The teacher who loves to ski needs to wrap up the season that was… The snow came, went, came, went and that sums up the season. However, I had a great season despite a little lack of snow problem at times!
Last term I had two weeks of long service leave. I took each week separately and it worked. My students had a wonderful teacher while I was away, experienced change and the program continued. I was back before I was even missed!
Skiing Buller for a few weekends this year was a little disappointing because I love this mountain and being so close to Melbourne for my international readers means I can leave the beach and be at the ‘top of the world’ on a Friday night.
Each year my family have a week at Hotham with other families. It is tradition! The children are now independent (some instructors) which means we ‘the collective’ older members of the group can pace our week how we wish. Yes, we are up earlier and back later.
Hotham provided the experience of the season! My first helicopter ride and it was special. Not only did I experience something new I was able to have an incredible day skiing Falls Creek. I learnt to ski at Falls and hadn’t been back for many years. We are so lucky in Australia to have these resorts and I am fascinated by each mountain’s history. AND I did make a little video. 🙂
The other week I spent at Thredbo. What an incredible mountain! While at Thredbo we ‘snuck in’ a couple of other close by resorts Perisher, Guthega and Blue Cow and used the snow train as our transport. A little bit of Europe in Australia.
Before I start writing about teaching and learning in a year 1/2 class, I’d like to share some aspects of my summer holiday. Teachers have many skills that transfer into other work fields and until we have an opportunity to do something different, we don’t necessarily realize this.
My holiday included supporting two Australian companies at Messe Frankfurt Heimtextil 2013.
Final Report Heimtextil 2013 Heimtextil 2013 kicks off the new trade-fair year to a great start with 2,658 exhibitors from 62 countries and 66,000 visitors Increased level of internationality on the visitor side: 67 percent of trade buyers came from outside Germany Messe Frankfurt to expand portfolio of events with the launch of Heimtextil India in June 2014 With 2,658 exhibitors from 62 countries (2012: 2,601*) and growth for the third year running, Heimtextil 2013 represented not only a successful start to the new furnishing season but also to the new trade-fair year. Around 66,000 visitors from 128 countries (2012: 67,451) came to the trade fair in Frankfurt, which closes its doors today. “Heimtextil has once again underscored its preeminent position as the world’s leading trade fair for home and contract textiles”, said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. “The fair also succeeded in maintaining the number of visitors at an almost constant level despite the difficult economic climate prevailing at present.”
Few Australian companies exhibit at the Messe Frankfurt thus it’s a credit to these companies that they are able to exhibit at this level. I enjoyed the experience immensely and met numerous people from around the globe and was also able to view the best of Europe in home textile. Companies: Kelly and Windsor & Creswick Woollen Mills : Australian Made
Next stop: St Anton – AUSTRIA
I’ve written a number of times about my passion for skiing and St Anton am Arlberg is amazing. Skiing in Austria is something skiers dream about. Mega runs, amazing snow, restaurants dotted everywhere, an efficient lift system and beautiful views everywhere. I’ve chosen a few photos of my many to share here. I’d like to thank the Raimund Sattler family of Hotel Grischuna for their wonderful hospitality and cuisine.
Next stop Ischgl and I was not disappointed. Wow! Once again the accommodation was incredible. Hotel Trofana in the heart of Ischgl offers everything.- luxury at an affordable price… Once again the skiing was mind-blowing on the ‘groomers’ or off, and the walking travelator from the slope to the village was something I’ve only seen at airports. Yes, at the end of an exhausting day skiing this was something I loved. And skiing into Switzerland for some duty-free at Samnaun was another highlight.
I could keep going here, but I think everyone reading my post would understand that skiing in Europe was in my Top 10 list and remains there.
Now back to teaching and learning….
My blog has established a strong readership base and this has surprised me. It’s where I reflect on my teaching. I receive numerous emails, far more than comments from all over the world and respond to each as I can. Teaching has no borders… My blog supports ‘newbie’ teachers often overwhelmed in their first year and looking for guidance and support. There are university students looking for ‘real’ explanations of the ‘how’ not the ‘what’ of teaching and learning which they struggle with and the experienced educators discussing and sharing pedagogy. It’s also where I share, review and recognise people or places I have been. So what have I been up to this Winter and Spring?
