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

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

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

The End of One, Beginning of Another Era

English Language Crisis This year Japan welcomed a new era in its history. From Heisei to Reiwa, as it stepped into the new era, Japan started preparing for a big change, from politics to education, from technology to business. The strategy plan "Japan Vision 2020 highlights "Strengthening foreign language communication"¹ as the key element for … Continue reading The End of One, Beginning of Another Era

The Kindergarten Recital – put the needs of children at its core

Keep it simple and have fun The end of the first semester is just around the corner. Parents are expecting to get a snapshot of the dynamic first months of the academic year. As a teacher, you might be tempted to choose a great song with a deep lyrics and an intricate choreography in a … Continue reading The Kindergarten Recital – put the needs of children at its core