Meet the collaborators from the Australian Teachers Blog - Casey from Little Lifelong Learners

With the influx of new readers over here on our blog, we have decided to re-introduce ourselves. Today it's Casey's turn!

Why hello there! My name is Casey and I am the teacher-mama blogger over at Little Lifelong Learners. I have been blogging since I first started teaching back in 2012!

My little corner of the internet has evolved a lot, particularly over the last few years as I became a Mum for the very first time. When I first started blogging, my husband and I had just gotten married and I was a fresh graduate who felt very inspired by the amazing teachers who blogged about their classrooms and shared their amazing teaching ideas. 

After two years of teaching Prep / Foundation, I fell pregnant and took some time away from the classroom. I did some relief work at local schools and got to teach at many different schools in a variety of year levels...but Prep has always been where my heart is at!
Prep, Foundation Classroom | My first classroom as a grauate, beginning teacher in Australia

As my daughter got older, I started missing teaching more and more but I couldn't bare the thought of leaving her just yet. That's when I decided to focus on providing quality printables for other Prep teachers. I was basically living vicariously through them because I missed the classroom soooo much.
Must have resources for new teachers | Australian Prep and Foundation printable resources | Behaviour Management

During this time, I started blogging about my love for sensory play. Some of my favourite posts can be found over at Little Lifelong Learners. I've also recently launched my first eBook too which you can have a little look at here.

Sensory Play for babies | Messy play ideas for kids | Teacher mum

Now it's 2017 and I have a very energetic 2.5 year old daughter and a cheeky 6 month old son. I still miss teaching SO much (especially when I see you all decorating your new classrooms!) but I'm also so so so happy that I can provide Prep and Foundation teachers and parents with heaps of teaching and learning inspiration from the comfort of my own home. 

If you'd like to follow my journey as a teacher turned stay at home mama, you can find me here:

Hello everyone!  My name is Stephanie and I blog at  I'm going into the 2017 as a Year 3 teacher and have been teaching full-time since 2010.  I'm from USA and started my teaching career in Florida.  I moved to Australia in 2014 to be with my partner and was lucky enough to continue my career teaching in country Australia.  I'm now back in Perth ready for the new year!

Back to School Ideas Instagram Round-Up

I'm starting at a new school in 2017 and I'm eager to get into my classroom to set it up!  I've planned to implement many new ideas.  So here is some of the favourites I've seen on Instagram!

A photo posted by Mrs McNab 🍎☕️ (@teach_bythe_beach) on

Still looking for that perfect Aussie Teacher Planner?

You can find this planner in my TPT store at:

Got any great Back to School Ideas you'd like to share?  Post a picture below! Share on Instagram and tag us @AustralianTeachers!

Happy New Year everyone and may 2017 be amazing for us all.

We have so many new followers that we thought we would take the opportunity over the next eight weeks to re introduce ourselves and let you know a little bit about each of us.

I'm Paula from Paula's Place and have been teaching for a looonnnng time! I love my job, it is different every day and we never never stop learning.

I grew up in NSW in a town called Murwillumbah. I went to Teachers College in NSW too.
I started teaching in the mid 80s (yes a loooonng time ago) and taught in a large country school in Queensland. I spent three years teaching in Biloela. This is where I met my husband.

We moved to Victoria, where we both teach in schools in Ballarat. We have two kids - both at Uni.
I love to travel and have been fortunate in the last six years to go to America, Fiji, Malaysia, Bali and Singapore.


I am currently on a road trip with my daughter - we have travelled from Ballarat to Northern NSW to see family and we will be off to Brisbane on Wednesday, then Noosa, Coffs Harbour, Canberra and then home.  This is a great way to spend our summer break.

I have taught every year level and in the last six years have taught Prep for three years, 5/6, 3/4 for two years and now I'm heading back to 5/6. In 31 years I have either moved schools and/or classrooms every year! (I'm pretty good at packing and setting up).

I got into blogging in 2010 as a way of recording and sharing my learning space. 
Colleagues convinced me to put my work on TpT in 2011 and I have loved every part of this amazing journey. I have met so many teachers through this and have made some great friends around the world. 

My TpT store has been a passion of mine and I love the design process of each product and matching it to the learning needs of my students. There are products that go from K-6.

Other links to see what I do are 

I forgot to mention I am addicted to a big way. I refuse to count them, as I could incriminate myself. 

Have a great summer everyone in the Southern Hemisphere and our Northern Hemisphere followers  keep warm and safe. 

Hi Everyone! It's Christie from My Mum, the Teacher writing our Christmas blog post for 2016!

Teaching is now recognised as one the most stressful jobs one can do. According to Sir Cary Cooper, it is consistently in the top three most stressful professions - "the hours are long and antisocial, the workload is heavy and there is change for change’s sake from various governments". So don't feel bad when people carry on about teachers getting soooooooo many holidays each year. We are given these for a reason - that being to rest, regenerate and re-cooperate! 

