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The gala piece that became the Olympic free skate for Adam Rippon.


And the story behind it which I never knew until now; a strong capable leader of the flock injured and in recovery, creating a new strength + redefining themselves.

A reflection of Adam’s own personal journey and his confidence in defining his own artistry, which in my opinion stands him apart from the crowd despite not having the technical merit of the top contenders.

Amazing, the light that shines when we each of us commit to being authentic.

fly on

February 18, 2018

aussie chinese new year joy

February 18, 2018

Happy Chinese New Year, with an Aussie footnote. 😁


February 4, 2018 1 Comment

Communication. Trust. Connection. Words. Link. Love. Courage. Hold. Integrity. Value. Worth.


I like this picture.

pathway to excellent

February 4, 2018

We did a professional development as a whole staff recently where we were asked to name, in a sentence, what sparks our passion as people. Not as teachers, but as people. And found myself saying immediately, without thought or preparation:

“If ‘excellent’ is the highest pinnacle, like the North Star, or the top of a mountain, then I am determined to find a way to get there with my students without shame. I will not hold any of their personal attributes or actions against their inherent value, or allow that to colour their pathway to achieving excellence. But I WANT excellence. That’s unmistakable. It’s in the blood. I just think that you can do it joyfully, with a love of learning the whole way. It can be honest, gritty, no-frills, and monotonous, but it will not cut or hurt them personally.”

So my spark of passion in one sentence is this:

I want to bring the students under my direction to their best selves in an envelope of joy and worthiness. 

I’m an example in my words, in how I am as a person, in how I recover, in how I deal with stress, in the challenges I choose to accept, in how I love and care for myself and the people important to me, and even in how I interact with the people I do not like or respect.

You can get to “excellent” by squeezing it out of a kid, by threatening them, by coercing them, by holding academic barriers over them, by comparing them to others, by pitting them against your own self-worth, by unwittingly emotionally cornering them into doing what you want. You know what? It all produces the same result of excellent. How twisted is that?! I hate that. But there it is. I will actually get you the result that you want. I’ve seen it happen.

But THAT version of excellent, forged from a foundation of shame – and that IS what it all is, shame packaged in various forms – doesn’t eff-ing fly. It doesn’t stick, it’s not life-long. And students will fight it the way their bodies fight disease; instinctively.

And why would you want to connect that with excellence and their self-worth?

Teachers, check your words + intent carefully. I have to on a daily basis.

And find another way.

I will find the only other way to “excellent” that doesn’t involve shame, even if I have to find the goddamn scenic route that takes twice as long.

Because that’s my spark.

Oh, this KID! That’s some FIERCE determination right there.

“I’d rather eat this damn onion than admit that I am wrong!”

Don’t we all get like that sometimes?!

oh, that determination!

February 3, 2018


February 1, 2018

Class of 2018 Musos carrying on the traditional of presenting me with a new lanyard.

how teaching works

January 31, 2018 1 Comment

And this is how coffee is converted to amazing teaching through magic!


year 7 and entrepreneurial

January 31, 2018

Setting up my Year 7 Music class:

Me: “So if you guys don’t keep it together for your prac lessons, it’ll be a double Musicianship lesson the following week to drive the point home.”

Sir Year 7: “Can it ever go the other way? Is it possible to earn a double prac?”

Me: “If you guys absolutely smash it out of the ballpark and we’re all done on the written tasks then yes, that’s possible towards the end of the term.”

Sir Year 7: “And every other week?!”

Me: “MY GOD, NO! I’ll be hitting the family-sized packet of Tim Tams every night!”

Sir Year 7, processing: “What if we BUY you the Tim Tams?”

Damn it, you’re not supposed to be entrepreneurial at Year 7!

tiny little disney ninja

January 30, 2018

I am on the kind side of “fair”, with a slightly competitive edge for “excellent”. I know this of myself and my teaching.

So it actually warms my heart to hear the following:

Sir Year 12 to Sir Year 11:

“Yeah, don’t be fooled. She’s like a tiny, deadly colourful little Disney ninja who can kick your arse. Seriously, just do whatever she’s asked you to do.”

Wise, my little grasshopper.

Love this. This is so clever.

“eye on you!”

January 29, 2018