Each year these “year in reflection” posts get later and later but I like looking back and remembering what I did each year. 2013 was a pretty quiet really although it had it’s challenges settling back into Alice, getting employment and keeping it.
- We returned to Alice after a year in Peru
- I worked at Batchelor Institute first for the Digilink Program which I really liked and then for SEE program which was really hard.
- Martin and I drove to Sydney on the Oodnadatta track which we hadn’t done before. It was pretty spectacular.
- Martin looked after Nina until July and then she started daycare 4 days a week.
- Nina turned three. It has been a great year with her. She’s so chatty and such a kind spirited little girl. Swimming is her fave thing at the moment and we go to the pool and central Australia’s amazing waterholes a lot. We also read lots of books, draw, do puzzles, play hide and seek endlessly, eat way too much, visit numerous parks etc etc.
- Martin completed another unit of his masters, a Cert IV in training and assessment and got a job at the flexible learning centre
- We finished the year in Sydney. Had a lovely holiday on the beach, a visit to Tamworth and a really fun New Year’s Eve party with so many dear friends.
We made it safely back to Alice Springs after a lovely holiday in Sydney. Thankfully the weather has been quite good to us, topping only 34 last week. Over the weekend and today it hit 40 but should be going down again on Wed. Last year I returned and we had over forty for 16 days in a row so I am grateful for a milder summer. I was feeling a bit sad coming back. So much happening in Sydney with overseas adventures, births and marriages that it would be nice to be there for but I feel very blessed to have shared even a small part of the journey.
On return I continue to feel that Alice Springs is the place for us although things are a bit uncertain again work wise as last week was my last week at work and I am unemployed and looking for work again. It’s a bit of a long story but in the second half of the year I got a 6 month contract teaching with a new Australia wide literacy program. For so many reasons that I am not going to go into here I didn’t really feel the program was appropriate for indigenous learners in central australia and that my job description and expectations placed on me have been totally impossible and unfair. It has definitely being the biggest challenge of my working life. When I was told I had to apply for a 3 year contract at the end of the year I decided I wouldn’t. The stress of it all really was starting to impact me. I told my boss that but she pretty much begged me to apply and made lots of promises about how things would be different. So I did but then I didn’t even get an interview which certainly impacted my confidence as a teacher. While I didn’t feel that I had been all that effective in the last few months I had never worked harder and she had told me to apply. Anyway, she tells me the reason for this is that I didn’t complete the application process correctly. This is true but applications were due when I had meningitis so I had been a bit out of it and I have found it hard to believe something so trivial could effect someone actually in the job. It was all really badly managed.
In the end though I think it’s for the best. I really don’t think I would have coped if I kept doing that job. My boss (well ex boss) tells me there should be other opportunities coming up in the next month that she wants me to apply for. I am not sure what these will be and if I really will get them or even if I want them so it’s good to have some time to think and pray and seek guidance from the spirit. I feel a bit disillusioned with the organisation and teaching literacy as a whole. This is kind of hard as this is the work I studied for but I studied adult education as I wanted to work with students who wanted to learn, I wanted it to be empowering but the students I have had over the last year have been forced to come to get their payments. While some of them make the best of it and there have been some great moments it has mostly just felt like forcing people to do things they don’t want to do which is anything from empowering. I also feel that the education is more and more concerned about auditors and meeting government requirements than students. I know we need funding, I get that, but the current situation is ridiculous.
So who knows what the future will bring. I am praying for a job that I do feel good about doing, a job that is challenging but not totally overwhelming, a job in which I can use my skills. It would be great if it was in teaching but I am keeping open to anything right now. Whatever it is I do hope that it is something permanent for the next few years. I am getting a bit tired of changing all the time, of having to make decisions over and over again.
Thankfully Martin is back at work. He is still enjoying it and has lots of great initiatives planned for the garden and a soccer program for the young people to get involved in.