The final week of teaching is upon me at the end of this weekend; how could time have flown so fast? The bittersweet departure from my new home is right around the corner and will creep up so quickly I’ll be unprepared to leave!
Yesterday after school, I arrived home in time to change before heading back to school to the Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Center, in the middle of the campus, to play some volleyball. I arrived in time to train with a couple of the teams that were there prior to the matches starting.
I wasn’t supposed to play until later in the evening, after the first few games, but I was invited to join a team who was shorthanded. This is just another example of the kind disposition of Australians; sadly, I wouldn’t expect this same kindness in the homeland. I helped the team to a loss but as their captain put it, “we here for fun not to win cattle stations.” Whatever the hell that means… I had a great time though and really enjoyed meeting some more locals.
I was then invited to play in the “A League” to fill a spot on a team that was short handed. Not having played volleyball since high school gym classes, I was a little concerned when I heard “A League.” I was really grateful that they invited me to play; my competitive spirit really started to come out! We won the first set but lost the following two, oh well! I was invited to go to the pub after the games, a tradition after a lot of physical activity around here, but I declined so I could come home to get a good night’s sleep.
I woke up a little later today to get every second of much needed rest after the game and headed to school shortly after my shower. At school by 7:45, I was able to finalize a few things for my students before heading over to the science center after the morning briefing at 8:30. I never left the science center until after all four of my classes.
Many of the teachers had indicated that the students had been somewhat wild this week, after the two-week holiday. Until today I would have disagreed with them, rather, my students had been quite mild and easily appeased. They seemed to get their work done and turned in on time- characteristics of students that no teacher could ever complain about! Today wasn’t full of chaos but it was hard to keep a few students concentrated on their work.
After school, I stayed at the science center to clean up some equipment that the year 11s had used during period four, and then headed over to Junior Campus for QLD. I’ve written about QLD before but never elaborated on what it stood for. QLD is a wonderful tradition at BSC, and I’m sure at many of the schools in Australia. It is something that would be frowned upon in the US and would never be allowed to occur. Quiet Little Drinks is a get together after every pay-week Friday allowing the teachers to have a few drinks together, with snacks, to unwind before the weekend. What a brilliant idea! It just adds to the obvious camaraderie the staff at BSC have with one another.
Tonight, I’m home watching St. Kilda play Fremantle. I’m pulling for St. Kilda since I chose them in the footy competition I signed up for at school. The game is currently getting close to the halfway mark and there is no one decisively ahead.
I have few plans this weekend and will take things as they come! I’m looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow before getting on with my day. I’m hoping to get onto Skype to catch up with Mary Kate! I miss her a ton and am looking forward to seeing her at CVG when I get back soon!
There is one item that I never thought I would need while I was in Australia. It’s an item that one would not associate with Australia and its weather. Lets just say an umbrella would have been quite handy these past few days. It has poured in East Gippsland for two days straight, without even a small break for me to walk from building to building at school! It has been quite a relief though to have so much rain; it has kept the past few days around 20 degrees, which I reckon is a great temperature!
Unfortunately, due to the torrential downpour this morning, I wasn’t able to ride the bike to school this morning. I had to wait until I got home to ride the bike but little did I know that it would rain the entire day. In fact, it’s still raining, and is supposed to for the next day or so. I’m really hoping to take a long bike ride during the weekend. I’m anxious to head down to the Mitchell River to see how much it has flooded from all of the rain.
I’m really excited for the weekend. I’m starting to get tired this week and am ready to sleep in for a few days! I am planning to go to the farmer’s market and the craft market at the college on Saturday. I’m anxious to see what the locals have to offer. I know Ernie will be at the craft market selling some of his metal work. I’m very excited to see some more of his work; what I’ve seen has been amazing.
Tomorrow is Friday and is by far my busiest day at school. I have four classes and will be exhausted by the end of the day. I’ll be looking forward to the beer in the teacher’s lounge after school. I’m off to bed early to get a good night’s sleep. I will be back to write this weekend, hopefully with some great stories and insight!
Today was extremely successful and I'm anxious to find out what the next week brings! I was very happy with how my lessons went today and was pleased to find that many of my students were extremely receptive to my teaching style!
The day started with the friday morning briefing in the teacher's lounge...not much to report on that. First period was "Bones." I will be taking over this class next week after their bone dissection. I will begin my lessoning for this class on skeletal muscle and its effects on the skeletal system. I think it is an appropriate segue into bone levers.
The following class was "Animal Inside." I was happy to give them their Melbourne Zoo field trip information forms for next month. The class was extremely happy with the planned trip. The school received funding to take students from a couple classes on the all day adventure! I'm looking forward to attending as well. The class was still stuck on the classification idea so I provided them with an activity to help them visualize the Animal Kingdom. The students seemed receptive.
The next class, after recess, was year 7 science. I will also be taking over this class next week with my lessons and activities. I still think this class is going to be my hardest to come up with lessons. Its not that the lessons need to be dumbed down, at all, its that I'm worried that I will cover topics too in-depth. I think after a few goes I will get the hang of it. The lesson today involved a tour of the science center and the safety equipment in the building. I think this may have been best at the beginning of the term, but it was great that the students were excited about the different assets that the center had to offer them. They may not know this now but they are very lucky to have a school which values their science education so much.
The last class of the day, after lunch, was year 11 biology. So far my favorite class because the students always seem to be interested and are more times than not paying attention. It was nice to see the whole class contribute to the lesson. My lesson worked well but after some conversation with my cooperating teacher afterwards, it was clear that the vocabulary that I was using in my lessons may have been at a too high level for the students to understand. I also think that I need to slow down a little to make sure that EACH student is in full understanding of the concepts. I will work up a lesson for next week to go over today's to gauge where they are at in their understanding.
I just got home from my bike ride and am getting ready to go out tonight with my fellow teachers. We are headed to the pub in a bit for some dinner and drinks. Should be a fantastic end to the first full week at school. Its hard to believe that I've been in Australia for over two weeks now!