Monday, 6 January 2014

The First Post...for 2014, That Is. A Meme About Me, Me, Me!

I do feel like I've dragged my feet over this. It's a great idea, one which encourages us to reflect and share with folk who have become our confidentes over the last year or so.  It's an idea that I can see could work well with blogging in our school.  I have to say though, that it was lovely shutting down the laptop before Christmas and looking at my pile of books, videos and garden tools!

I do like writing though, and tweeting and thanks so much dear Marnel, who got me into this. Marnel - I absolutely treasure our conversations! Also Monika and Kimberley! That's what happens when everyone tags everyone else and you leave it for a few days. I'm going to start with Marnel's questions and see how I go. I may have to do meme x 3.

The blogging task includes:

Acknowledge the nominating blogger.  (Thank you for making me feel special ladies!)
Share 11 random facts about yourself. (That will be interesting to narrow it down.)
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you. (Haven't peeked yet.)
List 11 bloggers. (Hmm - a challenge not to re-tag someone now!)
Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated.  Don't nominate a blogger who has nominated you. (I'm counting tweeting as's also known as micro-blogging.)

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. My name is pronounced An-na-ma-ry. I was named after my German grandmother, Anna Maria, and my mother's Swiss au pair, Annemarie. I have no middle name because they knew it would be the bane of my life! It's a great name - I like a bit of history.
2. My maiden name was Tinga. I got married while I was at teachers' college; obviously thought about the nicknames...tingaling, stinker...
3. I was born in Christchurch, New Zealand and lived there for all but four of my first 21 years.
4. I'm a first generation Kiwi.
5. I lived in Jamaica from the age of six until I was ten and I played on the tourist rafts in Ocho Rios.
6. I used to be shy. I realised I admired people who weren't shy, so I changed! Yes people, honestly, my school reports said, "Annemarie does not contribute to class discussions."
7. I read science fiction from the age of eight. Andre Norton was the first author. I was fascinated by the possibilities.
8. I still love science fiction movies and was addicted to Star Trek. We had no TV when I was six, but ran down the drive to watch it at an old lady's house down the road in Ocho Rios. I was fascinated by all the moles on her neck...
9. When I like an author I read all the books.
10. I started off as a high school teacher of English and Art History.
11. I've run 7 half marathons and a 32 km, and plan to walk the Rotorua Half. Never done a marathon though and not really planning to.

With my little brother in Bishopdale, Christchurch. Love this photo!

My Answers to Marnel's Questions:

What inspires you?
- My twitter PLN is my major source of inspiration.  I love reading what others are doing because I then see the possibilities. Beautiful scenery inspires me. My mother's fortitude in overcoming her disabilities when she was alive. My children. My friends. My students. My teachers.

What are you reading now?
- I've got a pile of books that I grandly put on Twitter at the start of the holidays, many about education and leadership. So far I've read a novella by Monica McInerney, "Odd One Out," Kathy Reich's latest book "Bones of the Lost" and now I'm reading "Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy," by Helen Fielding. All marshmallow stuff.  Glorious!

If you weren't a teacher, what would you do?
- Probably journalism. Though I just spent a lovely evening with friends solving Rotorua's economic problems and came up with a great tourism idea.

If you could change something about the education system, what would it be?
- Lots more money invested so that we weren't always fundraising for computers and other things. I do believe literacy and numeracy standards for entry to teaching should be higher. I wouldn't mind if it was a masters degree, because we need something to give us more kudos! It's tricky because I do realise that great teachers aren't always the most academically qualified.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
- When I got out of my last jury duty. I try to do one big Christmas letter a year, but it's become electronic now. I realised that the only thing I was handwriting was the shopping list.  But I've now got an app for that...

Android or iPad tablets? Why?
- I have an ipad. It is compatible with my iphone. I still believe there are more educational apps available on Apple. I've got used to these and now don't like my friends' Android phones. Habit?

What do you find hardest to teach your students?
- Attitudes and values. They come from different and sometimes conflicting backgrounds.  The role-modelling they experience at home is often the overwhelming influence.

What will you be doing differently this year?
- That's an interesting one. I think that I'm on a continuum of trying to improve my leadership practice, so I'm always reflecting and adjusting.

If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be and why did you choose this language?
- I grew up in the sixties and seventies, when parents from other cultures believed it was most important to be assimilated as New Zealanders.  So I don't speak Dutch, my father's first language.  His mother was German, so that language also appeals.

What is your favourite way to waste time?
- Make a coffee, sit in the sun on the deck with a book, chores forgotten (or done).
- Twitter away on Twitter.

What is your life motto?
- Currently: "Life gives you who you need, not who you want, to make you into the person you need to be."

I enjoyed now it's your turn!  I tag you eleven:
My Taupaki friends:@stephen_tpk, @JJPurtonJones, @diana_prince_ww; my facilitator buddies: @AnneSturgess2, @barbs1, @leighhynes, @marykjam; and those Twismas Tweeters not already tagged to my knowledge: @AnnaGerrit, @ChambersJohanna, @MeganCroll1 and @MissDSciTeacher (should have been there).

My Eleven Questions for You:

1. What is your main personal goal for 2014?
2. Where was your most memorable holiday?
3. Which time in history would you like to be teleported to?
4. What is a tip you can share for relieving stress?
5. Who would rate as the most inspirational speaker you've listened to?
6. What are three things you believe you've got right in your teaching practice?
7. What was the best advice you were ever given?
8. What advice would you have given your younger self?
9. Did you always want to be a teacher?
10. What is the best book you read in 2013?
11. If you could describe yourself as a vegetable, which one would you be and why?

Make that coffee, open that laptop and get going!