Friday, June 5, 2009

Dont Forget this Side of the World!

Why you are enjoying your Summer breaks on the other side of the world, while you are preparing for the start of the 2009/2010 teaching year in August, while you are taking time out to reflect on your classroom achievements and planning for the future, please take time out to think of your friends in the Southern Hemisphere. While in the USA you have a summer break in New Zealand we're approaching mid point of our school calendar.

The New Zealand school year is broken up into four terms. Each term consists of ten weeks. We start in the first week in February and between each of our ten week terms we have a two week break or holiday. We also have statutory holidays in the term as well (Waitangi Day, Easter, Queens Birthday, Labour Day, ANZAC Day). Our summer holidays take place from roughly December 20th and run for six weeks. The four ten week terms gives us approximately 200 school days for the calendar year (its marked in half days so it ends up at 394 for the year). Opening hours vary but in New Zealand and at my school its a 8:45am start and a 3:15pm finish.

At the moment therefore were half way through the year, now I'm not suggesting that you go to the extreme of twittering from the crowd at Disneyland as your waiting with your kids to get into the enchanted Kingdom! But please don't forget us over this side of the world if you have a spare moment, as has been said many times before feedback is so important to the students and if its from another country it has a built in 'wow' factor that you just can't underestimate.

Happy holidays to our friends in America! I'd also like to invite someone from Australia and the USA to explain their term workings, the length of the breaks and their bell times, take it away...


jkmcclung said...

We could never forget you guys!
We have two semester terms in our school year. The first starts about mid August and runs until mid December. In that time we have a few very short breaks here and then for holidays, and in December when we break we do not return until about the first full week of January. The beginning of January marks the start of our second semester and this one runs until about mid-late May (depending on your school and state).

First semester breaks:
Labor Day - Three day weekend
Thanksgiving - Usually 3 1/2 days out
Christmas - About 2 1/2 - 3 weeks break
....and teacher work days

Second semester breaks:
Spring break - Usually 5 days break (depending on school and state)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Three day weekend
Memorial Day - Three day weekend (if still in school)
....and teacher work days

Bell time:
This is tricky and varies from school to school. At Noel kids start turning up around 7:50 am, and actually class starts at 8:30. We dismiss for end of day at 3:05 then we start to load buses and send kids on their way. During the day our bell rings every 50 minutes, but some schools choose to change classes every 90 minutes or so.

Wm Chamberlain said...

I won't forget about you, you are one of the biggest inspirations I have. I have lots to do that don't have anything to do with education right now, but I am going to carve out time to TCB (take care of business!

John Strange said...

We ARE thinking about you. And I must consult the wiki with my blog comment "assignments"! I'll get to that today. It's so easy to think EVERYONE is on summer break - even when it is Winter where you are! In fact, we could use a bit of winter here in South Alabama - in the mid 90s all this week and probably all of next week.