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June 2- Packing

Today was awesome!!! I got up and got ready, made my last lunch for school and then ate some oatmeal. I walked down to Starbucks with Beth and discovered that they don’t take gift cards over here. So I paid for my coffee frap and then walked to the bus stop. When we got to school, I headed straight to the kitchen because our group was fixing tea as a surprise to the faculty. We made apple and current scones, baked brie (cheese), cookies, and cheese with crackers. It took about two hours (which was perfect because tea was at 11) and three of us were working in the kitchen cooking things. During this time, I had to make two more slides for my movie that played today during the news. Everyone loved it!! Even the assistant principal said that it was awesome. Dr. Cunningham asked me to do an independent study with her next spring which will be awesome!! I’ll be working with the 307 technology elementary education juniors, helping them make photo stories, bulletins, newsletters, and websites. On top of that, I’ll be learning how to write grants (since she’s the head of the department and elementary ed. coordinator) and that’s part of her job, so I’ll be responsible to help with that aspect. I am soo excited! I also got invited to go to a technology conference in the Midwest next June after I graduate. Dr. Cunningham and Mrs. Burt (a nationally known technology coordinator in New Zealand) are going and Mrs. Burt requested that I attend to keep the global connection between Pt. England and where ever I end up working.

Anyway, apart from all the great and exciting news (feel free to ask questions, I know that’s a lot of information to throw out at once), my afternoon was great too! Mrs. Burt has a daughter named Georgie who teaches at a brand new school called Stoneleigh Primary about 10 miles down the road from Pt. England. Dr. Cunningham was going to visit the campus with Mrs. Burt and asked me to come along (since I was in the staff room just catching up on reading) and gladly I went! We drove over there and it is completely amazing! There are tons of pictures that are posted on facebook, everyone should check it out! Since it’s new, there are only 74 students enrolled in the entire school (year 1-8) and they have a few grades clumped together being taught by one teacher. Georgie teaches years 2-4 and has 12 students. There are 24 in the cluster or classroom area, but another teacher works with her so they split the class and rotate students depending on what subject is being taught at the time. Everything is top of the line, state of the art technology and they way they are teaching (instruction focused on the student and inquiry based learning) is so amazing to watch and learn about. I definitely have many ideas on different pedagogy and teaching styles that I will be implementing into my student teaching!

Dinner was super good last night. A kiwi farmer’s dinner consists of: roasted potatoes and bananas, green peas, broccoli and cauliflower with cheese sauce, a certain kind of mushroom, and roasted lamb with sauce. It was sooo delicious! Then for dessert, we had pavlova with kiwis and chocolate fish (which are strawberry marshmallows covered in chocolate).  I was stuffed by the time we left. I came back and packed up my bag, rolled up all my clothes and made everything fit back in my suitcase. Tomorrow we are leaving around 9am in a van and heading to Rotorua. It’s about a four hour drive, but we are stopping at Matamata at the Shire’s Rest for a Hobbiton tour. It’s about 2 hours and we will get to see where they filmed Lord of the Rings. It also includes visiting a sheep farm, so that should be pretty cool! Unfortunately, my USB card I bought for internet doesn’t work there (it only picks up internet in the four big cities in the country). So I won’t be posting for about five days, until Wednesday afternoon, or Tuesday night in the states. I’ll take lots of notes and pictures though and have them up as soon as possible when I get to Wellington. I’m planning on doing the Zorb while I’m in Rotorua, which should be super fun. I’ll have someone video it so it’ll be on facebook! Check it out: http://www.zorb.com/ Other than that, this weekend is all about relaxation and rest. It’s been a super busy two weeks so it will be nice to take a break and just enjoy the country. Monday is the Queen’s birthday, so everyone is on holiday. I’m sure Rotorua will be packed with tourists! Saturday we are going on a tour of the Maori museum and then we are eating an authentic Maori dinner at their reservation. I’ll be sure to take lots of good pictures, if it’s allowed! I’m having a lot of fun, but I’m definitely ready to be boarding the plane back home. Miss all of you!!

 

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June 2, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Drat.. we’re all going to really miss looking at your messages every day.. it’s addicting!! Have a restful weekend and we’ll look forward to hearing from you soon. love, possum

    Comment by Possum Thomas | June 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. Good morning Sweet lady! I can not begin to tell you how excited I was after reading your blog today! REALLY????? An independent study with Dr. Cunningham next Spring???!!!! Working with 307 Juniors and writing GRANTS!!!??? I NEVER know what exciting news I am going to hear from you next! I know that you are tickled pink and SO AM I!!! And to think that you might be going to the Midwest with Dr. Cunningham AND Mrs. Burt!! UNBELIEVABLE! I am so proud of the woman and teacher that you are becoming! My prayers for you have been answered WAY above and beyond my greatest imagination!
    I was completely blown away by your pictures of Stoneleigh Primary! It DEFINITELY is a top of the line, state of the art technology based school! How new is it? Only a total of 74 students! I am sure this school will be growing by leaps and bounds! You can see that the children are so engaged in their work and have learned to become independent workers! It is hard to imagine having a classroom like these! What a GREAT opportunity for you to go with Dr. Cunningham and Mrs. Burt. You are making wonderful connections with these ladies and I can see that your life is going in many different, awesome directions! Bubbie and I couldn’t be MORE happy for you Laura! You will be able to bring so many great things back with you to implement into your own teaching style!
    i know that you are so excited about going to Matamata to tour Hobbiton! I went into the site about THE ZORB!!! This looks like soooo much fun! I hope that you buy a good package with several different options! Remember, you may NEVER get another chance …. so LIVE IT UP HONEY!!! I wonder if you are brave enough to do the ZIG ZAG run??!!!! It is so cool that they use warm water in the bubble if it is winter! Will you be taking extra clothes? I read that you can buy a package that has something you can wear to keep you from having to wear your own clothes. Can’t wait to hear all about it! Have someone film you!!!! And someone take still shots too!! HAVE A BLAST AND ROLL WITH IT!!!! HAHA!
    Enjoy the museum and Maori dinner at the reservation! Sounds exciting! TAKE IT ALL IN! I love you Pun’kin Head! ❤

    Comment by Donna Collins | June 5, 2011 | Reply


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