Let’s Dance

18 08 2010

Beach Ballerina Girl by Mike BairdOne of the things about being prepared to teach primary school is that, with a few exceptions¹, you are expected to teach across the curriculum in every area of learning.For many of my fellow students this meant the fear of being asked to teach Maths, Science, and Technology. No sweat for me, I’m a biologist. But how about something like the Creative Arts?

Luckily, I consider myself a bit of a homo universalis – and dabble a bit in the Arts myself. I was on Australian Idol, thank you very much. You can look at my Flickr to see I enjoy visual arts – mostly photography, collage and sometimes drawing. I also did senior Drama at high school, enjoy the occasional roleplay, and will compulsively consume any movie available to me. But then there is the final dimension of the Arts – Dance. Now some people might consider my singing pretty bad, but that’s nothing compared to catastrophe produced by the uncoordinated disrhythmic spasms of my lanky frame to sounds.

Despite around four years in the schools music tour group, the grace to perform dancing more complicated than a rocker’s headbang tended to elude me. Luckily though, it was gracelessness, not denseness that prevented me from carving up the floor, so the general theory of dance as well as handful of moves from country, jazz, ballroom, hip-hop and other genres still lies buried within my neocortex – so I can fulfill the age old teacher’s mantra – Those who can’t, teach.

Below is my basic dance lesson for middle to upper primary students (8-12 year olds), which could probably be adapted for lower secondary. I used it in my government interview portfolio to demonstrate, that while I am the highly desired young, male math and science primary school teacher, I am oh so much more (and modest, too!²)

Using curriculum language, the lesson aims to give students the opportunity to create with peers a series of simple rhythmic patterns of swinging movements with various body parts to a 4/4 time signature to synthesise a short movement sequence for presentation to the class.

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Adulthood Take 3

13 07 2010

Not a good news week for me.

I think I’ll spend it on the internet instead.

And cleaning … maybe cleaning.





Happy Returns

5 04 2010

Yes. Coming back at you like a thing that comes at you.

No excuses available. I just got lazy, bored, and otherwise pre-occupied with life. I was also sick of my laptop and getting money (or credit limit) to purchase an oversized heat screen (iMac i5) took almost as long as getting the damned thing delivered.

For those of you who are still hanging on from where I left you, below is the glory that resulted from last year’s moustache growing month was. In the end my team together raised just shy of $2.5K for men’s health.

This picture was created in GIMP (which I am having difficulty getting to run on Snow Leopard on my new iMac), with much thanks to my flatmate’s hat, gimp.org tutorial on creating sketch effects, and font Bleeding Cowboys.

This picture also highlights just how crooked my nose is. Shame.





My moustache brings all the girls from the yard

18 11 2009

The children at work have gotten over their initial amusement at the sudden burst of facial hair after my return from over a month of absence.

I have gotten two Facebook messages of approval amongst a tirade of uproar – the most vocal being my sister (“for the love of all that is good – go and shave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”) – but the worst comment was probably this video.

So I’ve tried a pulled out my natural charm for this weeks photo.

Mandatory shill: Contribute your donation to men’s health here.





Make me a Merry Moustachio

10 11 2009
anarchy for the masses

Last year's masterpiece

Click here to Sponsor my Moustache: Funds will be dispersed by the Movember Foundation of Australia to assist with men’s health campaigns by Beyond Blue and the Prostate Cancer Society of Australia.

Why give a stuff:
Men are far less healthy than women. The average life expectancy for men is five years less than females (78 compared to 83).

Men access health services 30-40% less than women, thereby denying themselves the chance for prevention and early detection of common diseases.

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Give me beautiful hair

10 11 2009

Hairy and Scary

It’s that time of year again. The month formerly known as November has once again been transformed to raise awareness of men’s health issues with the power of upper lip growth.

Visit my mo-space where donations are welcome (apparently I’ll get free burgers if I raise over $25 in the next couple of days).

With a quick check of the rules (pdf) by my housemate meaning I had to shave a gap between my sideburns and the ‘tache (I already have one rule violation by starting a day early to celebrate finishing school), here is the result of my first week of facial hair growth .





It’s the set up (You need this)

5 11 2009

The major lesson learned over the last month is that no matter how awesome I am, I am not a magician.

Teacher’s cannot expect to walk into their classrooms, open their box of tricks, and have children play along gleefully (not even with music and white powdery ingestables).

What is really important for setting up a classroom for a smooth and successful learning journey^ is just that – the set up. It is so easy to gloss over this, and I certainly have been a lot. I mean these kids have been in school for eight years already, they know how a classroom learning environment works by now*. Reminding them of that is not my job as a middle school teacher, right? I should be able to just dive right into my lesson, yeah? These guys should know how to work in groups already, surely?

Wrong. Wrong. And more wrong. And apparently “group work” needs to be replaced with “co-operative learning”. Read the rest of this entry »