Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summer Musings

While many of my state-side friends have just begun a new school year this week, I am smack in the middle of my summer "vacation", and because Japanese school year starts in April, we're already 1/3 of the way through the school year. I say "vacation" because if you are a teacher or know a teacher personally, you are well aware that the teacher in you never really (O.K., rarely) takes a break. Whether it's summer school, professional development, or scouring the $1 section at Target  (or in my case Daiso, which is the equivalent of the Dollar Tree in Japan) for classroom "must-haves" every time you go shopping, our students are never far from our thoughts, even when we aren't seeing them in the classroom daily.

I chose to stay "home" in Japan on my summer break this year, which is big departure from my usual wanderlust ways. I have been enjoying exploring the rich natural and cultural places that Osaka has to offer.

Minoh Waterfall
View from the top of Namba Parks Garden 

I've also been doing a bit of self-exploration: getting reacquainted with the piano, learning how to paint, and riding my bike at least a little bit everyday. I haven't crashed yet...yay for me! (There's no bike picture, since I'm trying to stay on my current crash-less streak)

I think I have at least half of these "50 Greats for the Piano" somewhere in the recesses of my memory

Coffee, painting, and seahorses. What's not to love? :)
And while my days are filled (and running together) with sleeping in, painting, Starbucks, and leisurely wandering around town, I am still thinking about school. I can't help it, I'm SO stinkin' excited about this new semester! There is a box of Mother Goose Time curriculum on it's way to Japan right now. Starting in September (who am I kidding??!! More like as soon as the box arrives, if not before!) I will be giving you a weekly peek into my classroom through blogs, as we embark on our Mother Goose Time adventure. This is the first time I've had access to the full curriculum, but it's not my first experience with the company. I first learned about MGT when I was up to my eyebrows in curriculum planning for the kindergarten in Haiti. There are several pilot programs being implemented in kindergartens in Haiti using modified version of the preschool curriculum. It was SO nice to not have to reinvent the wheel, using some of those resources! For my first year of teaching in Japan, we did several months of the Experience God devotional curriculum, which correlates with MGT monthly themes. My students LOVED it, and still talk about the stories and lessons they learned. That is the wonderful part of teaching a combined, multi-level class - I get to see the continued growth and progress from one year to the next (and beyond). 

So, my stay-cation thus far has been filled with relaxation, creativity, adventure...and school. And I'm totally OK with that!

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