Happy New Year CAFS Crew!

In this episode I reflect on 2021 and talk about some of my goals for 2022! 

I also chat about a few things I'll be doing differently in 2022 including new projects, offers and affirmation/organisational tools! 

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The Learning Network

Since 2004 I have been teaching PDHPE and Community & Family Studies. I love learning. It lights me up. I am so passionate about supporting you to be the best educator you can be.

My Purpose
To grow a lively and connected community, where Community & Family Studies teachers can network, learn and share with each other.

My Mission
To build on the knowledge, understanding and skills of Community & Family Studies teachers to set their students up for success with confidence.



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Show Transcription

Episode Intro - Kelly Bell:

Hey everyone! Happy New Year, welcome back to the Learning Network podcast. This is episode number 13 and this is a bit of a different episode, I share with you about what some of my goals are for 2022, new year, new me in 2022. And I think just reflecting on the year that was but also looking forward to an amazing year with you guys. A few little things that I'm going to do a little bit differently in 2022, you'll hear me mention that CAFS is my thing, it's my baby, but I'm not just about CAFS. So I'm going to share with you guys a few things that I have on offer in 2022, including a book. Yep, I've said it out loud, I need to make it happen now. And I also share with you an affirmation that I’ve developed for you guys. So an affirmation for you to share with yourself every day, or once a month or once a week. But it's been written for you guys to be able to reflect and celebrate everything that you are. So welcome back to a new year. Happy New Year and welcome to 2022.


Hey, I'm Kelly Bell. Welcome to The Learning Network Podcast. I guide Community and Family Studies teachers, newbies and experienced, through best practice to improve knowledge, increase empowerment and alleviate stress, to help you and your students to make meaningful connections across the course. I will share strategic and purposeful applications from my 16 years experience in the classroom that I have adopted to increase student motivation, enjoyment, engagement and results. Together, we will grow and transform your CAFS crew to the next level without impacting your sleep and wellbeing process. To join my free how to improve writing and fast track results webinar, head to thelearnnet.com/writing. So tune in, get inspired and let's connect, learn and grow together.


Hey everyone and welcome to this very special episode, episode number 13 of The Learning Network Podcast. A very happy new year to you, I hope that you have had the most amazing break with your family and friends, that you were able to celebrate the new year in style but you were also able to have that time just to relax, to spend some time with family, to regroup and regather, hopefully you've spent some time in the ocean, maybe reading some of your favourite books. Let me know on Instagram, what some of the books that you have been reading are, I'm always up for a good read. I've read a couple of books, I want to dive back into a couple that I have had on my list this year. So I always love a few beach reads, but also I've got some things happening on Audible.


So I hope you guys had a really good new year, and you're ready and raring to go. This is being recorded in mid-January, so hopefully you're not thinking about school, although in the media, there has been some conversation about what school might look like in the first couple of weeks of the term. So hopefully things will go back to somewhat semi normal. We don't know. Obviously Queensland have pushed back the set sort of term dates, but who knows what will happen here in New South Wales. But thinking of you guys, look, if there's anything else you need from me in the holidays, I'm around, I have started doing a little bit of work, more big picture things, more blue sky thinking around what I would like to create inside The Learning Network this year. And look, I'm going to be honest with you guys, this year is all about strategy for me. So strategy, working more strategically, working more efficiently with what I do. Being a one woman show for probably about 18 months, maybe even 12 months, I was doing everything myself; emails, invoices, social media, podcast, website, all of my courses, all of my recordings, sending out your little gifts in the mail, in your little welcome packs, everything, talking everything in the business. It wasn't until about July that I decided that I needed some help. So I have had some unicorn help from a beautiful young girl called Emerson. Emerson is only 21, or 20, oh gosh Em, sorry if I get your birthday wrong, but Em is pretty young and mate, she is doing amazing things for me at the moment, she is a gun. So Emerson will be listening to the show notes of this, I'm not sure if Em listens to the podcast but Emerson is an amazing support for me. I don't have anyone else really, apart from the girls that are inside a business kind of group that I get to throw ideas around with, so I'd really love to hear from you guys, what you would like for me this year.


