In late 2014 I was fortunate enough to go on a basketball tour throughout the USA and have some exposure to their schooling system. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up and proved to be one of the best experiences in my life. The schools I went to were in a variety of settings, such as countryside schools in Pennsylvania, inner city schools in boroughs of NY and coastal schools in the west coast in California. These were all very different cultures and the schools reflected that in their settings.
My first school I went to was a rural school in Pennsylvania. This school was a lovely close knit environment, much like my one back home in Temora. The classes are definitely geared towards college studies and was definitely a good insight into the differences and similarities compared to the Australian system. This was a great start to my trip and really set me up for the rest of the tour. It is also close enough to New York to be able to go for a weekend trip!
The city I went to was New York. The first day I was there it seemed like something out of a movie. It was snowing, there were yellow school buses driving about and I could see Central Park from my hotel room. The school I went to was inner city New York, this was the most different school I came across in all the schools I went to. It was a specialty school based around those who wanted to study sports/medical sciences in college. I was unaware they had these specific schools geared towards college. A contrast compared to schools I had previously been in was that there were security guards that roamed around the school. This was something I found a bit confronting at first, but then realised it was just like any other school and relaxed me a lot. This school also had a uniform, which isn’t as uncommon as I though in the USA.
The final school was in sunny California. This city was similar to Sydney with amazing beaches, active lifestyle and beautiful weather. The school I went to very much reflected the Californian atmosphere. It was a bit more relaxed than the New York school. This was just a general high school for the area. It was really fun the kids were all very friendly and offered to take me surfing. There is so much to do in California, from going to Disneyland to watching some local sport like Ice Hockey at the Staples centre. Truly an experience you do not get anywhere else.
One thing I noted about all the schools was that all the students and teachers were very tied into their heritage. Being from pledging allegiance to the flag every morning to students and staff attending the school sports fixtures that were on. All the kids and staff were amazing and wanted to get to know you. I would very much suggest looking towards teaching in the USA and I would definitely hope to return sometime in the future.
*anzuk education trades as scoot education across our US office locations (California/New York)
You can find more information about teaching in the US here.