This week saw the start of the 2013 Australia school year with teachers back on Tuesday and Wednesday and all kids back on Thursday and Friday!
It was nice to get into school and start to get organized with my classes and courses and to get a feel for the school. Everyone was super-helpful and ready for a laugh or chuckle. There are a number of art teachers – three of us are full-time with 3 other part-timers so there are a lot of people to get to know and lots to get caught up with. People have been really helpful – I am teaching Year 7 Art, 8 Art, 9 Ceramics, 10 Visual Communications and Design and 11 Studio Art. I have 6 courses – five of them are different ones – so lots to keep me on my toes as I get started. The kids seem great – they love my accent and have agreed to help me perfect my own Aussie accent by the time I head home at the end of the school year. I have also made a deal to share Canadian and Aussie slang to further our (collaborative) education and have warned them (when they had some pretty big grins) that I would be running the slang they teach me past other teachers and admin – just incase they get creative and lead me down the wrong path…!
Hana and Eoin had a great start to their new school year as well. Hana had a warm welcome from the grade 5 girls in her 5/6 split class – there are 5 year five girls in total so she seems to be well into the thick of things with them – they have been really great to her. Eoin has made some friends in his 3/4 split class, a few boys who he has been hanging out with and having chats at recess and lunch. Both Hana and Eoin are happy to be back at school. The routine and time with other kids feels good and makes them feel more at home and less like newcomers!
Brad is on the hunt for a teaching contract if one comes up but in the meantime is registered with a number of schools in the area for subbing so hopefully calls will start rolling in for that to keep him busy as well!
Our plan, now that school has started, is to make the most of our weekends - either checking out the area or visiting with friends while making sure to make the most of our beach time by getting there one of the weekend days if we have one free! We are already halfway through our second month here so need to get as much of the sun and fun as we can pack in!
Today, we went to the Melbourne Aquarium. It was a blast with lots of penguins and a good variety of ocean life including sharks... This was a great thing for the kids to see as there is a lot of trepidation regarding sharks but when they saw the sharks swimming around, minding their own business - not frantically trying to devour every fish or creature that came into sight - I think it helped Hana and Eoin (and maybe Brad and I as well?!?!) that we don't have as much to worry about as first expected!