12 December 2005

Canterbury Boys High School

Since my last update, much has happened. If you remember, I said that I would be working as a casual teacher the next day. I found out that day that Canterbury Boys High School would be needing me every day the rest of the year, for a total of twenty days. This will be very helpful to Heather and me as we continue to pay off moving expenses and begin paying back school loans. It is also very surprising, considering the need for casual teachers is usually low at the end of the school year. That was Thursday. On Friday, Mrs. Martin (principal) called me into her office after school and offered me a temporary position for all of next year. This is the equivalent of a long-term sub position, and is the most they can offer me given my current visa status. It will be in the HSIE department (pronounced "hizzy")--Human Society and Its Environment. Think Social Studies. I am actually very excited about this, even if it is not English. This will give me the opportunity to learn much about Australian history and culture, and fully take advantage of our time here. In fact, these last three weeks of school, I will take over a Year 8 history class in order to orient myself with the department. Curriculum is thoroughly planned, often down to the day, and many resources will be available to me, so taking on a new subject area should be rather painless. There are no guarantees beyond next year, but Mr. Ponder (deputy principal) expects temporary positions to be available for the next few years to cover teachers on maternity leave. Given the way the education system here is set up, this has all been more than I could ask for, and Heather and I both feel very fortunate that I ended up at CBHS. Mrs. Martin, Mr. Ponder, and Daryl Currie (English Head Teacher) have all bent over backwards to get me in the school, and I have let all of them know how much I appreciate their help. In addition to job security, there are other advantages of this temp position over casual work. Over the course of a full year, casual pays roughly the equivalent of full time teaching, but there would be no checks coming during the holidays. With this temp position, I am paid the same as a permanent teacher, year round. Also, this position allows me paid leave--twenty days, in fact. As a casual, if I take a day off, I lose money. Anyway, this past week and a half has been interesting as a casual teacher. In a few weeks, I'll send some of the details of public school in Australia.

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