Welcome to my first Aussie classroom!
That’s the view walking into my room through the sliding doors. My school is actually over 100 years old but my classroom is part of a new building that was built a few years ago.
Walking in from the enclosed veranda where the kids keep their bags and hats. Hats are a part of the school uniform and are required for a student to play outside in the sun. No hat, no play is the general rule.
Another picture of the front of the room. Don’t mind the rubbish bin.
In case you are wondering, that is sunscreen by the tissues. I wasn’t kidding about the sun being intense here. The students also have swimming twice a week so we take it down to the pool with us. Don’t judge the empty bulletin boards, it is the beginning of the year and we have lots to do still!
CAFE bulletin board and Homework Club (from 4th Grade Frolics TpT Store) all ready to go!
I love all the natural light in the room, although unfortunately the windows did not provide much breeze when we had the great air conditioner crisis the first few weeks of school.
Connected to my classroom are an art supply room (that the whole school shares), an office (seen above), a small kitchen and a mini computer room that connect through to the year 3 teacher’s classroom. I was so excited to have an office, but honestly I just use it to dump my stuff in the morning and stack my copies for the week.
Instead I spend most of my time at my control center by the interactive and non-interactive whiteboards (and the behavior chart).
One of my students “painted” a picture of me and gave it to me one of the first days.
That’s it for my classroom tour! Now a few things I have noticed about teaching here/schools here…
- Instead of one 30 minute lunch and 30 minute recess/play time they have first break where they eat for 15 minutes and play for 30 and then a second break later in the day where they eat for 10 minutes and play for 20 minutes.
- There are no cafeterias, kids all bring their lunch or buy from the tuck shop which is more like a snack bar.
- Kids eat their lunch outside under the buildings and on the courts (since there isn’t a cafeteria). Even in the dead of winter in Brisbane it’s sunny and 70 Fahrenheit.
- The schools here are very open and all indoor/outdoor. The buildings are Queenslander style which means all the rooms are on the second floor typically with an open veranda to catch a breeze.
- School doesn’t start until 9am so the hour to half hour before there are parents, kids and siblings all milling around the outdoor common areas.
- There aren’t school buses or dismissal duties. When the 3pm bell rings my kids all leave my room and walk home, catch a city bus or train, go to onsite after school care, or meet their parents and sibling outside to play on the school playgrounds or oval (field).
- There isn’t junior high or middle school. Kids go to Primary School from Prep (US Kinder) to Year 6 (6th grade) and then High School for 7-12.
- Even in the older Primary grades they don’t departmentalize classes, meaning every teacher teaches all subjects to the same class all day.
- The class sizes are much larger, the cap is 28 compared to 23 in Texas. I currently have 28, which at first I thought was crazy but I am used to it now.
- They call field trips excursions, math is maths, sweaters are jumpers, erasers are rubbers, markers are textas, trash is rubbish, trash can is the bin.
- School years go from late January to early December and are divided into 4 terms with two weeks of holidays at the end of each of them (except in December/January where it’s 6).
- All schools have a swimming pool and that is the PE curriculum the first and last terms of the year.
- I know there are so many more of these but I can’t think of any more right now!
Well I hope that gives you a little more insight into teaching in Australia (or at least in Brisbane). It has been quite the learning curve for me to figure out the ins and outs of teaching in another country, but I am really enjoying it so far!