Blogging 101 Assignment # 11 Buffalo Nickel (The Daily Prompt)

Daily Prompt:Buffalo Nickel
Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

I opened my purse and only had two coins in there so I thought I’d write a quick story about both.

In 1996 I started my first teaching post at a two-teacher school in Carmila (a small sugar-cane town, one hour south of Mackay). I had about 20 kids in my class: Preschool to Year Three. The kids were lovely, the parents were lovely and it was very easy to settle in.

Everyone made me feel welcome and I soon became involved in all the local activities: playing tennis, playing basketball and playing pool at the pub! 1996 was also the year I met my husband-to-be. I taught in Carmila for three years and have very fond memories of my time there.

2003 was the year my husband and I got back from living in the UK and asked to be transferred to Mount Isa (a city in the Gulf Country of Queensland- see the pink North West section).

Picture from

We got the transfer and both my husband and I taught at Mount Isa School of the Air. Back then we were teaching kids in the outback over the radio. Each day we would go into the soundproof studio, press a foot peddle and speak into a microphone. On some days the connection was terrible and it was hard to hear the kids due to all the static. Now they use telephones and headsets like a conference call and there aren’t so many interruptions.

I had two classes of 8 kids and interacted with them over the air for half an hour every day. The rest of the day was for planning, ringing parents and kids to have a chat or hear them read and marking their workbooks.

Another perk of teaching at School of the Air was the home visits. Some were day trips and others were overnight stays. We’d take the four-wheel drives and two or three teachers would head out bush to the properties to meet the children and teach them face-to-face. There were also sports days, mini-schools (camps) and Rock Pop Mime etc where we got to see our students in the flesh. One of my students lived so far away that I didn’t get to meet her face-to-face.

My husband and I also enjoyed all the social aspects of living in Mount Isa – water-skiing on the lake, The Teachers’ Balls, barbecues, parties, fund-raising events. There was always something going on. I even got to meet Pat Rafter when he was in Mount Isa promoting a baby photo competition! My time teaching in Mount Isa is definitely one of the highlights of my career.


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