A Teaching Story: Winter

Term 3 – Week 1

It started with a well-rested, ready and raring to go Ms. Lau. Even my most ‘prickly’ student was looking forward to coming back to school. I was finally feeling like I knew what I was doing.  The transition back felt easy, students were engaged, on task and followed routines… but then it turned.

Atticus got sick with the flu that kept him home for a week and then Paul and soon enough I was sick. There were definitely days filled with Netflix and wishing for my mom’s Chinese concoction to take the illnesses away. In term 3, I rarely had a full class of students due to all kinds of colds and flus. My classroom was a cesspool of germs viciously attacking all our immune systems over and over again. 

Winter is here…

Getting warm was hard work…I missed central heating. Winter in Perth meant rain, wind, sun and rain again all in one day. For most people, single digit temperatures is freezing, but not for my boys. Both Paul and Atticus were in shorts all through winter. I wore a lot of layers. On the plus side, I saw a lot of rainbows. 

Is there really gold at the end of the rainbow?

Week 6…

Time to pack it up and go home, I was sick of being sick, sick of being cold. Teacher burnout and anxiety had a hold of me, and I knew I had to take care my mental health as well as my physical health. But sometimes it’s just easier said than done. It was a brief dark moment and with the support of my family, friends and colleagues I was able to feel like myself again. 

I try not to take what I have for granted..but sometimes it slips my mind and I am left with having to write down what I am grateful for… here is a list of every day things I enjoy at work. 

Colour printing and photocopying

 Teachers are given $500 and students $10 for the year for paper usage. My balance is shown on the desktop of my computer to keep track. I was definitely mindful about my photocopying needs. I so far used the most paper in term 3, and students love printing their finished work in colour. It looks more polished and complete.

Lots of outdoor play (even in the winter)

I haven’t had to keep my class inside for an entire recess or lunch. They have eaten inside a few times and that’s a treat for them, but then they go outside. If it’s raining, they go undercover but when it stops they are out in the open again. Easy!!

Week 10 Dodge ball game during Middle School Sport

Great playground options 

There are at least 7  decent play areas with great equipment for the students. They are all free to roam around the school grounds. Lots of activity and play opportunities made being on duty easier. 

Kids would swing on these great big circle swing in groups, some standing, some sitting and all having a good time.


The canteen ran by volunteers and 1 paid employee offers healthy meals for teachers and students to order daily at very reasonable prices. I tend to pack my lunch but it’s nice to have the option to buy lunch at school. Kids often are lining up to buy icy poles especially on hot days. 

Morning tea

Gathering with staff during the first break for a cuppa and some sweet and savoury snacks is always a treat. 

Lastly, I enjoy my students and it will be hard to say goodbye to them..some are already asking me if I can stay. I have 10 weeks left and then homeward bound. I’m sure I’ll be full of emotions when the time comes. 

Spring fever. This was given to me by a lovely student. The wildflowers are gorgeous here. 
2 kookaburras sitting outside my classroom. They also sing. “Kookaburras sit in the old gum tree…”


  1. Cristen Carson

    Can’t wait to see you soon! I remember that dark period well and Stephanie went through it too! I don’t think the Australian’s realize how tough their winter is. Enjoy the last term!!

    1. LeafLeavers

      Thanks Cristen.. I was surprised how difficult the winter would be. I hope more people would talk about it. I’ll see you back in our Canadian winter.

  2. Lori

    Another great blog Theresa ! You are so right about mental health. It’s so easy to forget that it is just as important as your physical health. Hope everyone is healthy and happy now !

    1. LeafLeavers

      We are much better now, thanks Lori. Of course cold/flu bugs are everywhere and we are all susceptible.

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