School's Out!

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Yahoo! Schools out for the summer, and it isn’t just the kids that get excited. In a family like ours, where Donna and I are both teachers, school holidays are extra good because we are all on holidays together.

The usual end of year wind-down happened this week, with my school holding a few end-of-year festivities - a staff night out for a few drinks, a staff breakfast on the last day, and not many students around because of exams, etc. Alex and Kate had the usual array of end-of-year activities too, with a few parties, celebrations, and get-togethers. Holy Family school had a Talent Show for all the kids to take part in, and Kate got up and sang in front of the school. Gary and Catherine and their kids were able to drop in to watch before they rushed off to the airport to catch their plane to New York City.

Canadian schools are based on a different school year to what we are used to in Australia. Back in Australia our summer holidays start in mid December and go to the end of January, then the school year (on average) runs in 10 week terms punctuated by 2 week breaks, the occasional Easter break (it usually falls in the April holiday, but not always), and a smattering of public holiday Mondays. In Canada and the US, the school year starts in September and runs in two 19 week semesters, with 2 weeks off at December, 2 weeks off in March (called March Break) a couple of days at Easter and then not much else until the end of June, whereupon they get a rather long 9 week summer break. On the whole, I think the 9 week break is fabulous for exchange teachers who want to get the most bang for their travelling buck as it gives you lots f time to go exploring in North America. The downside is that I find the long teaching semesters somewhat of a marathon and by the time summer break arrives everyone - teachers and students - are about ready to flop over the finish line. After 19 weeks of school, most people seem to be pretty much over it all, and I have to wonder just how productive those last few weeks of school really are.

Whatever the reasoning, the summer break is much appreciated when it finally arrives, and for us the fun is only just starting!

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