Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Slife of Life #31 - Thank you

The past month has been a roller coaster; a month of high's, fevered writing and searching for topics. A time of sharing slices and snapshots from our everyday life. Our team would like to thank, Stacey, Anna and their amazing team for providing us with the opportunity to take part in this amazing initiative. We will definitely continuing our "slicing".

Graphic resource
Thank you post it notes.

This is for today's slice

Monday, March 30, 2015

Slice of Life #30 - 33 Careers in a one year!

After graduating from high school, I chose to pursue computing courses whereas many of my girlfriends went to teachers college. Eventually,  I worked for a multinational corporation managing a  money-market computing area. It was a high stress job; I dealt with many people Australia Wide, in addition you were on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The job had many highs, was rewarding and exciting.

For some reason, managing so many people, was like having my own "class" of students. Not only did you "manage" staff, you guided, nurtured and provided a supporting role. After 13 years, I had the chance to follow a different career path,  although daunting I returned to University and gained teaching  qualifications. Now 17 years later I know that I made the right choice.

I know that current research highlights the fact that in one's lifetime, it will be common for today's graduates to follow three careers. It was with great interest that I read an article where a young woman (Gail Nash) gave up her career as a lawyer and tried 33 careers in one year to find her dream job. Gail chose diverse job options such as Kindergarten helper, handyman, Eco Company Ceo to name a few. What job did she chose in the end? None of them she started her own company!

Gail Nash - 33 careers in one year
Kids Wearing costumes - Getty Images
Dream job - Next Exit - Getty Images

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Slice of Life #29 - My personal brand

Now, that Spring Break is upon us I have time to reflect and catch up on outstanding issues other than school work. This weekend I have had spent time with my doctoral dissertation chair and another doctoral candidate. During the weekend, we spoke at length about "personal branding".

Last year, I attended an Apple Distinguished Educator   (ADE) conference here in Kuala Lumpur. One really interesting topic that we discussed, reflected, collaborated and began creating was our own "personal brand".

With the prevalence of social media, we were advised that  it is prudent to have a personal brand. Research has shown that if you want to stand out in a crowd, it's all about who you are and what you would like to be recognized for. Companies and people will seek you out because they have heard about you. In addition through word of mouth and association you will receive many positive comments.

To do this we did some reflection with paper and post - it - notes as our tools.  We were asked to use 5 post it notes, note down one - two words on each post it and then drawn an illustration that best describes the words. Quite a challenging task as I am the worlds worst artist, in addition I find it so difficult to define who I am, a jack (or jill) or all trades master of none. I have many diverse interests and passionate about so many issues and causes.

What did I chose to describe myself?

A Technology Risk Taker who likes a challenge
Knowledge Sharer
Ever Changing Transformational. 

Resources :

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Slice Break #28 - Spring Break - Yeh

   I must admit when my colleague, Mrs. Peters  suggested entering the Slice of Life Classroom blogging challenge, although excited I was not sure if our classes could continue blogging for 31 days straight. 
By the end of March 124 grade 6 students will have written 31 slices each , that equals a staggering  3,844 blog entries! 
To date, I'm so proud that we have take part in this initiative and as educators we  have witnessed many positive outcomes:-

- Students like to write about their life
- Students writing fluency has improved
- Studentws like a global audience
- Students are excited that other students can read their musings, and provide comments. 

As spring break is upon us, we know that there is a possibility that the slices may be slow, however, stay posted to read our latest updates.

Resources :

Friday, March 27, 2015

Slice of Life #27 - Building Resilience #2

Yesterday during class, our students had the opportunity to review an amazing documentary narrated by Mr. Patrick Fuller (Asian Pacific Communications Manager) from the International Federation of Red Cross / Red Crescent Society (IFRC). 

As outlined on their website, the IFRC " is the world's largest humanitarian network that reaches 150 million people in 189 National Societies through the work of over 13 million volunteers."

Currently, all Grade 6 students are working on an integrated curriculum unit #Resilience. The documentary , provided detailed insights on mitigation and highlighted the crucial role that NGO's carry out during disaster preparedness and response.

Some interesting facts that we learned today :-

  • 40% of the worlds natural disasters occur in Asia.
  • In 2011, there was 136 reported disaster events in the region (73% were weather related).
  • The economic losses were the highest in monetary terms ( 276 Billion Dollars). 

In terms of Disaster Preparedness, the IFRC work closely with communities to educate people. A crucial piece in this puzzle is educating people to not only understand the different types of disasters, but also how a community can be impacted. Data from the Tsunami that occurred in 2004, revealed flaws in ineffective warning systems, and indeed the fact that people did not recognize signs, such as, receding tides. The IFRC work closely with communities and conduct vulnerability and capacity assessments, thus allowing communities to take a learning role. In collaboration with IFRC villages map out their houses and surrounding areas, looking for areas that may be vulnerable in natural disasters; for example, houses near rivers in areas prone to flooding. Next, all stakeholders sit down and plan their capacity to cope in natural disasters. They examine the resources that are available and facilities. Education for the people is provided through first aid training, disaster preparedness programs and organized evacuation drills.

In the documentary, Mr. Fuller mentioned governments in the region are realising through cost analysis data, that money spent on disaster preparedness lessens post disaster outlay. We witnessed first hand, initiatives that have been implemented such as coastal mangrove planting in Cambodia, and in rural Philippines, the building and maintenance of sea walls, the construction of a bridge to connect villages so that children can attend school, and families can visit markets and medical clinics.

Clearly, the IFRC documentary provided students with a myriad of information that could be used in their Impact Countries proposals plus ideas and opportunities to be reflected upon.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Slice of Life #26 - Gratitude

Gratitude, such an interesting word; it's origin stems from Latin "Gratus", meaning thankful, pleasing. 
Related words grace, grateful, gratis, gratuitous and congratulate. 
For me I have so much to be thankful for :-

1.  Amazing Family
2.  Amazing Colleagues
3.  Fantastic Students
4.  Working at ISKL
5.  Having the opportunity to actually live and work in  Malaysia
6.  Experience different cultures
7.  Good health (crossing fingers)
8.  The opportunity to pursue my passions
9.  The opportunity to share my passions
10. Supportive community

So in closing, like Piglet my heart holds a large amount of Gratitude .

Graphic Source 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Slice of Life #25 - Creatures of Habit

Today's inspiration for the Slice of Life #25, is inspired by a graphic posted by the hosts of the Slice of Life Initiative.

Today's slice is dedicated to my AM routine.

I'm sure as humans we all have routines, whether its our morning routine, when and how we brush our teeth or just simply an evening ritual. I guess that we are all creatures of habit. 

My morning routine, gives me a great start to the day. Waking up to a peaceful quiet house, cool morning air, and the haunting melodies of calling of prayers from a myriad of mosques in close proximity. Still dark, I make my lemon tea and porridge and settle in to read the latest news online.  I savour the stillness and the quietness for half an hour more before I wake my daughter for school. I review blogs, answer emails, tweak lessons, If ever I wake up late ( very rarely), my whole routine is thrown out the window, I suffer for the rest of the day. 

Graphic Source: