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Blessed: Meditations on a Life of Small Wonders.

Ann Rennie is a passionate English and religious education teacher and writer whose new book is about her life in the Catholic education system and her experiences along the way.

Like many Victorian teachers, Ann has spent much of her time over the past two years connecting with her students using a laptop, “which pales in comparison to the real thing. It’s just not the same,” she said. “I really miss interacting with the students in person.”

Ann is also a prolific writer and has published three books on prayers and reflections in the past five years and has a national column, Unguarded Moments, in Australian Catholics magazine.

At the beginning of this year, she began thinking of everything she’d had published over the years in publications such as The Age and in Catholic media and wanted to bring it together, including new, unpublished material.

“I wanted to document my story in education, faith and life. So, while I share stories in the book about being at school and the Catholic faith, I also discuss Elvis, my first kiss, pilgrimages and Paris. I wanted to look at the small, the shy, and the incremental things in life; the small wonders that can get overlooked in our busy lives.”

“For any teachers reading Blessed, I wanted them to see my foray into Catholic schools and understand why I’m sticking with the faith and am here to stay."

“But mostly I want people to see I’m hopeful. And optimistic.”

Ann wants to keep writing and teaching, “and survive lockdown with my sanity intact”.

“We teachers have to stay upbeat and cheerful. We are so important – I hate people saying ‘You’re just a teacher’. It’s so much more than that. We are on the frontline here for the next generation.”

Ann is teaching at Genazzano College in Melbourne, which is the same Catholic school that she, her mother and her daughter (who’s also a teacher who studied at ACU) all attended.

"Blessed: Meditations on Life of Small Wonders" is available from Laneway Press.