I'm the face of The Learning Network and hopefully I’m the face of CAFS, and that you know where to come if you're stalking CAFS. But I'm not just about Community and Family Studies, even though I've taught it for 17 years, and I've had lots of experience, our two textbooks, lots of other opportunities across New South Wales, presenting, all that type of thing, that's not just what I'm about. So this year, I'm going to introduce you to another love of mine in formative assessment. I've presented formative assessment for many, many years across New South Wales, and even across Australia. And I'm going to embark on some new things with that, which is really exciting. Look, it's been part of my journey for a long time, probably since about 2010 ish. We got introduced to it in the Catholic system. And look, it's just day to day teaching, it's just what a good teacher does. And I think I was doing a lot of formative assessment work before that, but also learning a lot of new things that I implemented into the classroom but also then offer that PL and really shared my experience in those across all the different things I was working in. So working in a school, presenting that to my school, but also then professional learning for a number of different organisations and then mentoring you guys inside of my offers now but also when I was doing some work for other people. 


So this year for me, my word is going to be “growth,” it is systematising my business and making it work more efficiently, which I will hopefully be able to share a lot of those things with you guys, about how you can make life so much easier in the classroom. And hopefully, from what I've been sharing with you inside Strategic Approach to the IRP, in my Coaching & Mentoring, inside Exploring Year 11 CAFS, and even in our Marking Experience in CAFS with my beautiful three presenters, everything that has been shared with you guys has always been about working smarter, not harder, working more efficiently, working more strategically. And for me, now, as a business owner, it's kind of a bit scary to think about that, as a business owner, I need to start doing that, I need to start practicing what I preach. Because at the moment, so last year, and then when I first started in 2020, things were very much ad hoc, I had lots of things happening. I took courses on how to do social media, on how to do emails, all that type of thing. Now I'm at a point where I can go, okay, I want to be able to grow my business, I want to be able to grow The Learning Network, and make it into this really, in the business world, you probably have heard this, well oiled machine. I don't like that. But I don't know, we can probably think of another analogy but I think something that works more efficiently that, you know, you probably won't see the invoice from me, it'll be from Emerson, my assistant, you know. 


So working more efficiently with what I do, to be able to deliver even bigger things for you guys. And it’s started out with a bang. This episode, I'll be bringing you guys a couple of PDFs, a couple of resources that you can actually use in your classroom. So if you'd like to access those, head over to thelearnnet.com/13 and you'll have access to the resources that I'm going to talk about inside this particular podcast episode to make your teaching journey so much more efficient.


So lots of things are happening this year. Obviously, they're still the same offers, so STRIVE will be around the corner very very soon, at the beginning of this term, so the beginning of Term 1. We will also have Marking Experiencing in CAFS in both Term 2 and 3. We will also have all the MasterClasses as normal, but what I'm going to also offer for you guys this year is having MasterClasses throughout the year. So rather than getting to after the HSC trial period and going ‘Crap, I didn't know this,’ or ‘I didn't teach my kids that way or that concept that they were kind of missing out on big time,’ I can actually prevent that from happening. So if there's a concept that you're teaching your kids and you're really struggling with it, or the kids are finding it really difficult, we can have a quick one hour session. And it's like a guest expert, I’m the guest expert coming into your classroom, zooming into your classroom, and then being able to share that experience with you guys. So that's going to be something I'm going to offer this year. So a brand new offer for you guys, MasterClasses throughout the whole year, not just in Term 3 and 4. Of course, we'll have our post-trial MasterClasses, or our pre-trial MasterClasses in Term 3, and then some of you guys filter those out into Term 4. But definitely, if you want me to come into your classroom, even with your Year 11s on teaching, some writing skills, some formative assessment stuff, some revision tools, that type of thing, I'm very much up for that. So that will be a one hour session just in your normal class period, or it could be 50 minutes, whatever it is, could be 90 minutes, that's kind of like the main kind of timing, or 70 minutes, whatever, I'll be able to come into your classroom.


