No one doubts this year has brought a raft of challenges. For me, on teacher exchange in Denver, Colorado, my challenges started with being in a new country with a different school system.
As the year progressed, there has also been the little matter of a mismanaged COVID-19 pandemic, rioting in the streets, the Aussie dollar hitting a 10-year low, a powder keg election, having my flights home cancelled, and having to navigate five different learning models over the course of the year. While the melting pot of bad luck has caused me to spend many days questioning my time here, would I do it again if I had the chance? Absolutely.
Even though 2020 was not the year in the USA that I had imagined, it has been the best professional development and personal experience I could ever have hoped for.
As for my day-to-day teaching, I have slowly been going mad teaching only eighth grade science in a middle school. I repeat the same lesson four times a day and, when we were physically in the classroom (apart from the mandatory fire and lockdown drills), there has been no variance to the schedules.
No sports, no excursions, no assemblies. I would also be lax not to mention the grading. I have graded more papers this year than I have in my entire 10-year teaching career. Here, you grade every piece of work that the students submit. If the students don