Wednesday, July 31, 2013

making the right decision....

Sometimes it takes a little time to make the right decision. I'm talking about my work and my career. As some of you know I am a Head Teacher in a high school in Western Sydney. The school is great but I always felt out of place, I didn't belong, that I should be doing something else. What I really wanted was to stay home with these guys.

Well after 7 years at my current school and 18 years of teaching all up, I left and applied for leave without pay and stay home. Wow, I still remember the day I rang the Principal and told her I wasn't going back. It felt so good. I'm half way through my leave now and have to decide what I'm going to do. Do I extend my leave or do I relinquish my position? Do I want to lose my Head Teacher status that I worked so hard to get? So many questions going through my head the last 6 months.

The last two and a half weeks I did a teaching block. Oh man was it hard to get everyone out of the house in time, with lunch ready and hair brushed and not forget anything behind. Well I did it and we all survived. Not sure about the condition of the house, it's going to take me weeks to get it all back in order. There is washing everywhere to be folded and put away.

But the great thing was I so enjoyed teaching and having my own classes and building a repour with the kids. It was so nice just to teach. Not to worry about the other teachers, are they doing the right thing, are they following the safety precautions in the workshop, having parent complaints directed to me as the Head Teacher etc. I just taught. I just worried about myself and my classes and just taught.

When I first started teaching I was going all the way with my career. Then I had kids and thought I could have both, be a good mum and have a career. Maybe some can do it. But I have come to the conclusion that I cannot do both and I don't want to. There are too many sacrifices to make and it was my kids losing out. Maybe some people are happy with the sacrifices. but one day I don't want to look back and regret the things I missed out with my family. As I stepped up that ladder and my responsibilities increased, I had less time to devote to my kids. Time goes to fast, I can't believe I have one starting high school next year.

So today I have decided I am not returning to my Head Teacher position. That I will return to full time work when I am ready as a teacher. A lady on the phone at staffing said to me, but that will be taking a demotion, she was horrified that I would step down without being forced. I don't see it that way at all, I feel like I am getting some of my life back. And that is promotion in my eyes.

It was a hard decision to make and I feel so good now that I have made it.

Have you had to make some hard career decisions in your life or demote yourself? Would love to hear your story.

Filomena xx

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Crochet Classes ....

Tuesday night was my first crochet class. I was so excited and couldn't wait for the day to come. The week before I put together a handout that then turned into a little book and will keep adding onto for each class.

And I made little flower name tags for everyone as well. They looked so cute.

Everyone seemed to be having fun and asking questions, trying out something new and getting to know the person sitting next to them. I was so happy to see them all succeeding and making their first Single Crochet Dishcloth.

A few have already contacted me back to tell me of their progress and sent me photos. What a great bunch of ladies. I know we are going to have lots of fun over the course of the workshops.

Filomena xx

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kids sewing classes......

Every now and then I hold a kids sewing class and have so much fun. I love choosing the project and then the fabric and cutting it all up ready for the class.

And then making my sample to show the kids what they are making.

The class was on Thursday and as usual I book to many kids into the class. There are so many kids that want to do it and I don't want to disappoint any of them.      I ended up with 8 kids ranging from 8 -16. Now anyone thinking of doing this, don't have such a big age range of kids; it did make managing things more difficult. And even though I can teach 20 kids in a woodwork workshop with machines and tools all going at the same time, this is a little different. Every time I run a class I learn something new and make a mental note to myself.

Here is the table and sewing machines waiting for the kids to arrive.

 And my cute little pin cushions sitting on the table.

 And here are some of the finished projects. They looked fantastic and the kids loved them.

I always love the parents when they come and pick them up and are amazed what there children have created. And when they are walking out the door ask when is the next one.

So I have been thinking or running a more regular sewing workshop. Not sure whether to run then as after school workshops or weekend ones.

Anyone had any experience in running kids workshops and what days suit best? Any advice?

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Day in Sydney....

Even though we don't live that far from the city it is not somewhere we go all the time. The weather was just gorgeous on Wednesday that a trip on the train and a walk around the city was a must.

I quickly looked up some craft stores I wanted to visit in York Street. Packed some things to take with us and we all got dressed and off to the station we went.

My Husband works in the city, right next to Central Station. So we stopped by there to see if he could have a break. He was busy and didn't know when he was going to get away so off we went to explore the city.

It wasn't long before they where all hungry. Have you ever tried Pie Face? It was our first try and for mass produced pies they where great.

This is the kids refusing to walk any further is we didn't go in.

The kids all had pies. I'm not really a fan of pies so I had a Piezza. (That is what they called it in the shop) It was delicious. I could easily have had another one.

Next stop T2. Love this shop, all the smells and the combinations of herbs and flowers to make all the different teas. So I stocked up on some loose leaf Peppermint Tea.

The kids wanted a picture with every statue we walked past. (Except for James, I think he is getting too cool for some things) I'll just show you one..

And then walking through World Square we found this. An outdoor ice skating ring in the middle of the city. In unison they all said can we have a go pleeeeease.


We then walked over to Hyde Park for a much needed rest and afternoon tea.

After our little rest I said to the kids I wanted to go towards the shops. Instantly it was no way we are not going to go to any craft shops. We will sit here and you can come back when you have finished one of them kept saying. Well there went my search for craft stores. We had a few hours left before Dave (Husband) finished work. So we walked down to the Art Gallery of NSW. The kids had never been there and it wasn't too far.

They loved it. Even though they couldn't touch anything it was still very visual for them. The modern art section was their favourite. Like when they found this man art work sitting in the corner they couldn't resist but to sit with it. 

They asked lots of questions. What is this? How is this art? I could have painted that and be famous, its just a canvas painted black!

They liked looking at the Sydney Nolan paintings as last year they had studied him at school and made their own Sydney Nolan paintings.

We met up with Dave and caught the train back home. What a great day in the city and cause we stayed away from the shops we didn't spend much money at all. So another trip into the city is being planned for next school holidays.

Do you like taking the kids into the city? What fun things do you go and look at?