The CAFS Conference will be going ahead in Term 4 Week 2, so Friday of Week 2, and you know Exploring Year 11 CAFS will be happening again, that's an online course, self paced at any point in time, as well as launching Strategic Approaches to the IRP again in Term 3. 


And I have a very special course that's coming out very soon, Life Skills in CAFS. You guys have been speaking about it, I've been talking about it and wanting to do this for a really long time. So Life Skills in CAFS will be available very soon. You'll have access to booklets, resources, the online modules, but also so many things to make Life Skills so much easier for when you actually teach your mainstream classes CAFS and then have those Life Skills CAFS students in your class as well. Again, protecting your time and wellbeing, knowing that you guys struggle with that. So keep an eye out if you want to access all the resources I have available, head over to thelearnnet.com, or you can also sign up for my newsletter.


I also have six offers on my website, so free offers, a few PDFs, a few resources for you guys, if you head over to thelearnnet.com, my homepage has those six resources there for you guys. Once you sign up, you then have access to the weekly email for me.


So, yeah, 2022, far out, what a whirlwind it has been. Probably not off to the start that we want it to be but I hope you're safe. I know that some of you guys have said to me that you have contracted COVID and you're in isolation, so thinking of you guys. And look, who knows what the next couple of weeks will look like and hopefully things will be back to somewhat normal. But who knows, really. But I want you guys to stay positive, there's no point in worrying about it until we need to because the stress and whatever else, you know will cause us some drama. 


So today, I want you guys to think about your goals for 2022. Our podcast episode is ‘New Year, New You for 2022,’ and I want you guys to think about some goals that you might have for yourself for this year. SoAnd something that I came across in the business world in the last couple of last six months or so has been about not setting all these crazy goals, but setting really tangible goals that you can actually do, you know, that they're realistic, obviously, but there's not heaps of them. So what I want you guys to be doing and to be thinking about, and I've created a PDF for you guys to be able to use for yourself to set these goals, but also your CAFS students. And you can use this in class maybe at the beginning of Year 11, or the beginning of the term with your Year 12 students, they've already started their Year 12 course but they might like to regroup, and I want you guys to be thinking about what these are for you as a person or for the kids as students.


So the first one is short term goals, they're often achieved within days or weeks. I want you to think about your big three, what are the three goals that you want to achieve in a week, say. So you can break that down into a week or it might be in the next couple of months, say, and what do you need to do to actually achieve those? What steps do you need to take to actually achieve those goals?


And then let's set some mid-term goals. What are some goals that you want to achieve within a few weeks? A few months? What are the three main goals? And you guys will receive a PDF with this, if you head over to thelearnnet.com/13 you'll have access to this PDF to download, and then you can write all over it, you can laminate it you can put it on your desk at school, you can put in your school classroom, or what I would also suggest for you guys to do is actually get your students to do this in class, print it off, displaying our goals is often something that's really great. And I think for me, looking my little space at home, it's not an office, it's not a study, it's a nook, I would say, I'll have to take a few photos of it and you can head over to @thelearnnet to see what those photos look like behind the scenes, but I don't know, I feel like Harry Potter, I'm kind of in the corner. But I think I do want to display some things on our wall. Our wall is painted, hopefully my blue-tac doesn't peel it off, but displaying your goals is something that you should be doing. So your mid-term goals, you can have those 3 set up and then what are your steps to achieve those.


And then let's think about some long-term goals that you have at this point. You know, it could be about getting a highly accomplished accreditation, it could be trying to maybe put your name forward to be a year advisor, it could be to put your name forward to one of the sports teams at school or be involved in school musical, or possibly mentor a couple of new teachers at your school, or maybe even think about considering, you know, high levels at school, leadership roles in your school and starting out small, obviously, if you're going to do your hat, you'd have to have to be doing that anyway. But small things, so becoming an instructional leader, then putting yourself up for relieving head teacher, whatever it might be, but that could be something that you might set your goals towards for your long term goals. So again, what are the big three long term goals that you have? And what steps do you need to take to actually achieve those.


