Australia Testimonia – Christina – Napanee, ON

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Christina

Home: Napanee, Ontario

University: Queen’s

Subject Area: Primary

What Leading Out support and services have you enjoyed, or have assisted you, the most?

The service that has assisted me the most is getting set up with casual relief work  before even arriving in Australia. When I arrived I started working as a CRT the very next week which is unbelievable.

I have also really enjoyed the Leading Out monthly activities that have been planned. They are a great way to meet new people, especially when you’ve come all on your own to Melbourne!

Before arriving in Australia, Leading Out helped me get my VIT card, set up a bank account for me, and registeration for casual work. On arrival I was picked up at the airport, dropped off at the front door of my building, and introduced to two other Canadians all at the same time.

During my stay here, Leading Out has been able to answer all the questions that I have asked. From what cell phone company to use to who to call to book a wine tour, Leading Out is there to help. I have also taken advantage of the monthly activities that Leading Out plans to meet new Canadians which is great.

The best place travelled within Australia:

I have really enjoyed travelling around the state of Victoria. I’ve rented a car on two separate occasions to drive along the Great Ocean Road, Grampian Mountains, Phillip Island, Gipplands Highway, and the Yarra Valley. I’ve got to see some breathtaking scenery such as the Twelve Apostles and coastlines along the Great Ocean Road and the views from the Grampians. I also got to see animals in the wild too, which was a highlight for me. I’ve seen koalas, penguins, emus, and even had to stop for a wallaby standing on the road. Definitely drive this country if you get the chance!

Tips for International Teachers?

The advice that I would give other teachers coming to Australia is to keep an open mind and remember that it will be different from Canada, so embrace that. There is so much to see and do, make sure you get some travelling in, not just work. Also, even though you don’t think it will be cold here, still pack some warm clothes because it’s the dampness that gets to you.

What have you enjoyed most about teaching in Victoria?

There are definitely more similarities than differences between teaching in Victoria and teaching in Canada. When you walk into a classroom in Melbourne and see for example, the students divided into guided reading groups and the curriculum left for you to cover that day, you think to yourself that this could easily be a school in Canada.

However, I feel that the schools in Canada are more structured and have a greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy than the schools in Victoria. Also there are more specialised teachers here in Australia than back home. Not many classroom teachers also teach phys. ed and the arts to their students. I have also noticed that there are very few Educational Assistants working in schools, and very little mention of any sort of accommodations or modifications for students with exceptionalities.

I did CRT work in different primary schools during my time in Melbourne. I have really enjoyed getting to meet new students and learning about their lives in Australia, and answering all their questions about Canada as well. I had to pick up quickly on the different vocabulary used here though. There have been times when I haven’t known what they were talking about and they haven’t known what I’ve been talking about, but it all gets sorted out in the end.

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