Cultural Work Hacks

Culture invariably impacts our work. Deeply ingrained cultural practices translate into work habits. As Erin Meyer mentions in her book The Culture Map: "Cultural patterns of behavior and belief frequently impact our perceptions, cognitions, and actions." Whether because Japanese are taught to value hard work and self-sufficiency or due to the high living standard of … Continue reading Cultural Work Hacks

Work Hard, Play Harder

Everyone who works in a multi-cultural environment knows how enriching the experience is despite the increased risk of misunderstanding. And all those managing multi-cultural teams know that with the recruitment of people from diverse backgrounds who bring unique set of culturally-derived characteristics, skills, attitudes, and behaviours to the (pool) table, come things like an increased number … Continue reading Work Hard, Play Harder

Well-thought-out topics and powerful references

Well-thought-out topics and meaningful references open the door to great presentations in the same way that communication leads to great possibilities for connection, discovery, and collaborative learning. This month’s topic of Helping somehow fell quickly into place. The things we’ve mentioned when sharing about our families, friends, books, and travel suddenly started to make even … Continue reading Well-thought-out topics and powerful references

Bringing the World to the Classroom

Need, Relevance, Utility Our Sharing activities do more than connect the world of our students to the world of English, they validate each individual’s identity and demonstrate a sincere interest and concern in what they have to say as evidenced by the initiative of one of the students to suggest a topic for our Sharing … Continue reading Bringing the World to the Classroom

‘Mindfulness Through Photography’ made its way to Japan

Back in 2016, with the help of friends and locals, I launched the "Mindfulness Through Photography" retreat to foster an appreciation of our natural and cultural resources. We successfully ran programs with local primary-school students, study-abroad university students, and travelers to Bali, Indonesia. On its surface, the project provides participants with practical training on how … Continue reading ‘Mindfulness Through Photography’ made its way to Japan

Reviving Post Covid-19 Tourism

In these turbulent times, the government of Japan is equally concerned about containing the virus while reviving the economy. Yet, offering domestic travel incentives to boost consumer spending in times of pandemic inevitably leads to confusion and counterproductive results. It's like trying to entice the fish to come out from the corals at the time … Continue reading Reviving Post Covid-19 Tourism

The childhood lessons that saved our lives in the face of the pandemics

  Part of my most recent training was dedicated to the cross-disciplinary sharing of knowledge among fellow teachers. Through role-play activities and games, English teachers introduce, demonstrate, and rationalize the methods of teaching they adopt. They let their Japanese co-workers experience for themselves the effectiveness of learner-centered instruction and the way they help students build … Continue reading The childhood lessons that saved our lives in the face of the pandemics

The paradox of Social-Distancing among kids

Most would agree that the social-distancing policy, brought about as a result of the spreading coronavirus, has indeed had a 'counterproductive' effect. Whether being on lockdown or highly encouraged to stay at home and practice social distancing when going out into the public, people started re-connecting with relatives and friends. In isolation and self-restriction, in … Continue reading The paradox of Social-Distancing among kids

Covid-19 and the Comeback of Nature: On Transitions and Transformations

Bridge and the idea of one continuous plan After finishing up one content area and preparing to move onto the next one, we are facing a pathway of possibilities. Bridging the gap between one lesson and the next, between one unit and the next, even between one situation and another, not only helps keep the students’ … Continue reading On Transitions and Transformations: Covid-19 and the Comeback of Nature