Monday, December 31, 2012

Teaching On A Remote Island 1

Unlike those who mistakenly think you can "drive across a bridge" to get to Santa Catalina Island, the only way to travel to this remote community named "Avalon" is to take a one hour fifteen minute boat ride on the Catalina Express. Sometimes you are fortunate and the ride is smooth, but most of the time during the "school year", the swells are high and if you are not accustomed to boating, you are the perfect candidate for sea sickness. 

Now, this does not include the days when the wind is blowing so hard the Catalina Express doesn't run and you aren't able to travel to and from the Island. On such days, if a teacher is absent, the staff at Avalon Schools have to pull from their small list of Island substitute teachers or disperse their students into other classrooms. With only two teachers per classroom, this usually means an Avalon teacher is bound to have extra students from another grade level in his/her classroom for the day.

Winter Means 75-Minute Bumpy Rides In Rough Seas

Transportation is one of the reasons why most Catalina Island teachers choose to live on the Island rather than the Mainland, but in doing so they are making a sacrifice. Those who live there understand there are no malls or shopping centers on the Island; no theme parks or bowling alleys for entertainment; no doctors or hospitals to treat emergencies; and you are not allowed to have a "real vehicle" on the Island unless you have been on the "waiting list" for one literally since the day you were born.

Avalon Traffic Jam On The Way To School

Nevertheless, the students and parents who live on this remote Island are thankful for their one very small Vons Market; a U.S. Post Office with tiny turn-of-the-century brass P.O. Boxes; a Casino Movie Theater where "outdated movies" are shown only on the weekends; and the ability to travel around the 3/4 square mile community in golf carts, if they can afford to purchase them.

No comments:

Post a Comment