Monday, 26 January 2015

Teachers that Inspire Everyday.

Teachers that inspire everyday are found in classrooms everywhere throughout the country. With the summer holidays in Australia now over and students preparing to head back to the classroom for another year I wanted to remind them that there are some wonderful  and inspirational teachers ready and waiting to take them on a journey of discovery and learning.

Over the years I have known and taught with many motivational teachers that seek to bring inspiration into their classroom through unique and diverse learning experiences.

Whether your child is taking their first steps towards kindergarten or their final steps into year 12, over the years they will come across an amazing variety of exceptional people to guide and nurture their growth and understanding of the world around them.

Teachers hail from many walks of life and bring with them life experiences that remain in our children’s memory throughout their adulthood.

In the second book in my early reader series, ‘Alien Shenanigans’ we meet a new character, Mr Haggardy, that I have modeled from several colleagues that I found to be exceptionally inspirational teachers.

In the story, Mr Haggardy is the year six classroom teacher that Brian Bradberrie finds himself with. A teacher with previous life experience and a love for science that he brings to the classroom.
“Mr Haggardy was a cool hippie-like dude with long blonde hair he kept tied in a pony tail. He had an unkempt beard and he wore torn jeans with a Hawaiian shirt never tucked in or ironed. You could have a joke with him, but you also knew when he was serious and this, was one of those moments”

Although I could say there are many teachers I have learnt from over the years. One teacher that stands out in my memory of my high school days was my Ancient History teacher. I will never forget the day someone asked him a question in class he did not know the answer to. We didn’t have the internet or Google in those days so a quick moment to research in class was impossible. Instead he without hesitation admitted he didn’t know, but promised to go to the library that evening and find the answer. As promised he returned with the answer the very next day. This has always struck a chord with me as not only was he honest but he had no hesitation in owning the fact that he didn’t know something. This was a teacher that until then I believed to be the oracle of all things to do with ancient history. I realised that day that teachers couldn’t possibly know it all and that it was ok to admit it. This teacher was one of my inspirations for becoming a teacher myself. I took this lesson learnt with me into my own years as a teacher and although I always prepared my lessons as best I possibly could, I was confident in the knowledge that it was ok to show the kids I was human too!

When my sons embarked on their educational careers they too encountered many wonderful teachers. I wrote a blog 3 years ago when my youngest son began university. The blog post bestowed some of the special qualities of the teachers that stood out to me for him and his brothers. In it I mention the Kindergarten/Year one teacher who inspired my youngest to always challenge himself and strive to reach his full potential. The two teachers who helped mould my second son into a compassionate and tolerant adult and finally the teacher who my eldest son was lucky to have teach him twice, in year one and again in year 5. This fellow opened up the world of science to him in the most extraordinary ways. My eldest is now about to embark on his Phd as he continues along his journey of research and his thirst for knowledge. You will find further discussion on this at the link below.

Teachers surround us throughout our life even outside of the classroom. Mentors, work colleagues, other parents, even people in social media can all have an influence on our behaviours, knowledge and understanding of the world around us. We are never too old or too young to learn. So whether it is a teacher like Mr Haggardy or someone like my Ancient History teacher in high school, I hope your children find that special teacher this year that piques their curiosity and inspires them on to strive towards whatever the future has install for them.

My best wishes for another wonderful year of learning.
Keep having fun reading.
Read together everyday.
Alien Shenanigans will be released very soon.

Monday, 19 January 2015

The Mischief Continues – It’s Almost Here!

Brian, David and Simon Bradberrie return in part 2 of their Alien Adventure. The wait for “Alien Shenanigans” is almost over!

Unexplainable trouble with a classroom science experiment leads our three brothers on a secret mission that will inevitably find them in more disastrous circumstances.

More science experiments, more humour and a lot more out of this world fun.

There is trouble afoot in Mr Haggardy’s classroom. Yes, this time we meet Brian’s year 6 classroom teacher. (More about him later).  An unexplainable explosion in a science experiment wreaks havoc once again and Principal Penwright knows exactly who to blame! Can Brian and his brothers solve the mystery before the snooping Mrs Witherbottom discovers the unbelievable truth behind all the shenanigans?

The fearsome Principal Penwright returns and so too, does the boys nosy next door neighbour, Mrs Witherbottom.  What could possibly  happen to her this time?

Mischief and mayhem abounds whenever they are all involved. The school is a disaster zone but is it really the Bradberrie brothers fault this time?

Alien Shenanigans – The Bradberrie Brothers Alien Adventure. Book 2. Is coming very soon!

 Alien Shenanigans_cover_FNL(Click on link to reveal cover)

If you haven’t read Book 1, “Gingerbread Aliens,” now is your chance before “Alien Shenanigans” is released. I promise you’ll laugh from beginning to end.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

A wild Adventure Down Under.

The Sword of DemelzaWarrior Echidnas, threatening Thylacines and curious Kowaries are just the beginning of this amazing tale of fantasy and adventure in a unique wilderness that spreads across the deserts and forests of the top end of Australia.
The Sword of Demelza by J.E. Rogers has taken many of our endangered animals and magnificently brought them to life with human like caricatures. Many of the smaller creatures live in homes inside trees with little dining settings where they serve tea with berries and cream. Quite a quaint idea that could have almost been idyllic were it not for the trouble about to unfold as the evil fox that ruled over the countryside set his terrible dragon lizards to destroy the peaceful villages.
A quest for two little kowaries becomes much bigger than they ever anticipated as they meet and make friends along the way. Do they stick to their goal or should they be lead down a longer more dangerous path to help new friends and young troublesome echidna babes?
Jeanne has wonderfully created a fantasy world not only using Australia’s unique animals but also some of its most outstanding and different landscapes. As I read her description of the Pinnacles Desert The PinnaclesI could see it as clearly as the day I was there. Quite a masterful piece of writing for someone who had not been there herself. Jeanne has obviously done her research well to ensure her story teaches children around the world a little more about this beautiful place we are so lucky to call home. Even some of the colloquial slang is used amongst the dialogue but not overly so as to be a hindrance to the flow and ebb of the excitement.
J.E. RogersAlthough Jeanne hails from the east coast of the United States she clearly has a love for all things Australian, the environment and endangered animals worldwide.You can read her fantastic blog where she writes frequently on all kinds of unique species at Australian Fantasy Adventures with an aptly named blogspot that I adore!
The Sword of Demelza is written for a Middle Grade audience however I believe it is one to be read and treasured by young and old.
The Sword of Demelza
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