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Showing posts from August, 2017

Time for Talk: The unexpected benefit of trains & travel

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Picture this: sixty-six international educators boarding the train for a weekend excursion in China. Cues forming (well, more like scrums) ready to board. Selfies snapping sporadically amongst the group - as well as a few with inquisitive onlookers. Upon arrival, unforgettable landscapes and cultural experiences await. As beautiful as the Shaolin Temple and Longmen Grottoes were, the real story of this blog lies in the train ride.

It is here that a conversation about robotics unfolded with my friend and colleague John Burke from Arizona. I had the pleasure of meeting John last year at SFLS and was delighted that we were both back again this summer. We had over two hours on the train, refreshments in our hands, and so much to talk about in light of our shared interest in STEM. With no time limits and no pressure, our conversation just ebbed and flowed. We talked about the previous school year - what new things did we try? What went well? What flopped? I shared our success at WCDSB'…

What "More and Less" Are Encouraged?

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What "more and less" would top your list?

This question has been on my mind since attending a seminar by Liu Baocun from Beijing Normal University during my two week experience at Shijiazhaung Foreign Language School in China.


He spoke about current experiences of students and teachers in the Chinese educational system. Many of these were evident while teaching grade 7 and 8 students during the two week summer camp. First and foremost, I will note the great care that the teachers I worked with had for their students - wanting the very best for them and working very hard to incorporate new practices into their lessons. All of this with obstacles such as very large class sizes (40 - 60 students per class) and testing. This is something that I have come to find transcends borders - the close relationship between students and teachers. Our conversations, although challenging at times with language barriers, were tempered with a common love and understanding of our profession. It …