Etiquette: Be careful what you tell you family and friends at home

Be professional, it is part of our job confidentiality not to tell people about all the job’s details.      My parents, parents on the school system, and even some friends I just tell them the same old thing it is going great.  I never tell them the private details and problems just the good things, you know the funny moments with the kids, the basics of what is happening. Superficial information. 
If you do need to talk always say if you are telling something in confidence. 
Trusted sources: Schools also have counselors, In Home Care officer staff, Governess Australia, your employers.

A big room with 3 kids that love to argue.  Given them areas to be responsible for meant 
less arguments but more running around for me.

Poem: The Window

I penned this at South Gap in my first year of governessing. It was written on 13 of August 1997. The year 3 schoolwork had a fantastic unit on poetry, which inspired me to start writing again. What a great lifestyle governessing is, it allows you to follow all your dreams.
The Window

You wake up in the morning,
What a great looking day
Out the window the sun shines away.

Getting up and having breakfast
Hoping for delight not dismay
For out the window the sun shines away.

Into the schoolroom we go
Starting a new day
Looking out the window the sun shines away.

Finally reached smoko
She’s trying her best
Still out the window the sun shines away

Back into the schoolroom
Back to the fray
Through the window the sun shines away.

Lunchtime has arrived
I’m feeling frazzled and dazed
Yet out the window the sun shines away.

Afternoon filled with Art and science
Developmental play
And out the window the sun shines away.

School is out at last
She’ll get a star
As we look out the window the sun shines away.

The rest or the day is mine at last
Peace and sunshine
Then I look out the window and see rain coming this way.

By Lee-Anne Bright

Poetry: Cheers Over


Is anybody there, over?

I can’t hear the studio.

Are there any messages from the field?

Moolooloo, over

Go ahead Moolooloo

Can I please have a radio check?

We hear you loud and clear

Can you please repeat that Miss..

Can someone relay that?


By Isabella C. and Lee-Anne Bright (Port Augusta SOTA Governess between 1997 and 2003)

Written at Moolooloo for Issy’s End of the Radio project, 2003.

Etiquette: Being an IN HOME CARER or GOVERNESS means planning daily activities and caring for the children

If your primary role is to supervise the children in the schoolroom then it will pretty clear on what you need to do within a day.  You will still need to do extra research and be prepared but you will be supplied with the basics.

If you are not in the classroom then your Carers role will be different.  You may have a job where the parent is in the classroom and you are responsible for the younger students care.  You need to be able to provide, plan and research preschool activities for the children.  Each employer will have a different expectation but you should be providing them with stimulation that doesn’t involve mechanical or electronic devices.   Plan at least one sporty activity, one quiet time activity and one learning activity a day.

“In Home Care does not require the Carer to have any knowledge or understanding of early childhood education or development and they are not required to bring resources or materials to do activities with the children, so it has been my experience that the Carer often thinks that watching the children's channels on Austar with the children all day is OK - since they can't do housework!  The point is, that if they are not capable of doing appropriate childcare, then they need to do something in order to earn their wage - and it may well be housework.” quote from parent

Etiquette: You are not living with your parents anymore

Your boss is not your mother, it is not her job, to cook, clean, chase around after you, tell you to get off the couch and all those other jobs that a mother does.  Your boss is not your maid, cook or housekeeper.  Your boss employs you to do a job; she pays you money and supplies you with accommodation and many other perks. 
This is one of the few jobs in the world where employers provide personal accommodation and living expenses, so show appreciation by asking if she needs a hand or finding a regular chore for you to do to repay this.  You need to contribute to housework (not do all of it - just to contribute) to compensate for your own presence in the house.

Etiquette: I’m not Tina Sparkle, so don’t panic.

If I stay home for a weekend and spend it 
  • in my room reading, 
  • watching DVD’s, 
  • texting and talk to friends, 
  • or on the Internet
 DON"T PANIC, I am just taking some time out to recharge the batteries.  Have some ME time.

Living and working at you employment means you are on display constantly.  Then you go out on the weekend and smile all the time.  If your governess goes out for over half the weekends in the term she is going to need some weekends at home by herself and maybe even with the curtains down. 

Of course if she spends every weekend at home, then panic.  Or invite her out on water run, over for drinks and some fun.
PS Tina Sparkle is the character in Strictly Ballroom who smiles and performs all the time. 

My current oasis and the kids love it

Story: Another day and another ALTERCATION

Recently a mother looking for a governess said to me "we are having some altercations at the moment"

If I had a dollar for every time a teaching mother or governess had said that to me or I had said that to a them I'd own an island in the Caribbean...drink cocktail with a handsome waiter attending my every need.

I love the word altercations and use it on a regular basis.  It certainly beats saying we had a stand up, toe to toe, humdinger of a fight/argument or saying the child was a naughty little feral turd.

In the Distance Education world it can mean so many things that usually require 5 o'clock drinks to recover. 

My daily altercations are with an 8 year old who still thinks he can get away with things he did when he was 5 years old.   Upper primary students usually don't create many altercations but when we do it is usually a strong verbal stoush the require teacher or parental negotiations.  OR the word because I said and I am the boss, nothing like a dictatorship to make life simpler.

You're not alone - after fourteen years I still have altercations, of course now that I run a dictatorship they happen less often.  :)

Current Schoolroom Configuration...on a messy morning just arriving in the schoolroom

This is my end of the schoolroom.  The kids love coming to work at the front of my desk it is the best treat ever,  The computer desk is positioned so I can see it but the kids up the other end can't when each is on lessen.  White board on the back wall so everyone can be working at their desk and copy off is.  


Give the children time to plan and think; don’t jump in to quick to assist with the answer. 
Most of the children I have taught think I know nothing about the important subjects such as writing, maths, spelling and literacy.  In fact often in the first term they tell their parents Miss Lee-Anne doesn’t know anything.  Many parent will laughingly relay the story.  When the kids gaining Independence and doing their work to the best of their ability I know I am doing my job write.
Please remember that children don’t always have an answer, especially if they haven’t practised or learnt it yet.

Etiquette: This is a Job NOT a holiday or a farmstay

You are an employee not a member of the family or best friend.  That is not to say you won't be close to them and be included on everything.   

Your employers do not want to be a parent to their governess, they have their own children.   

That is not to say they won’t support you when needed but they will expect you to act like an adult.  They shouldn’t have to say clean up your room or use your manners.  As an adult we are all responsible for our own behaviour.