The Teacher who loves to ski:
Our Australian winter has provided incredible snow on our mountains and I’m grateful to live near the beach but also relatively close to the ski fields. This season I have skied Mount Buller, Mount Hotham (Victoria), Thredbo and Perisher (New South Wales). Many of my colleagues are skiers and boarders and the ‘word of mouth’ recommendations are strongly made and listened to. We skiers will fall in love with mountain and can be blindsided… but this year has changed my view of ski resorts for a number of reasons. I’ll share my reasons in another post.
I’ve revisited some mountains and experienced two new mountains this year. I’m also at a stage of life where I can look overseas and this is really appealing! Let’s face it the timing of our Victorian / Australian school holidays doesn’t support skiing in Australia. So now there are real opportunities for Australian teachers to spend their ski dollars overseas. Japan, Europe and America await and the deals are incredible… What does this mean for the Australian ski fields? It means our Australian resorts need to have improvement strategies in place, gather and act on feedback, listen to their skiers and boarders and offer value for the dollar. Hey, $5 dollars is ridiculous for a jam donut!
I’ve already written a post about Thredbo! What a mountain and I remain impressed. No resort is cheap and Australian skiers have to except this due to the shortness of our ski season, but I’m now starting to compare Australian prices with deals being offered overseas.
Another mountain I’ve revisited many times this year is Mount Buller. Despite the disappointing early start to the Buller ski season… Mount Buller has impressed me in many ways. Absolutely love the B-tag. Being able to pay for my day tickets on line and avoid queues has allowed me to save time in the mornings and that means more skiing or a relaxing breakfast. With my B-tag in my parker I was able to go straight to the lift and ride. Well done Mount Buller!
Mount Buller offers many activities for families, teens and adults looking for that total experience. I was fortunate to have a lovely meal at Breathtaker, amazing scallops and evenings at Pension Grimus, muffins and a great meal at Cattleman’s Café and many visits to the Apres Bar and Koflers for its exceptional hospitality, food and coffee. Buller’s $2 donuts are superb… and an affordable price. It’s the small things that count, such as the Buller taxi driver carrying bags down to the lodge. It’s these little things that bring me back to a mountain. I also enjoy speaking to the many young people who work at resorts as their feedback about their working conditions is important to me…
Something different… THREDBO!
This has been my winter on the slopes. I’ve skied a number of mountains in Victoria this year… but last week I had the opportunity to take a week Long Service Leave and ski the Thredbo Resort in New South Wales, Australia for the first time. How could I have got to my age and not been to Thredbo?
Driving into Thredbo was breathtaking. From the village you look up at the mountain and runs. In the early evening the groomers start and can be watched through the night. On Saturday night fireworks light up the night sky and a snake of lights weave their way down the mountain.
What an amazing mountain! Wonderful long groomed runs from top to bottom of the mountain and crowds spread out meaning very few lift queues. Cruising slopes without having to worry about collisions and knowing that the grooming has been completed to perfection is refreshing. The Thredbo Resort Management knows how to look after their mountain and therefore the skiers.
Great weather at the beginning of the week enabled me to have a close look at this beautiful mountain. The terrain is varied with plenty of variety to cater for all skier levels. The Ski School has its own space with many attractions for young children. The staff are well looked after within the organisation and happy to share their mountain. As the wind picked up later in the week, skiers were able to find protected areas to ski.
Skiing the Golf Course area was a highlight, tricky and nicely challenging and for those skiers who enjoy off piste the back country at Thredbo is amazing. I was able to view the terrain from the top of the mountain.
So Thredbo, I’ll be back again and as a Victorian skier that’s difficult to type. Thanks for the great week! And thank you to the mountain staff who work hard to ensure visitors to Thredbo have a great time on and off the slopes!