Studies have been conducted, and the results are in - to avoid critical burnout and exhaustion, you need to actually use your holidays as a time to break away from work. The holidays are a time to restore physical, emotional and mental energy. Allowing yourself to step away from work altogether means that you improve your mental health and will recover faster from the demands of work when you do return, as you will have a clearer and stronger mind. 

So... HOW can you relax during the holidays? HOW can you escape the work load that has been with your all year? Well here are 10 ways that we feel you can switch off:

1. SLEEP: Turn off the alarm, install blackout curtains and inform your family and friends you will not be available until after 10am! Now, all jokes aside, seriously turn off the alarm and enjoy some lazy morning lie-ins. If you're like me and you are still up at the same time every day, then get up, grab a book, read it in bed and you'll likely find you'll doze off after an hour or so. BUT, if you're also like me and have little people demanding your attention at the crack of dawn, remind them it's holidays - enjoy some pyjama couch time watching morning cartoons, make a cooked breakfast, read some books together. Unless you've booked something in, what's the rush?

2. MAKE A LIST: Say what? Why? Well, as teacher's we're generally souls who like order and the knowledge of what's coming up next. So, make a list of the things you want to get done in the holiday break. It might be odd jobs around the house, baking with the kids, having regular massages, going to pilates, walking the dogs everyday, getting to the gym, meeting friends, organising the photos on your phone/computer etc. Whatever it is, work your way through the list. 

3. ODD JOB TIME: All those things around the home that you didn't get to throughout the year - well now's your chance! Take the time to work on your home - your personal space, or the place you share with your loved ones. Do those little odd jobs like clearing out the linen cupboard, cleaning the windows, planting that veggie garden you've been talking about since winter! 

4. DON'T LOOK AT YOUR EMAILS: It's tough, I know... but once you do it, you'll wonder why you never did before. I'm not saying to wait until the day before you return to check them, but maybe switch them off for 3 of the 5 weeks. Spend our time with family and friends playing games, baking, reading books, soaking in the summer sun! You'll feel refreshed and ready to tackle anything after a few weeks...

5. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF: It's not a crime to be selfish - teachers are some of the least selfish beings on earth! We are forever giving of our time to our students, their families, our colleagues... this is the time when you can focus on yourself. You might to just lay on the couch or beach for the next 5 weeks, and be totally antisocial - not advisable, but if that's what you need, then do it! I love soaking in a bath, or going for a long walk with my dogs... whatever makes YOU happy, do it!

6. PAMPER YOURSELF: This links in with making time for yourself - personally, I love getting a massage, a mani-pedi, facial - anything that involves someone pampering me! Ask family and friends for a voucher to your favourite day spa, or local beautician. Maybe you want to indulge in some good food... wine... music... all of the above! Again, whatever makes you feel happy, do it!

7. MAKE DATES WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Reconnect with the people you love... Give them the time and attention you aren't able to during term. It's important to maintain good, strong relationships, especially when times are good, so that you have the right people around you in the not-so-good times.

8. GET ACTIVE: Start walking every day, or make more time to get to the gym or your local Yoga or Pilates group - whatever it is that you do that reduces your stress, clears your head and aids in relaxation, find time for it in your days. 

9. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: We often work with our students on this, and teach them that the importance of being in the moment - but we need to practice what we preach. Our mental health is just as, if not the most important thing to work on during the holiday break. However you take time to just be in the moment, whether its through meditation, walking and connecting with nature... 

10. HOLIDAY AWAY FROM HOME: If you can manage it, even a little long weekend away is better than nothing, and encourages you to be in the moment, remove yourself from the clutches of the workplace and enjoy the world and people around you.

From all of the Australian Teachers Blog team, we would like to wish our readers and fellow educators a very safe, happy and restful Christmas and New Year period!

Hi everyone, Alison from Teaching Maths with Meaning back again.

Today I wanted to write to you about routines and how they have saved me during busy times of the year, especially the silly season. This time of year is crazy, the holiday season coupled with the end of the school year for year round schools. Teachers are guaranteed to be exhausted just dealing with 25 kids a day let alone reports, planning, assessment, end of year chaos and the anxiety of changing classrooms or grade levels.

I shutter when I think about my first few years of teaching. With a lack of routine in my classroom (and honestly, being too scared to ask for assistance), the last month was hard work. I was exhausted, burnt out and looking for new ways to engage my class everyday (with very little luck!). The count down was well and truly on for the end of the school year. Then I went and taught in a US school where routines were tight and I grew so much as a teacher. I returned to Australia more confident to deal with everything having a classroom throws at you and with knowledge of how to implement routines.

So finally after 10 years of teaching, I have routines firmly in place where I could glide through reporting periods, work deadlines and most importantly the silly season with a lot less stress than in the past. For me, if I have strong routines I can survive anything!


