Buddy Programs for Elementary Schools
Leah Davies examines the stimulating opportunities for learning and skill development that a well-thought out buddy program gives everyone as students from upper elementary grades interact with children who are at least two years younger.
Having spent six years teaching at a leading international school in South-East Asia, Matt Tighe was delighted to be appointed International Link Coordinator at Farlingaye High School in the UK. A central focus of his work now is developing an international mind-set that is both meaningful and practical for a school in semi-rural Suffolk.
Meeting a need in Ho Chi Minh City
Expatriate life can be challenging with a young family. Having worked in Ho Chi Minh City for two years as an International teacher, then spending the following three years as a full-time mum and occasional supply (substitute) teacher, Jessica Gosling knew the learning needs of her own young family were not being met locally. In the tradition of other international teaching pioneers, she took the initiative and decided to do something about it herself.
The importance of home languages
Much has recently been written highlighting the importance of a child’s mother tongue (or “home language”). Susan Stewart, of the International School of London (Surrey), describes the advantages of putting home languages at the centre of a school’s curriculum.
The Naiyobi Women’s Project
Born and raised in northern California, environmental educator Kim Laizer has recently been working on a new project with Massai women in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This article is the first of two highlighting her story and collaborative efforts to provide education, training, and development opportunities for Maasai women in Naiyobi, Tanzania.
The key to collaborative planning and decision making
Listening, rather than talking, is the key to making an effective plan of action for a company or school, according to Peter Hudson. The trouble is, most people are not very good at it. Here Peter looks at five key ideas that will help the members of a team improve as listeners, and therefore as effective collaborative planners.
Don’t forget us
A ‘successful’ or ‘engaging’ curriculum is one that provides genuine learning opportunities for all. Andrew Wooster, Deputy Head of Pukerua Bay School in New Zealand, reflects on his students and the residents of a local old people’s home learning together, and connects the initiative to the school’s culture of “yes”!
Making the big leap!
Having helped numerous families settle overseas including finding good schools for their children, Elaine Stallard knows the joys and pitfalls of relocating abroad is well qualified to offer advice on how best to ensure a successful outcome.
CBT by Skype
Whilst an often exhilarating adventure, heading overseas to teach is not without its stressful moments and demands. Joanna Burbury provides guidance on how to cope with these to ensure one makes the most of the exciting opportunities offered by international teaching. One option for teachers working overseas needing support is through the use of Skype.
Those working overseas, as teachers or in other roles, always feel genuine concern for the welfare of family and friends “back home”. The distances involved and not being on the doorstep to offer immediate help sometimes intensify this concern to the point of an anxiety that can blight the individual’s overseas experience. Nathan Brown (Bluebird Care Community Liaison Manager for West Kent in the UK), offers sound advice to ensure this does not happen.
Throughout history, good conversation has been highly valued but what are the attributes of a good conversationalist? The ability to listen, rather than eagerly searching for the next opportunity to interject, is certainly one of them. Peter Hudson sets out on a quest to find the Holy Grail of social listening and discovers the old Cuban proverb rings very true;“Listening looks easy, but it’s not simple. Every head is a world.”
For teachers, the old Socratic idea has always been important – you’ve got to be yourself to be successful in the classroom. But how do you get to know yourself? One answer is to know where the boundaries to your own comfort zones are and then think about crossing them and see how you feel. If you need inspiration, perhaps find it in people who are rather more daring than yourself.
Whilst hugely rewarding, the role of international teacher can also be demanding and tiring. Finding opportunities to unwind and revitalize are essential if you are to get the most out of your role and provide the best for your students. Brian Ambrosio discovers an ideal and unheralded place to relax and recharge.