This article was originally published in the fall 2012 Harker Quarterly.
Harker’s global education program sent upper school English teacher Jennifer Siraganian to Saint Stephen’s College on the Gold Coast of Australia, as part of this year’s teacher exchange with the school.
During her two-week stay, Siraganian lectured to 125 grade 10 students on the subject of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” She also taught Claudius’ famous soliloquy from “Hamlet” to grade 12 students and illustrated the Gunpowder Plot’s influence on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” to grade 11 students.
“After observing over 40 English, writing, ESL and history classes, I noticed that the St. Stephen’s teachers are warm, wonderful and dedicated to their students,” Siraganian said. “The students were so friendly, excited and personable. In addition, the kids were fascinated with California, often asking me if I knew any famous people.”
During her breaks from teaching, Siraganian visited a local wildlife sanctuary with St. Stephen’s teacher Sam Cleary, who visited Harker in the spring, and went with a number of St. Stephen’s teachers to the popular dinner show “Australian Outback Spectacular.”
Personal highlights from the trip included “timing sprinters at the St. Stephen’s Athletic Fair. I sampled Australian delights such as Pavlova and Lamington squares at a real Aussie ‘barbie’ hosted by the English department.”