So that will be in a one pager in a PDF if you head over to thelearnnet.com/13. And you'll get access to that PDF that you can use with your classes as well. The other thing that I want to share with you guys, and some of you might have seen this on socials is a School Planner, a Term-Planner for you guys, which is beautifully colour-coded according to my lovely brand colours, aqua and pink. And I'm going to put our main dates on that as well for you guys to have access to so you know when things are up and coming in the CAFS space, but also letting you know of some exciting things happening hopefully Term 2, all going well.


I have written a book. I haven't finished this book, it's been sitting on my Google Drive account for six years, no seven years now. It's like 40,000 words. It's not even finished, but it's going to be amazing once it is finished. Lots of practical strategies for you guys to use in the classroom, not just CAFS. This is, I'm talking you know, even if you are in a K to 12 school teaching your Year 6 kids or Year 4 students or your Year 7 PE class or your Year 9 and 10 D&T class, your food-tech class, these things are going to be practical for everybody, not just for CAFS teachers. So keep an eye on that in Term 2, and obviously I'll share lots of behind the scenes of my writing. And I'm a bit nervous, because it's kind of like, it's there but I just need to kind of finish it. Anyway, we'll see how we go. I'm hoping to self publish it, if not, maybe a publisher, but I just kind of want to keep control of it myself. But anyway.


So today's episode, I'm going to finish on a couple of things that I want you guys to be thinking about this year. So we've set some goals for the year, the other thing I want you to be thinking about is how you're going to work more efficiently this year. Look, teaching is one of those things that it takes all of your energy, I don’t think you can kind of compare it to much else. You probably have heard people kind of say to you this week, Oh you're still on holidays, oh, you're a teacher, aren't you? Are you back at work? No, I'm still on holidays. Oh, that's right, you're a teacher. You're not just a teacher, you're a person who's going to make, who is making, a massive difference in the lives of so many young people. And not just those young people but those young people's families. I think we underestimate the power of our role as educators and I think that our community needs to have stronger perceptions and opinions of us I think, because we have so much power to actually make a very big difference in the world that we have. If it wasn't for teachers, our kids wouldn't know half the things that they know, not content wise, I’m not talking about that, but just respect and dignity and resilience and having good self esteem.


So we're very, very valuable and I want for you guys, my goal for you guys this year, is for you to grow and flourish to be the very best educator that you can be, but also to protect your time and wellbeing the process. Because we know that the teaching rates, teachers leaving the profession, yeah, it's staggering. And I've done quite a few podcast episodes about protecting yourself and time and wellbeing and if you haven't read Dan Jackson's book yet, that's a great read as well and I think Dan provides lots of opportunities for us to think about those things in his podcast. He is a phenomenal educator, and I think his book will really open your eyes to that, but also, yeah, just protecting your time and wellbeing is really, really important because we don't get that time back. So Dan's book is called ‘Work Less, Teach More,’ and you can have access to that on Amazon, but also in lots of other spaces. So you can follow Dan on Instagram. He's @danjacksontpd, so Teachers Professional Development. 


So I'm going to finish on an affirmation for you guys and you guys can use this however you like. I'm going to make it available on the website, thelearnnet.com/13 is where you'll find it. I also might do like a PDF for you guys to print it off and put it somewhere safe either at home and or home and at school or on your desk. But it's an affirmation that I want you guys to put somewhere front and center. And you can create your own version of this, that you want to use for yourself, but also something that you might read quite often. So this affirmation or this intention is for you, it's not for me, you probably hear some things and go, Oh, that sounds a bit like Kell anyway, but this is for you. These are my hopes for you. And I'd like you to read this affirmation if you're feeling down or having a crappy day, or even the start of every day. There's lots of things that I've done over the years, I think it first started with just some development books, I don't even know what it kind of started with originally, but just meditation and mindfulness I suppose. The Secret was one of them and then as I've grown and learned more about myself, reading stuff by Brene Brown, Helen Jacobs is another, she's a bit of a spiritual person, Gabby Bernstein if you follow her, you know. Just the power of really you putting things out to the world and getting things back in return, and I’m talking about positive things.


