Replied to Writers and their notebooks: Claire Saxby – Oz Lit Teacher Narissa Leung (Oz Lit Teacher Narissa Leung)

The writer’s notebook series looks at how published authors use their writer’s notebooks. Claire Saxby shares her notebook insights here.

I really enjoyed this reflection Riss. In particular, Claire’s point that ‘ideas are everywhere’.

It’s a matter of practice to work out which ones to note down, which ones to let flow. I find that an idea that someone else tells me will make a great story seldom sticks with me – not because it’s a bad idea – but because it’s not speaking to me, it’s speaking to them. There are exceptions, but not that many. As mentioned before, I tend to note down anything that sounds interesting or silly or rhythmic or curious without examining why it appeals to me. If it’s meant to be something more, that will be revealed later when I come to reread my notes.

This reminds me of Austin Kleon’s work.

Bookmarked The anti-cottonwool schools where kids stare down risk in favour of nature play – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (

Mr Smith said whereas students would previously come to the office complaining of injury, they are now too busy to make a fuss.

“Students are becoming more resilient and getting on with it.”

The school has just three rules — no stacking milk creates, no walking on the large wooden spools and no tying rope to yourself.

This article from the ABC discusses a couple of schools in Western Australia that have reduced the rules on outdoor play. THis reminds me of Narissa Leung’s use of old bricks and Adrian Camm’s use of odd material to enage with play.
Liked Learning to run, running to learn – Leading and learning in the big wired world (

We may not all be ultramarathon runners, (like myself ) but we need to remember that exercise and physical activity are a very important part of the equation when it comes to effective teaching and learning.

Bookmarked Education lessons from the dog trainer – Leading and learning in the big wired world by Ross Leung (

In dog classes, the dog owner cannot simply send their misbehaving dog to the trainer to be ‘fixed.’ There are a few reasons for this, including: 1) the problem is likely to exist between the owner and the dog and possibly centres around the lack of respect in their relationship- therefore sending the dog to the trainer will not address the heart of the problem and 2) it is not long term sustainable to offload the problem to another person -when the dog and the owner go home, the trainer will not be there to rescue them.

There is sometimes when I think that I should go through and clean out all the stagnant blogs from my feed. However, then one becomes active again, like this post from Riss Leung.

In it, Leung reflects upon the experience of going to dog training school. She then compares this with ‘training’ in the classroom. She explains that no-one, dogs or humans, learns when under stress. What is important then is creating the environment and investing in an ’emotional bank’s.

This continues on conversation involving Benjamin Doxtdator and the TER Podcast.