How Covid-19 fast forwarded us into the future

The World of Work As mentioned in my previous post, during the first month of the school year I took my students on a voyage of self-discovery. With it, I implicitly communicate the importance of learning taking place beyond the boundaries of the classroom and the school building. In our attempt to let students take … Continue reading How Covid-19 fast forwarded us into the future

Working Towards Unity

In my strive to bring all four kindergarten classes under the same umbrella, I developed a comprehensive and culturally specific, plan of monthly themes and activities with the appropriate social focus. With an overarching monthly theme, the lessons of every individual class branch out into their own specific direction, thus allowing students to dig deeper … Continue reading Working Towards Unity

Pop-up, pull-out, peak-in, stand-up picture books

As teachers we need to continually work on our creative skills and constantly strive towards introducing kids to things that surprise, amaze, inspire, or tickle their curiosity. But how do we know what grabs children's attention and teases their imagination? The effect of some things is quite predictable - such as the construction of a … Continue reading Pop-up, pull-out, peak-in, stand-up picture books

Design Thinking, Language Learning and the Power of Giving

Design thinking activities are a powerful tool for engaging students and developing their creativity and communication skills. The real value lies in the interactivity and authenticity of the experience. The content of the learning is genuinely supplied by the students in the room in the form of their impressions, memories, experiences, ideas, opinions and feelings. … Continue reading Design Thinking, Language Learning and the Power of Giving

Our Nice, Nice Christmas

Christmas Puzzle Our year culminated with a garland of fun Christmas activities. Even in Japan, Christmas is filled with excitement and anticipation of the time spent with one's family and friends. Building upon this sense of community, for the most part, we worked collaboratively while celebrating our individual strengths and tightening our bonds the way … Continue reading Our Nice, Nice Christmas

If you give a Japanese kid a carton of milk…

... he will imbue it with meaning and value. Contrary to the popular children's story If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, "he is going to ask for a glass of milk", if you give a Japanese kid a carton of milk, he won't ask for other goods and services. He will create wonders out … Continue reading If you give a Japanese kid a carton of milk…

The Japanese Way of Educating Children

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” Yesterday, as part of my professional development, I had the privilege of visiting the kindergarten associated with Tohoku Bunkyo University - … Continue reading The Japanese Way of Educating Children

How to Prepare Children for Their Future

If there is anything we can be sure of in today’s rapidly changing and complex world, it is the increased automation and tremendous shift in the professional landscape. Career opportunities are suddenly opening up in new fields while quickly shutting down in old ones.  This prompts educators to ask: What skills and qualities do the … Continue reading How to Prepare Children for Their Future

The Tricks of How to Use Halloween to Your Marketing Advantage

As most other Western holidays, after its export to Japan, Halloween has become highly commercialized. Known for costumes and candies, it is the second-largest commercial holiday, with Christmas being the first. Apart from driving sales for candy and costume manufacturers, Halloween can be used to the marketing advantage of virtually any type of business - … Continue reading The Tricks of How to Use Halloween to Your Marketing Advantage

The Truth about Being a Teacher

"A life without purpose is a languid, drifting thing; Every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves: This day let me make a sound beginning, for what we have hitherto is naught!" I feel like the best advice to all the professionals out there (be it teachers, marketers, musicians, magicians) is to … Continue reading The Truth about Being a Teacher