Friday, January 20, 2012

A day at McKinley-Thatcher Elementary School...

McKinley-Thatcher Elementary School is my home school and also the school Yasemin and Max attend. On my first visit to the school, I was really impressed with the lovely presentation of the building. The school looks quite modern from the outside, but it is when you enter the entrance foyer that you are impressed with the beautiful mosaic mural completed by the parents.

When you go through the second doors you are standing in front of a welcome sign and indoor garden. All elementary schools have double door entry for security reasons, and except for morning arrival and afternoon departure all visitors must be buzzed in through the security doors to access the school.

Both schools have extensive fire, lock down and additional emergency procedures - it is great that the safety of all children is so high on the agenda here. It was after Columbine that drastic measures in safety improvement were implemented.

On my first day, which was pupil free, a staff breakfast was organised by my two wonderful buddies Ange and Susan. This included drinks and hot and cold food for the staff. Susan also welcomed me officially to the school with the sounds of Men at Work booming from the stereo. I was presented with two culturally significant items - Vegemite and Apple Pie - the best food our two nations have to offer.

I really enjoy the students at this school, they are super friendly and enthusiastic and can't get enough of our Australian accent. Below is an image of my art room at McKinley-Thatcher. An art room with carpet is an interesting design statement.

Ange presented me with a beautiful bunch of white roses and a beautiful necklace was also left on my desk in the classroom as a welcome. All the staff and parents have been so very kind, welcoming and supportive with all sorts of offers and advice.I was really spoiled, taken out to a lovely restaurant in South Pearl Street and shouted lunch by Ange and Susan, escorted to check out my other school and driven home by Susan to my house! What a day - Garry, Susan and I celebrated with drinks at Gaylord Street!



  1. Jo, I'm loving the blog.
    Still waiting to see the cowboy boots!
    You have got to get to Telluride in Colorado. Ben, Allegra, Naomi and i stayed there a couple of yrs ago and it is beautiful (we stayed in the pub).
    Kisses to you all

  2. Hi,
    Just finished reading your blog to date. It all sounds amazing and the photos are awesome. Looking forward to your next post. Great to skype with you today!! Have a fantastic weekend!!

    1. Thanks and miss you loads.looking forward to talking to you next week.Feel free to pass the blog onto Marg or to our Mum etc if. They are interested. Really hope you will come and have an adventure with us. Xxxxxxxx

  3. Hello Jo and Gary, I am the recent member to join your site. The introduction came by reading The Adventures of Annie and Her Boys. Annie found me through my blog. She made contact with me because years ago I was an exchange teacher in Adelaide Australia. Just finished reading all your blog post to date and looking forward to following your year in America. Welcome to the US and if I can help in any way please let me know. Maybe we can connect on Skype. My name is rcantrell1.