Mr Carter Goes to Canberra

I taught my last lesson for the term last Friday. Reports are written. My year 12s have their holiday study homework. My desk is tidy (well, tidier than it was). My list of paperwork to get through is significantly smaller than it was. There’s only one more thing to get done before I can go on holidays:

Go to Canberra with years 7 & 8 for a week. Hooray?

I have to admit I’m not really as excited as I should be right now. We left school at 6:30 (and I never cope that well with early starts as it is), I just had to growl at a couple of kids who were getting overly excited over a game of Mario Kart, and my leg hurts after I failed to jump out of the way of a hockey ball on Saturday. Plus I know how little sleep I’m going to get over the next week, and I remember how stupidly cold our national capital was last time I went on this excursion – and it’s already been stupidly cold at home.

But I really am trying to focus on the positives. Above all, we put ourselves through things like this to give our kids experiences they can’t possibly get by just staying at school. One of the problems our kids have growing up in a small town it that they sometimes don’t really think about the existence of the wider world – hopefully visiting Canberra gives them a better sense of their place in the nation. But these are some things I’m personally excited about:

  • As crazy as it might sound, I’m looking forward to spending a week with these students. I haven’t taught either class before (aside from a few replacement lessons) so I don’t really know them that well. This is my chance to get to know them before I probably teach them in the next few years.
  • Even though maths is “my thing”, I do tend to nerd out on history a bit. I’ve been to the Australian War Memorial a couple of times, but I’m keen to explore there again. I’m also a bit of a politics nerd (I’m not that political, I just find the process fascinating) so I always get a bit of a kick out of Parliament House and the High Court. (Maybe I should have left this point as “I’m a bit of a nerd” and that would have summarised it all?)
  • Questacon! (aka the National Science and Technology Centre.) Last time I was there, I just wandered around with the kids, which was awesome enough by itself. This time, hopefully I can get some lesson ideas out of it.
  • I’m really looking forward to not going ice skating as we’ve done on previous trips. That’s the kind of stress we really don’t need.
  • I’ve had a coffee since I started writing this, so I’m actually awake now.
  • When I get home, I’m going to sleep for a week.

Should I be worried that the last two points were about how tired I am?

Weirdly, I’m also looking forward to the hours spent on our coach today and at the end of the week. I really haven’t had any spare time for a while now, so I can finally sit down and write a few blog posts that I’ve been thinking about. Stay tuned to either read my reflections of the first semester, or to watch my sanity slowly drain away. Could be either, could be both.

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