And something I didn't put into this affirmation, it would be copyrighted if I put it in there, but I really love the Serenity Prayer. I am Catholic, and I went to an all girls Catholic school, went to a Catholic University, Catholic Primary School, and taught at a Catholic school all-girls school for 14 years. So this is something that I would often share with my students, the Serenity Prayer. And the part from the serenity prayer that I really love is “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can,” something like that, “and the wisdom to know the difference.” Basically, it's something like that, not word by word. But you know, I think we can't always control everything, I'm a bit of a control freak, but that’s something I've learned later on in life, that just let it go, like, let it go. And if you haven't read Hugh Van Cuylenburg’s book yet, ‘Let It Go,’ it’s amazing, so much resonated with me when I was reading that, listening to it, sorry, on Audible. Really easy listen, really easy read, I'm assuming, I would like to get the hard copy version of it as well. But just let it go. Just move on, get past it. And I think that's something that I definitely try to instill with my students, but now with my children. I'm really lucky to, I think Daniel probably helped me with this, but just you can't control everything. But you also need to not stress like, you know, am I going to get COVID? Or am I going to be doing online learning again. Am I going to have to pick up another five kids in the class? Well, I don't know, if you can't control it, don't worry about until you have to worry about it. It’s so important to have that mantra I think. Anyway, enough of me on that. 


So this is my affirmation for you. So it is to you, so when I say ‘I’ I am saying you, so this is you saying it. So here we go. This is your affirmation.


I am enough.

Where I am right now does not determine who and what I will become in the future.
This is just the start of an amazing journey and I have so many wonderful people on this earth that are ready to celebrate everything I am. 

I have experienced many twists and turns, highs and lows. These moments do not define me, they simply shape me for who I am. What I have learnt has helped me grow and flourish to become a better person. Stronger and more powerful than ever before.

If I reflect on where I am right now, in this moment, this very moment. I have some questions: 

What do I stand for?

What lights me up? 

What impact do I want to make?

I have the complete power to make a difference in the lives of so many people. I have the power to create my own path. This is my life.

Along my path, I have been pushed in so many different directions. I have struggled to keep up. I have found it hard to be everything for everyone. I used to worry about what other people thought of me.

That is no longer me. The direction I take is determined by my actions and the decisions I make along my path to be the best version of myself. It is time for me to shine bigger and brighter than ever before.

I don’t want to get burnt out. I have so much to give and I know time is precious, but I need to be careful. I have so much more room to grow and I am not afraid of getting in there and getting it done. I am not afraid of hard work, but I need to set firm boundaries to protect my energy, time and wellbeing. 

If I want something in life, I am going to go for it. No more sitting on the fence. Near enough is not good enough. I want to go all in.

I am going to surround myself with people who get me, people who light a spark in me and make me the person I want to be. I am going to stand up for what I believe in and advocate for myself and others. I will march to the beat of my own drum, not other people’s.

I believe in myself and know that I have been put on the earth for a reason, to make a much bigger impact on the people and places around me.

Let me connect with those that lift me up, to continue to learn from everything around me and to grow into the most amazing person who I am so proud of to live the life of my dreams. 

Okay, go get it.



Thanks for joining The Learning Network, I'd love to hear what connected with you most about today's episode. Take a screenshot and tag me on Instagram and Facebook, @thelearnnet. If you'd like to know more about my courses, MasterClasses, Coaching and Mentoring and Membership, you can DM me over on Facebook or Instagram or head to thelearnnet.com. Don't forget to stay connected by subscribing to Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and if you love today's episode, I would be so honoured if you could please leave me a review. See you again next week. Let's continue to connect, grow and learn together to make a huge impact on the students we teach. 

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I acknowledge and pay my respects to the
traditional custodians on whose land I walk, work & live.
This land was and always will be the land of the First Nations People.