As some may be aware, I have been appointed to a permanent teaching position at Collarenebri Central School. If you are wondering, it is about 140 kilometres to the west of Moree. I had never been to Collarenebri, so Dyah, Will and I made a point of driving out there last Friday to see what we were in for when we moved there sometime in January 2011.
To say that Collarenebri is a small town does not really provide those with no experience living in a small town an accurate idea of what it looks like. Collarenebri, despite town signs to the contrary, is a town of about 250 people. The town and the surrounding areas allow the school to have an enrolment of somewhere between 80 and 100 students. Nevertheless, it is a really small town. Yet, it seems a logical progression in the “scaling-down” that we have been doing of late; Jakarta, Sydney, and now Collarenebri.
I guess the point of emphasising small town is that the main street has a pub, a supermarket, a newsagent, and a post office on one side and a service station on the other. That is pretty much the main street. Oh, the post office also doubles as a bank, the Commonwealth, and a few other services as well.
Some of the things that we have learned during our recent visit have been interesting to say the least, but have not dented our enthusiasm to pull up stumps and move there. Apparently there is no mail delivery in Collarenebri. Everyone has a post box at the post office and collect their mail from there. As we were walking up the main street we learned from a poster in the community health / welfare shopfront that it is also necessary to boil one’s water before drinking it. Hmmm, I wonder where we have had to do that before?
Anyways, the staff development days were an excellent opportunity for me to meet all my new colleagues and to learn a little about what is in store for 2011. I am pleased that I was invited and glad that I made the effort to get there. I learned quite a bit about where the school is with regard to things like Naplan and how the school is working to improve outcomes for all students. The staff are a dedicated bunch, and I am looking forward to getting out there and into the classroom and doing my bit.
In the ‘what goes up, must come down’ category, getting to Moree was only half the story. Once the staff development days were done and dusted it was time to make that 280+ kilometre round trip to Collarenebri. The following day, we were off on “holiday”. This required another short trip of some 550 kilometres from Moree to Fingal Bay.
And, now a further short jaunt of 220 kilmetricos has seen us arrive home. Now, the wait for Santa begins in earnest.