Term 2 ended on June 30th. I find myself thinking about home a lot. I am thinking about the summer and how I usually gather with friends and family during the holidays. As I schedule meetings into July and August, it seems strange to work during the “summer” months, but in Australia it’s not summer, it is winter. So far winter means cooler nights and mornings (10 C) plus rain. Most days it is still sunny (17 C- 20 C). I find myself feeling cold inside the non-insulated buildings but luckily we do have heaters (not central heating though).
I am still loving the 10 week terms and term 2 was busy. The first 3 weeks was dedicated to preparing my year 3 students to write the standardised test, NAPLAN. The year 3 and 5s spend 3 days to write NAPLAN and then schools are judged based on the scores. It’s very similar to EQAO in Ontario. NAPLAN tests for numeracy, reading, writing and convention skills. In week 6 we had a PA day and Western Australia day (yay, long weekend).
In week 7 I handed in my first set of report cards, it was a bit of a learning curve. My colleagues were super helpful with sharing their comments as well as teaching me how to use their program and the deputy principal helped me edit and revise my reports. This semester for the very first time, my school emailed the reports to the parents (trying to be paperless, saves the environment and money)
My class also prepared an assembly item to share during week 9. There is an assembly every 2 weeks held on a Friday morning. Classrooms are responsible for organising the assemblies. Students run the assembly but there is a lot of preparation to get them ready for it. I planned a Canadian item to share and we sang and signed O’ Canada in honour of the 150th birthday. We also did a short skit to the poem Together We Are Canada. I had students dressed up as lumberjacks, polar bears and beavers. The kids did an amazing job!!
Winter sports here includes soccer, netball, hockey (field) and Aussie rules footy. This term, the students did a lapathon and cross country. All students from pre-primary to year 6 run. The year 3s ran 1100 m and year 4s ran 1300 m. It was amazing to see all my students run and finish the race.
There are still moments when I feel overwhelmed. I am still working on programming and trying to keep up with all the targets. Every term grade teams must meet 3 times outside of school hours. There is a big emphasis on following school plans and meeting target levels. Let’s just say I am thankful for the PD days at home and even the opportunities for meaningful professional development.
The last day of term 2 I organised a Canada day party in my classroom. The students played Canadian trivia on Kahoot and they even won some Canadian prizes from Dollarama. They came to school dressed in red and white and made inukshuks out of fruit. We listened to Tragically Hip and coloured the maple leaf. My students enjoyed learning about my home and some of them even asked me if we can go to Canada for a field trip (if only). It confirms when a teacher is passionate that passion can be a passed on to the students. I am grateful to have had this opportunity.