#survivephd15, research, Strategies, Teaching, Writing for Research



The summer sun has kissed our shoulders and bleached our hair. We have sipped on gin and tonics, laughed with friends and splashed in the waves.

But the playtime is over and the new adventure begins.

School is almost back. A new group of students, new classes, new dynamics.

A new curriculum, texts and innovative ways to engage students in reading and writing And new resolutions to keep writing and reading and researching.

Even when it is crazy busy.

This life, this Ph.D. life, teacher life, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend life is a rollercoaster. So right now I am strapping myself in. I am cleaning and sorting files, setting up work schedules, contemplating workflow and preparing for the daily demands of teaching and writing.

But I am also investing in some time with friends, to top up my emotional bank account, hoping that there will be enough in the tank when the rollercoaster dips and dives.

I am excited about 2018. But only God knows what is in store for you and me.

Let the adventure begin.


Education, English teaching, Teaching


“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
– Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams, an American first lady (1797- 1801) and wife of John Adams the second president of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, reminds us that learning is not a random act or accident. Rather it is something we must seek and act upon, with regular attention and focus.

How is your learning today? How do your students perceive learning in your classroom?

Attend to it with diligence.


leadership, research, Teaching



This week Education Leaders from across the country are meeting at Australia Council for Educational Leaders Conference 2017 #acelcon2017.

I am on term break, reading, writing, preparing for the final term of the school year and ‘attending’ the conference via my Twitter PLN. Online colleagues are sharing the key take aways from keynote addresses and workshops.

Rigour.This…..caught my attention today.  Barbara Blackburn inspiring and challenging educators to think about rigour. I realised that we often talk about rigour when we sense there is an absence or loss of rigour in our school, our classroom, our key learning. And yet it is somewhat of a buzz word that school’s include in all of their ‘information’. The question is do we really understand what rigour means?

Rigour is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels; each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels.

This slide from #acelcon2017 highlights for me that there are key questions that we need to ask about student learning.

Rigour. As it applies to student motivation, engagement, learning and staff leadership. Rigour.

Education, Teaching

Clouds Three Ways

img_8520There is not just one way. One way to see, read, view.

One of the goals of teaching and learning is to help each other identify different ways of viewing the world around us, developing our skills of critical thinking and being able to share ideas in a meaningful, clear and relevant way.

As a researcher who has immersed herself in the classroom this semester, I am acutely aware that there is more than one way to see, read and view.

The English classroom is a special place. We discuss big issues, heart issues, personal issues. This term it has been about growing up, racism, discrimination, self discovery.

As the academic year draws to an end and I farewell students I hope they can see things at least three ways. How about you?