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Message for our Baylor Students

11/12/2015

​By Madeline Stookey and Kylie Terry

Tim Tams, Vegemite, and Anzac Biscuits were a great welcome to Australia, but the true treat was experiencing life at Camp Hill State Infant and Primary School. We had no idea what to expect of the schools here in Brisbane, but we knew life down under would be different. We were pleasantly surprised by the courteous manner with which the students treated us and one another. Teachers were welcoming and open to our never ending questions!

Students at Camp Hill are expected to take responsibility of themselves, therefore they are independent and well mannered. We have seen the way students respond to discipline, realizing their mistakes and committing to improvement. There is a strong sense of community among the students which allows them to willingly offer or receive help from their peers. Students have been eager to learn about life in Texas, culture in America, and differences in our communities. From the way we speak to the food we eat, students have yet to run out of questions. Their interest in our lives has been such a sweet honour.

At Camp Hill, the teachers are dedicated to ensuring each of their students receives the individual instruction they need in order to succeed. With consistent brain breaks and opportunities for students to refresh their minds, there is always active participation and alert students. Teachers give students authentic ways to practise their learning in and outside of the classroom. For example, in Mrs Heenan’s year four class, students planned a weekend in Sydney by calculating the estimated time various activities would take and creating a schedule for the best way to spend their time. Integration is another area in which teachers excel. In Mr Landbeck’s year four classroom, students recognized a problem with rubbish being taken by the birds at lunch time. Students sought a way to solve this problem by collecting data through interviewing their classmates, creating a survey, analyzing results from the survey, and writing a passage about their solution. Many different skills were used in this one lesson and students were highly involved, because they were interested in the matter at hand. 

Our experience at Camp Hill has not only been a learning experience, but a joy as well. I can confidently say this opportunity has prepared us to be better teachers, see different approaches at teaching, and recognize universal challenges educationally in which all teachers seek for improvements. Thank you Camp Hill teachers, faculty, parents, and students for welcoming us with open arms and making us feel at home halfway around the world.