Friday, July 31, 2009

Melbourne This 'n That

I have now finished up three weeks of my internship at Baden Powell College, Derrimut Heath campus. I am in one of the "prep" classes, which is equivalent to kindergarten back home. I am really enjoying my time at this school - the teachers and staff are all really friendly. The teacher I'm working with, C, is awesome. She's in her fifth or sixth year of teaching and she has some great ideas. I've been writing things down so that I can use them when I get my own classroom. I am also going to see if I can take some pictures of the classroom so that I can have a visual of some things, rather than writing them down.
In the schools here (or most of them it seems), they do team teaching. There is one big classroom and in it there are two classes and two teacher. Basically, the teachers take turns teaching things. Sometimes the teacher would teach both classes together, and sometimes they break off into groups (like for reading) and both teachers are required to teach their own group. I can see a benefit to team teaching, but at the same time there aspects I don't like - such has having to teach such a large class. When these two prep classes are together, there are 40 children to teach; that can be a little difficult, especially with the noise factor.
My professor was in this past Monday to do my first evaluation. I had only received his email saying he'd be in Monday morning (at 10:00am), on Friday evening. Not much time to prepare. I felt very unprepared for that class, but I managed to do well and get things printed out and photocopied on time. Apparently he had sent me an email earlier in the week but I hadn't received it. He'd sent one to Sarah as well and she never got it either. She only found out Sunday afternoon he'd be coming to observe her the next day as well, though I told her when mine was and that he wanted to visit both people at the school (though Sarah is at the other campus) on the same day. Poor Sarah though, she hadn't done any teaching to that point and Monday was her first day for that. I think she did well, though. My evaluation went well also, so that's good!
The last three weekends we've had some excursions. One Saturday the group of us from ABU were taken into the city for a little walking around, a visit to the Victoria Market (got several souvenirs there), and an Australian rules football game that evening. It was a great day, and even though we didn't understand (or know) most of the rules, we still enjoyed the football game (or footy as they call it).
One Monday evening, a couple of the younger teachers from Sarah's school took us to the movies. One of these girls is the daughter to one of the librarians at my school. These two girls, Sarah (the librarian's daughter) and Julie are really great. We went for supper after the movie and had lots of laughs.
Sarah (from Canada) and I went back to the Victorian market last Saturday again because there were some other things we wanted to get there. We were there only for a couple of hours, then went and got some supper (or, as they say in Australia, tea) and headed home. We feel pretty comfortable with taking the train into the city and home; we know which stops we need to get on/off at and we did great taking the tram from Flinder's Street Station to the market. We asked someone to make sure it went to the market, and once we knew it did, there were no problems. We got one back to the station afterwards without having to ask anyone.
On Sunday, a couple of ladies from the schools took us to Lygon Street for lunch. This is Melbourne's Little Italy section. It was really nice. The prices were high, but the food was good.
Yesterday our professor let us have the day off school and took us to the Dandenongs. It's a rain forest and has really big trees, great nature, etc. It was beautiful! We stopped at a restaurant (he made reservations) called the Cuckoo, which is Bavarian. The food (buffet style) was delicious and we all ate lots. There was also a floor show with music, singing, and laughter, which was great.
Today, the girls who took us to the movies the other week are going to take us to the zoo. I think it's the Melbourne Zoo that we are going to. There are a couple of others around here, and one is like a safari. We want to go to those ones as well, but not sure if that is today or we'll do it another day.
Well, I had better go get ready for the day's excursion. Hopefully my next post won't take as long to write!