Blogs of international school teachers: “dkceci”
March 5, 2012
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“One week ago, we were at school. A normal Friday. Ceci was dressed in her yellow PE uniform because it’s PE day. On Friday afternoon, we had our usual get together with all of the 5th graders. We’re on the road to Exhibition, a culminating project of the PYP where students intensely study something of interest. This year, the kids have chosen their passion and are exploring an issue related to that passion. It’s been really fun, but we’re on a tight schedule. On Friday, we were reflecting on the week’s work and stressing the schedule we need to keep to finish this on time.
The students broke into groups in all 3 of our classrooms. I wandered around, listening to their conversations. The students were animated, hanging out with friends, sharing their passions and their proud moments from the week. And then 2:47. The classroom started shaking. I was standing near a group of girls who immediately got under a table. Usually, earthquakes stop within seconds, but this didn’t. It was rocking us like babies in a rocker, and it wasn’t stopping.
I squished under the table with the girls. My co-teacher continued to stand up. I’m not sure how he did it. I couldn’t move. I put my arm over one of the girls and tried to comfort them all. A few were hysterical. It kept shaking. Over the loudspeaker, the high school principal in his dry, calming voice told us what was happening (earthquake). A few times he said, “it’s now safe to get out,” and then 1/2 second later, “No, back under the desks, the ground is still shaking.” During a time like that, you needed someone to speak your thoughts, and hats off to Mr. Stanworth who did.”
I can’t imagine how I would frightening this experience would have been. I do know that I would have done the same as this international school teacher and just try to comfort as many students as I could. I guess it is something that maybe one forgets about when deciding which international schools to interview with and where you would most like to live next in the world; the natural disasters that typically occur in that area. I guess you can’t predict those though, whether they would happen when you are living there or not. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
“It’s been a while, but time for a blog. We’re back to school again, and it’s almost as if we never left. Great group of kids again. The students always amaze me with their energy and joie de vivre. It would be hard to go back to students who don’t find school so amusing.”
Going back to an international school after a summer off is always an interesting experience. If you are starting your second year, you might be surprised about the feeling of “home” as you leave the host country airport back to your apartment. It is interesting how quickly your host country and school become familiar and give you that sense of belonging.
“Ceci is now in 4th grade. Hard to believe. After a difficult year last year–clashes with the teaching style–she seems relaxed. She says they haven’t been doing much and feels relieved. However, then she’ll mention the things they have done in class, and it’s like secret learning. I like that. For example, they’ve been working on estimating in measurement. They were talking about how far it might be to the train station, and everyone was making guesses. Then, the teacher said, well, let’s find out, and he took off. Ceci said she didn’t know where he went, and they all looked out the window, and he was heading to the train station. So, like little ducks, they followed him. Learning through doing… I like that.
I’m trying to do more of that in my class. My students have been building things lately. After giving them the chance to play with plastic tiles for Math, they now want to make elaborate domino structures and buildings any chance they get. We also played around with the concept of displacement the other day, and they built boats made from aluminum foil. On their own, they came up with the idea of surface area and reinforcing sides and balancing weight. Really amazing.”
I like getting inspired by other international school teachers. How great for international school teachers too that have their children attending the school. Sometimes you get an insight into another teacher’s classroom that you wouldn’t have necessarily; and then you get to learn about or be reminded of some great teaching techniques that you can then use in your own classroom!
Check out the Yokohama international School profile page on International School Community. Currently, there are 22 international schools listed in Tokyo area on our website, with all 4 of them being schools that teach the PYP curriculum.