For many teachers and students in Australia today is the last day of the school year. Senior students sitting for public exams vanished long ago, final assemblies and prizegivings have been held, and if people are at school today, it is likely to be a short day with students on their way at lunch time, and teachers breathing a sigh of relief.
But, befitting a country that had problems even getting its railway tracks the same distance apart, the school year dates are not the same Australia wide, nor even from deployment to deployment. Just recently Tasmanian teachers seemed to win the battle to be the only state sticking with a 3 term school year that gives them longer summer holidays. There's always been a disparity between the school term dates for government and independent schools. Some systems have their teachers come back a week earlier than students and use the time to get ready for the coming year. Invariably government systems give teachers one or two days chock full of meetings prior to the coming of students.
Of course the beginning of a school year is complicated by the observance of Australia Day on January 26, with government systems known in the past to insist that teachers return just before Australia Day, to do their preparation days, so schools can be open for students immediately after.
I didn't really mean to witter on about the beginning of the year, but rather to think about what has happened in 2010.
For me it has been a fairly significant, can I even say traumatic, year with a company merger between Education.au and the Curriculum Corporation into one ministerial company Education Services Australia. For me the euphoria of a merger quickly vanished with the departure of my immediate boss, former CEO of Education.au Greg Black, in March. As a result my job changed significantly.
For me, this has been the year of the e-book and e-reader. I've given 4 presentations and participated in 2 online forums on using digital texts, and I have 3 more lined up in March next year. These are interesting times we are living in.
On Wednesday the Ministers of Education, meeting at MCEECDYA, endorsed in principle, the implementation of the Australia curriculum, but it is clear that the process is going to be a slow one, with each of the states adding different content. Full implementation won't occur until at least 2013. As I said, interesting times