Week One

23 June 2013



It is hard to believe that a week has passed since Anne and I left Tasmania. We spent a lovely couple of days with my sister, Sally, who is teaching in Florida at an independent episcopalian K - 8 school, St Marks. It was very interesting to learn of the workings of the school from the perspective of someone who has taught in both hemispheres. After leaving Florida, we ventured north to upstate New York, where we visited the magnificent campus of the Emma Willard School. This School is just about to celebrate its 200th birthday and is set on stunning grounds with magnificent buildings. The pictures attached only partly do it justice. The hospitality Anne and I were shown by the Head of the School, Trudy Hall, and her staff and faculty members, was amazing and greatly appreciated. We spent the whole day and night meeting and talking with different office holders within the organisation. It was an invaluable learning experience. Our next port of call is Boston, where I will be attending the National Congress of Girls' Schools Conference. Five things I have noted this week: 16 hours on one plane flight from Sydney, direct to Dallas, is a challenge. The progress of communications technology is astounding. This was brought home to me as Anne and I waited for our connecting flight at Dallas airport. We talked to our daughters, via Skype, and read Australian newspapers online, with minimum fuss, little, if any cost, and to great effect. There is a trend in the US away from the Junior High concept, with which many of us are familiar from the television shows of our youth, in favour of middle schools. However, you may be pleased to know at Emma Willard, Year 9s still are referred to as freshmen, Year 10s, sophomores, Year 11s, juniors and Year 12s, seniors. My favourite quote for the week has come from long-standing Emma faculty member and parent, Judy Bridges, who stressed her expectation that the teams she coached would compete with their opponents rather than against them.

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