The purpose of this post is multifold and I encourage you to look at it as if it was an origami model. Well-aware of the fact that Japan and its people are one-of-a-kind in so many ways, I find it virtually impossible to draw a definitive conclusion on why things are the way they are … Continue reading What Does It Take to Be a Japanese?
The book "Japan: A Guide to Traditions, Customs, and Etiquette" reveals what makes the Japanese Japanese and what sets them apart. The revelation about the distinctiveness of Japanese culture literally threw me into a deep contemplation. I ventured on a deliberate interrogation of my teaching practices and my role as a home-room teacher of 16 Japanese kids. … Continue reading Is English Language Immersion Right for your Child?
Reading as a Prerequisite to Writing One of the classroom resources I prepared as soon as the kids began to connect visual letter symbols with letter names and sounds were a few sets of magnetic uppercase and lowercase letters. On their own, kids enjoyed matching the letters to a picture that has the same initial … Continue reading Building Pre-Writing Skills
When it was about time to start preparing for our end-of-year performance, I went on the Internet in a desperate need to find some tips on how to teach 3 year old kids their lines in an age-appropriate manner. Yet, I couldn't find any easy to assimilate, step-by-step guide. Eventually, I had no other alternative … Continue reading How to teach drama in the Kindergarten classroom?
Working as a teacher involves a great deal of curriculum and lesson planning. The process of defining and breaking down the learning objectives and strategies is a time-consuming yet an invaluable 'investment' in the cognitive, emotional, and social development of students. Not to mention the fact that a well-structured curriculum along with thorough lesson plans … Continue reading The art and science of English lesson planning
In his ‘Introductory Course in Teaching English to Children’ David Paul, author of Teaching English to Children in Asia (Pearson), presented in a truly accessible manner many of the teaching strategies based on the constructivist (student-centered) approach and employed by IB practitioners. In the course of his lecture, I could constantly draw parallels between the language learning method … Continue reading One-day English teaching course by David Paul
What surprises kids? What astonishes them and leaves them with eyes wide open and jaws dropped? Kids are amazed by the things we, the grown-ups, take for granted - bugs, scars, holes, small objects like buttons, marbles or bolts that might fill in some empty space. As if all the life's wisdom can be found … Continue reading Stimulate Curiosity and Promote Exploration: the World of Circles and Holes
Here you are, native of a non-English speaking country, with a sincere passion in making a difference in the lives of children, and a yearning desire to start a new life in a place you have always dreamed of being. Your job hunting strategy consists of scrolling down to the Job Requirements section of any … Continue reading Challenging some well-established beliefs
We celebrate the end of our first semester with a lovely mini performance. It comprises of three distinct parts - yoga, dancing, and singing in English and in Japanese. It encourages broad-mindedness and supports students' development of a wide perspective. As part of the yoga 'repertoire', the kids perform a simple set of movements accompanied … Continue reading Ladybugs’ First Big Appearance in front of an Audience
Professional Development through Class/Lesson Observation It is a common practice among teachers in Japan to engage in professional development activities in the form of a lesson study or research of teaching/learning by visiting other schools and observing classes. It is meant to help teachers enhance their capabilities and competencies and to incorporate new ideas and … Continue reading Professional Development through Lesson Observation