Day 11 22/10/11
Well it has been an exciting and exhausting first week of being in school! Monday was a professional development day, so no students. There was a speaker that came in to talk to the teachers about the Literacy program. She did have some good ideas for lessons or activities to use in the class, but it was really similar to what you would learn in your methods classes during college. I found some of the information interesting and perhaps useful, as for the other teachers they did not enjoy it, a few said they did take away some activities to use in their class, which I think is a positive. That was for the first part of the day. We had lunch, fish and chips (or fires). It was yummy and I was starving! For the second half of the day, we went to another school to work on moderation stuff with some other teachers, the same year, from similar schools in the area. We talked about what an A, B, C, and D meant in terms of grading the kids papers. I thought it was interesting to hear and discuss. A lot of the teachers complained that it was useless and a waste of time. Yvonne did say she enjoyed it, but our group was on task and agreed on almost everything. It was good to actually think about what each grade means because, as teachers, then we will know exactly what to look for when we are grading, especially to have those specific guidelines to look for in an A, B, C, and D.
The kids have been really interesting. They are well-mannered and listen to Yvonne really well; she has great control over her class, even other classes she hasn't taught yet. My students seem bright and ready to learn. I am really looking forward to teaching them, especially about where I come from and what makes Kentucky so wonderful! The learning environment is very relaxed and laid back compared to the states. The language the kids use is something that in the States would be viewed as inappropriate, but it isn't even mentioned when kids here say 'shit' 'damnit' or 'hell'. I have even heard 'bitch.' I just think it is interesting the small differences I am beginning to notice between American and Australia. The teachers also don't seem like they are in as much of a rush, as I think a lot of teachers seem to be in America. They are just all laid-back and really relaxed, something that I think can really help the atmosphere of the school.
Monday and Tuesday we stayed at school until 530! The latest I have stayed at school so far! It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, Yvonne and I got a lot of work done for the theme for the last term. Wembley Downs is broken into 4 terms and each term a new theme is introduced and taught throughout the duration of the term. All subjects are taught around this one theme. Having a new theme every ten or so weeks allows the kids to have a new bunch of information and activities to look forward to. It might help keep their interest up since they are learning a new concept and not the same thing every new term. The only downfall for me, there is no teacher reference books. Everything I teach will have to be from what I know and the research I do to prepare myself on disasters! Luckily, Yvonne has taught this theme before and has been very helpful giving me resources she has used in previous years. Even though it is going to be a lot of work, I am looking forward to this challenge and teaching about disasters. I think the kids are really going to enjoy learning about them. I will also be meeting my goal for my second placement. I wanted to push my teaching style away from the book, with having to teach from a theme, I will really be pushing myself out of my comfort zone!
Wednesday we didn't leave to late, so Merrilee, Yvonne, and I went to a food market and had Asian food. I got my meal at this Malaysian place, it was so good!! I had leftovers for lunch, even better! It was also one of several places where you can bring your own wine or beer with you. I think that is interesting and a nice way to save a little money! Merrilee told me there are several places in Perth that you can BYOA! Neat!
Merrilee loves to cook! I am getting so spoiled having home-cooked dinners almost every night!! And leftovers for luches! Thursday night for dinner she made a roast lamb, gravy, potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, and pumpkin, delicious! She has made lots of yummy food... Just can't remember it all...