Thursday, October 27, 2011

School Load and other Comments

School has been hectic this past week. The honeymoon stage of my placement has ended though it is still a very enjoyable experience. It's definitely a lot less stressful then I thought it would be. Right now I have three preps, with one prep having two classes. (This means I am teaching four groups of students and have to prepare for three different subjects.) This may sound like a lot to American educators, but it's not actually a full load.

Teacher Class Load
Teachers at Maranatha usually take a few more classes then what I have, but they do less grading and don't have as many loopholes to work through. I haven't heard any teachers complain about lots of grading to do or bureaucratic problems. Also, their are fewer students which makes the load a lot more manageable. Generally with a smaller class you can go through material quicker, grade faster and have less discipline issues.
note: I don't feel comfortable saying Australia has a better education system then the States because:
1. They are VERY different systems. 
2. They have different cultures.  
3. I am at a private school and so most of my students come from two-parent homes and better living conditions, generally speaking. This changes the atmosphere of the school. 

Main Struggles
My two biggest struggles so far have been understanding accents and learning how to properly discipline students. For my first two weeks I had to ask people to repeat themselves a lot. I'm understanding better, but occasionally I'll struggle to understand a phrase. Discipline has been an issue. I am a bit surprised since I did not have much of problem in the States. The main reason for this are the student's attitudes.

I am used to students not doing something and having to tell them about four times while threatening consequences before they comply. The students here are compliant yet they still try to get away with stuff. They're a bit more sly. Their rebellion tends to be quieter. For example, the biggest issue I've had to deal with is students talking out of line and not listening while others are talking. That's not to big of a deal, but I haven't learned the right way to get the students to consistently be quiet and listen to each other in class.

I don't want to come down too hard so I've avoided dishing out detentions, calling home and raising my voice. On the other hand, glaring, snapping my fingers, waiting and looking at them isn't working consistently. As I continue to adjust, I think I'll discover various ways to communicate what I need the students to do and not do in a better way.

Schedule for the Weekend
Melbourne has a public holiday on Tuesday for the Melbourne Cup (A major horse race) so we have a four day weekend coming up. I'm planning on going on the camping trip with the Frankston RP church. It should be a good time as long as I avoid getting a sunburn. The sun is much stronger here. 


  1. Good to hear the update! keep posting. Lydia is on the verge of walking. She really enjoys crawling though.

  2. Cool, let me know when she starts running faster then you unless she's done so already. ;)


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