Travel Oops — “Do You Have a Gun, Miss?”

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

A “temporary” building with two classrooms, P301, on the inside, was a faded green mint color — like saltwater taffy gone stale, having been left in a carnival candy sack too long.

But I had windows, a big white board, carpet and neat tables and chairs lined up perfectly. On high, the air conditioning unit blasted air that could cut any perennial’s life short. Was this real? I didn’t have any of these items in my US classroom.

In the little climate controlled temporary, I felt a certain calm even on the first day as a new exchange teacher.  Of course this was mixed with a free-flowing anxiety. I didn’t know a thing about Australian students or Year 8s, for that matter, but really, how hard could it be? Plus, if I totally bombed, I could definitely milk my accent for the first week of school, at least.

Right?

Continue reading

Advertisements

Getting Schooled in Aussie Slang

Some of my crazy but lovable year 8’s
© Stephanie Glaser

Teaching eighth graders, who are pubescent pundits, is challenging no matter where you are. But when you are teaching in a new country and you don’t know their slang, it’s just plain brutal.

I discovered this the hard way when, as an exchange teacher, I bumbled my way through one year of instructing Year 8’s in Adelaide, Australia.

I already knew a few tidbits before I arrived. For example, never say, “I root for the team.” The connotation of that statement would be that I do way more than cheer for my team to keep their spirits up. I also knew not to freak out when kids would say that they wore their thongs to the beach; they meant flip flops not G-strings.

Continue reading