My colleagues and I attended Hokkaido Univ alumni training conference held in a district where my school is located. The president of the alumni made a speech about direction of education in Japan in the future and what we teachers should do based on the direction. As it was at the two conferences previously held in this district, his speech was really interesting, meaningful, and easy to understand. After the conference we talked about what we could do in each school we worked for while introducing ourselves.
When I began to work as a teacher, I did not know that the univ I graduated from had such a strong network among teachers. I could not even imagine it! But now I am relaxed to know that I am in a position to ask for some advices from experienced teachers graduating from the same univ as I did when I want to. After the conference, The principal invited us his home, and drank a lot until mid night (even until just before the dawn!). It was for the first time in a long time to talk a lot with colleagues, so I was able to work my stress out!
We have two weeks peer observation of classes among colleagues. It is stimulating for us to do such an attempt. From this school year, we comment our feelings and opinions on a certain worksheet to promote our noticing. From the beginning of this school year, I have tried a variety of ways of reading passages and also given almost all directions in English. The two points were positively evaluated among many teachers. On the other hand, some teachers wondered how I would promote students to express themselves on the basis of such reading activities. This is just what I have wondered a lot, and also what other English teachers need to focus on toward next school year. Anyway, deepening my thought on my class and reflect what I have thought on the real classes everyday is hard but really meaningful. I would like to thank you for all colleagues who found their precious time to observe my class.
This Thursday and Friday, I went to Sapporo Inter-cultural and Information high school to examine how CALL classes are implemented, and to Asahikawa to attend SelHi conference coordinated by Asahikawa-Kita high school.
The objective for this trip was to get some tips for Shizunai high school English section to organize more coherent English courses and classes before Shizuko opens a variety of them as it changes the system into "Tani-sei" from next academic year on.
The key-words I got from this trip is, first, English teachers' English for students, that can be called "Teacher Talk" or "paraphrased easy English", second, Teachers competitive and energetic mind to improve their own English, and finally, all of their efforts are for students, not ourselves. The last one was also just what I learned from Principal of Asahikawa-Higashi High school, who I drank with during this trip.
I would like to share what I learned with other teachers in Shizuko and take a first step for the new English course and classes.