirs and locate their seat.
9.  Pass out textbooks one by one. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can really waste a lot of time to call your students out one by one to come up and receive their textbook. Instead, come up with a way to hand them out quickly. I typically had them set out at the end of each row, and the students would simply pick up their stack and pass them back. This means I invested time beforehand writing down all the #’s and putting each student’s name in their book, but it was worth it to help streamline the process.

Your goal should be to actually teach something in each class. 

10.Waste a single moment. Plan through each procedure and activity and find the way to do it as efficiently as possible. Your goal should be to actually teach something in each class. And that’s not going to happen unless you’re very intentional about being incredibly efficient and focused.

Written by Nicole Alder