- Nick Ramsey is an Ohio University Lancaster Middle Childhood Education major who is studying abroad this fall by student teaching in Perth, Australia. He is writing a bi-weekly blog for the OUL website. He is the first Ohio University regional campus student to be selected for the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching or COST. Click here to read more on Nick's story.
What a few weeks it has been! As I am coming down the home stretch of my trip, I am already starting to miss this place. There is still so much to do and see, hopefully I can squeeze it all in over my last couple of weeks. Let me start by saying, we finally made it to a beach! The weather was good enough on a Sunday afternoon, so we drove north along the coast a bit to check out a small town called Yanchep with a beautiful white sand beach.The coolest part about Yanchep was their Koala reserve and the surplus of wild kangaroo that roam the area.
Of course I could not get a single Koala to turn around and smile, but the kangaroo were more than happy to pose for us. We also checked out the old Fremantle prison, which played a great role in Australian history, for over 150,000 convicts were shipped here from Britain during the 18th and 19th century. It was a really cool tour as they took us through the process of a prisoner from when they are processed to the gallows. The stories of prisoners escaping multiple times, the organized fights, riots, and guards held hostage were especially interesting. Another exceptional part of the tour was the art work done by prisoners over their long stay. Certain prisoners that were deemed too dangerous for the lot, we granted special permission to perform artwork on their cell walls in order to calm them down.
Before starting term 4 last week, we had a teacher professional development day in order to get planned and ready for the upcoming term. Since they are adopting new national standards throughout the state, we had a bit of work to do in order to adjust .I have been designated to develop the scope and sequence for the year 10's Earth & Space segment of the curriculum. It is not too much extra work because I would have had to come up with units and lesson plans for the standards anyway, but now it is vital that I have teacher resources, worksheets, assessments, etc for the other year 10 science teachers to access. So far it has been moving along smoothly. I have made up enough work sheets and assignments for students to complete along with a good size project that the students will complete this week and present to the class next week. Hopefully it all works out; the other year 10 teachers seem to really be on board with my lesson plans and activities so far. This type of collaboration is key for teachers; I really admire how much they are willing to share with each other. For the most part, each teacher takes on a section of the curriculum to focus on and come up with enough lesson plans, assignments and assessments so that when I go to teach year 9 circuits (which I am currently doing) all I have to do is jump into DropBox and follow the presented units. The system, of course, has some flaws as some teachers may not add as many items as others, or be able to follow someone else's plans, or even might not be able to navigate through DropBox as well as others. I still believe it is a great idea and will definitely get better over time.
Anyway, my roommates and I are still having a blast exploring the city together. Catching trains, buses and taxis all over the place; sometimes with no clue where we are actually going. Going to the city can be rough because there is so much shopping going on that it becomes very easy to get sucked in. Even with everything being massively over priced, you still feel the need to buy something from each and every shop. The London Court is a really cool place to shop, a bunch of small shops with little trinkets and some hand-made items. The diversity in this city is amazing. So many different people from around the world, all in one spot. We were out shopping the other day ago and I waited outside on the bench, as any other man would, as my roommates shopped for shoes. Just sitting there I met a girl that just got here from a very small village in Switzerland doing an exchange program. After she left the bench a man sat down a few minutes later who was from South Africa and here for work. The Asian population is numerous here as well. Actually I would say about 40% of my students are from various Asian countries such as Vietnam, China, Thailand, Philippines, etc.
It was great to catch up; I will keep you updated with our plentiful upcoming adventures!