After discovering teaching working at a hotel in Hong Kong where I was required to teach customer service and manners, I applied for the JET programme in Japan.
My 3 years on the JET programme were educational. I was a ‘one shot’ assistant language teacher. This meant that I taught at over 30 different schools. With only 1 hour a month, it was difficult to build a relationship with the students. However I received exposure to many different teachers and was able to learn something from each of them.
After a year at University study a Masters in East Asian studies I returned to Japan to teach in a Private Junior & Senior High School. Education in Japan is hard on students and teachers. Relentless testing and cramming of facts and figures. I tried hard to change the system but overtime became unhappy with my role within it.
I joined Canadian Academy in January 2007 as a tech integration teacher on a one semester contract.
From August 2007 until July 2009 I taught ESOL to grade 2 & 3 students. During this time I became involved in directing elementary and middle school plays and coaching high school football (soccer) and middle school tennis.
From August 2009 until June 2012 I taught grades 6, 7, & 8 drama and led the Fine Arts Department. During these years the school decided to implement MYP and I led the department to a successful IB visit. During this time I continued to direct elementary and middle school plays and coach middle and high school sports as well as lead 2 successful Habitat for Humanity trips.
Here is one of my earliest blogs, written as the school bought in student blogs – I was attempting to model great blogging!
March 11th 2011 – a day I will never forget
As we know learning does happen outside of the classroom and in July 2012 I was honoured to lead a trip to the Tohoku region of Japan where on March 11th a year earlier the largest tsunami in Japan’s history struck. The pictures do not speak the full truth of the damage, but even over a year later the impact on me an my students was immense. Our school continues to support the area and learn from those affected.