2012: A Year of Exploring Possibilities

“Bather’s Beach” – By Michael Graffin (2012)

My blog is very much a reflection of my teaching journey over the past few years …

2010 was very much a year of experimentation, of learning, and finding my feet – as a relief teacher & a connected on-line educator.

2011 was a “Year of Change“, but with the benefit of hindsight, the lessons & outcomes of that painful, tumultuous year have more than compensated for the agony I went through.

So, what were my experiences of 2012?


2012 was “A Year of Exploring Possibilities” 

Mr Davo Devil checking out the #globalclassroom scrapbook

This has been an interesting year. I’ve had my ups and downs, but overall it was a positive, meaningful year.

Some significant moments include:

This was a year where my skills and expertise were recognised and appreciated locally, as well as internationally. Working with Jenny on the TIPS2012 project was a rich learning experience, and my involvement with iEARN Australia has thrown up some wonderful opportunities for 2013.

A huge thank you also goes to Nigel Mitchell (my ACEC 2012 co-presenter), Kathryn Edwards of Peach MediaKesha Busing of RIC Publicationsand Mal Lee. You’ve helped shape an amazing year, and I hope we have the opportunity to work with each other in the years to come.


My favourite posts of 2012

This year, I haven’t blogged as often as I’d have liked; however, there are a few posts of which I’m particularly proud.

Thank You Mr P.

Perhaps my most heart-felt, emotional post of the year, which came as a bit of a shock for Mr P. 

Life, Language, Laughter, Skype

The Hello Little World Skypers and Global Classroom Skype groups have had a profound impact on my personal and professional life. I treasure the relationships and friendships I’ve formed through these groups, and hope to start meeting some of the members f2f over the years to come.  

Teacherpreneurs – Connect, Create & Collaborate

Part of my series of posts from the Flat Classroom Book Club earlier this year, this post was an ‘ah-ha’ moment. My engagement in the book club marked the start of an emerging, and extremely important relationship with Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay of The Flat Classroom Project.


Publications / Articles / Podcasts

2012 has been a busy year, marking the first time I’ve had my name in print.


Collaboration in learning: transcending the classroom walls by Mal Lee and Lorraine Ward

I was lucky enough to contribute to the research underpinning this book, and I look forward to its’ release in early 2013. For some detail on the research, and the findings, please have a read of Mal and Lorraine’s research paper.

The Global Classroom Project –  Classroom 2.0 Book Submission

Things have gone quiet about this project; however, the more reads we receive, the more likely we are to be published in the print edition of the Classroom 2.0 Book. Your assistance has been greatly appreciated!


Teacher Feature 

Education Matters – Primary & Secondary Magazine 2012/13

Education Matters Magazine      Teacher Feature (2012) (PDF)


Learning, sharing and collaborating globally in the early years: Stories from the Global Classroom Project

Class Ideas K-3 Magazine (Early 2013 Release)

With contributions from #globalclassroom teachers in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, United Kingdom, and Lebanon, this was the first magazine article I’ve ever written, and I can’t wait to see it in print next year. I’ll post a link to the online version when it becomes available.



A World of Difference -The Virtual Staffroom Podcast

This interview with Chris Betcher, Theresa Allen, and Lisa Parisi was a huge confidence booster, and a great way to start the year. I forgot to link to it from my blog at the time; however, I’d highly recommend having a listen. You can find it via the link above, or find it on iTunes. Thanks Chris 🙂


Looking Forward to 2013

2013 is going to be an exciting year!

Flickr CC-NC-SA by Lυвαιв

I’ll be presenting at the Science Teachers of Western Australia Conference in May, and travelling to Doha, Qatar for iEARN 2013.

I’m hoping the Qatar trip will be the first of many, as I’d like to do a little travelling & meet a few international friends over the next few years. If that means I relief teach for a few more years, then so be it. It will be worth it.

Let’s see how we go.

Happy New Year.


3 responses

  1. Hi, I found your blog by googling and just wanted to say thank you for writing it. I am a new graduate in NSW and am about to start work in the world of casual teaching having not yet applied for any full time positions as I really want more experience with the range of classes.
    I was just wondering do you have any resources(textbooks, resource books, websites for resources) that you would recommend as worthwhile for a casual teacher?

    • Hi Saraj. There are many relief teacher survival kits produced by RIC, some better than others.

      Some books which I consistently use include:
      RIC High Interest Activities in Mathematics (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

      I also own virtually the entire series of “Outside the Box” Learning Activities by Molly Potter. You can pick these up on the Book Depository. I do a lot of work in upper primary, so mainly use the upper primary book.

      I also like having a set of colouring ins / wordsearches for fill-ins, although I try to use these less now (as I’ve become better at filling in time) – I recommend the series by Louisa Eddleston.

      As a relief teacher, you become a magpie – try and photocopy as much useful stuff as you can, you will develop a library of materials and photocopied activities to take with you to work.

      Invest in some quality children’s lit Roald Dahl short stories, Andy Griffiths – reading to kids is a great time filler. (take care of your voice though).

      Have a trawl through my blog archives for an extensive discussion on classroom management for relief teachers – you will need to explicitly reflect on, and develop your skills in this area – if you wish to survive. Try and obtain a copy of “Classroom Management: A Thinking and Caring Approach” by Barrie Bennett.

      I have also developed a big repertoire of fitness / sport games – ask the students in the various schools you visit. There is a great Apple app (PE Plus – $0.99) which will help.

      Maths and literacy games are important too. Buzz, Craypots, – have a browse of http://substitutesftw.blogspot.com.au/

      Relief teaching is hard, BUT it is a wonderful preparation for eventually teaching your own class. You will have your tough times, your good times – be aware that you’re on a journey, and I guarantee you will not regret the years you spent ‘on the road’. This is a worthy profession too.

      If you need a hand, or want to keep in touch, send me an email via the Contact Form on this blog.

      Good luck.


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