1. Have a class timetable and stick to it
If you always structure your day so you have morning meeting, then reading, then writing etc. continue doing this. Your students will know what to expect and it makes it easier for you to plan. If you usually do craft activities in the afternoon, plan ahead and do them in the afternoon. I know it sounds silly to point this out but it can make a huge amount of difference to your day!
Around Christmas time you will always have things that pop up so if you are planned ahead not only can you switch and swap where you need to, but you will have something up your sleeve that you can pull out quickly.

2. Start your day the same way everyday
When I discovered morning meeting, it saved my life. Every day I could walk into the classroom knowing that the first 10 minutes was set, the routine was strong and we didn’t change it. If I had a parent come and see me at the last minute, hadn’t quite got myself organised before school, or had to deal with late students, morning meeting was that bit of breather space where I could get myself into the groove of school and student’s knew my expectations during this time. Some students needed this time as a calm down, I’m at school now, time too.

3. Don’t lower you expectations
While students are often exhausted during busy times, don’t lower your expectations too much. You may have to dish out a few more motivational speeches and show a bit more compassion, but across the board, if writing is usually quiet time, keep it quiet time for as long as possible. If your expectation is that children clean up before coming to the floor, continue to enforce it. Being a relief teacher and going into many different classes at different schools over the last few weeks, those classrooms that have continued to have structure, routine and higher expectations are a lot more calm and there are a lot less tears!

4. Do a mini project to keep student’s motivated
At this time of year a project will keep student’s motivated and make things easier to plan for you. It doesn’t have to be about Christmas either, try a passion project, a matrix about celebrations from around the globe, favourite animal or country research. Anything that keeps the students motivated. In maths, fill your lessons with week long investigations into area and perimeter, capacity, shapes – topics that have hands on activities that can be continued day to day. (Head to NZ Maths for great multiple lesson activities). Keep your expectations high on standard of work and noise level, it will pay off big time.

5. Do Christmas activities, but don’t start too early or just integrate
I always tried to avoid the “it’s December, pull out the Christmas book” syndrome. Other than the obvious (I have run out of printing credits), I find you just can’t keep students motivated for week after week doing an activity book. So why not try to start doing a few writing activities or craft activities to tie in Christmas, then move onto an activity style book in the last week when resources are dwindling and excitement is high! I always have a few Christmas writing, maths and art activities that I can pull out anytime.

Do you want to hear from another teacher’s perspective on routines? Head on over to Christie’s blog at My Mum, the Teacher to learn more. 

Lots of sunshine,


Ahhh the silly season is fast approaching, so today I'd like to share 5 simple Christmas ornament crafts for you to do with your children!

1. Paddle Pop Christmas Tree

This is probably one of the most popular Christmas tree decorations because it's so easy to make! All you need are three paddle pop sticks, some green paint, decorations (sequins, buttons, pom poms, glitter etc) and some cardboard for the base. So easy but super adorable!

2. Reindeer Handprint

This is my favourite Christmas ornament for younger students because parents can look back for years to come and see how tiny their children's little hands were. You just need to paint their hands with brown paint and print them onto light brown card. Cut the hands out, laminate then hot glue some googly eyes and sparkly red noses. So cute!

3. Peg Reindeer

How cute are these little guys? All you need are three wooden pegs, a paddle pop stick, some googly eyes, a pom pom and some brown paint. I actually used a hot glue gun as well to attach all of the pieces so that the Reindeer would stay together. I also cut a few centimetres off the end of the paddle pop stick to make the body a bit shorter. They would look so cute all lined up together or hung from the tree!

4. Beaded Candy Cane

Not only is this a fun little activity for younger students, it's also a great patterning activity! You can get bags of coloured 'pony beads' from your local dollar store. I threaded my beads onto a red pipe cleaner. You might even like to provide students with lots of different coloured beads for some variety!

5. Reindeer Photo Ornament

How sweet is this little decoration?! You could either attach a piece of ribbon so that it can be hung in a tree or add a magnet to the back for display on the fridge. For this craft, you'll need brown paint, 4 paddle pop sticks, some brown card, pipe cleaners, pom poms and  googly eyes. I used hot glue to attach all of the pieces for longevity but you could also use plain craft glue.

 So there you have it! Five incredibly easy but very fun Christmas ornaments for you to make as part of your end of year celebrations this year!

We're hosting an end of year giveaway!!! Enter the competition below for your chance to WIN this fantastic pack of teacher resources - each of our teacher bloggers has generously supplied one of their products that is sure to come in handy in your classroom, whether it be for the festive season of throughout the year!

You've got to be in it to win it!

If you aren't the lucky winner, don't forget you can head to our stores and purchase a copy of these, and many more of our fantastic resources!


 Alison Hislop

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