I’m really pleased to kick off 2015 proper with a review of Lifer: How to Be a Bald Middle-Aged English Conversation Teacher in Japan. Based on the blog of the same name, it is written by the teacher behind Good and Bad Japan, a whimsical look at daily life here.
I think Carl must be a bit like me, because I suggested he turn his hilarious blog into an ebook years ago, and it’s only just come out
Lifer is probably the best book I have read about teaching English in Japan. Most of the time I could imagine that he was writing about my life, as I have lived many of the scenes in the book. A lot of the time it is laugh-out-loud funny, but the best thing about it is the author’s love of Japan and teaching that shows through the cracks in the anecdotes.
Please buy a copy immediately if you teach English in Japan or are considering doing so -not only will you enjoy it immensely and probably learn some things, but if it does well enough Carl may even get around to writing a sequel.
Looking ahead to 2015
I have no idea what will happen in 2015. Unexpected events, good or bad, are almost guaranteed. I’m hoping there will be more good than bad this year.
Also, I have some idea of what I want to accomplish. Here are my educational goals for 2015.
My main goal here is to write the second edition of our extensive reading manual. Beyond that I would like to continue improving my classes and supporting other teachers in the ER@TU program.
The main goal here is rolling out the new program Cambridge 2015, along with the SEG-inspired Cambridge Academy. This is on track and looking good so far.
I would like to write and publish some more ebooks. I also plan to work on my Retire Japan project.
I also have personal (mainly to lose weight) and financial (to continue saving and investing) goals. How about you? Any projects or resolutions for 2015?
WordPress puts together quite a nice ‘Your Blog in 2014′ package. You can see the one for sendaiben.org here:
Next up, goals for 2015.
Well, this year went by fast! In a lot of ways 2014 was a good one for me.
I was able to do a fair bit of travelling and presenting, things went well at both the university and Cambridge, and I learned a lot.
Unfortunately I neglected this blog, and haven’t posted as frequently as I would have liked to.
Here are my highlights of 2014:
The Extensive Reading at Tohoku University project went incredibly well this year. Not only did we receive special funding of 5 million yen to buy more books, but we were also noticed by the university administration. We’re working on rolling extensive reading classes out to more teachers and were selected to receive a prize for the project.
- International Textbook
I was really pleased to be able to contribute to Oxford University Press’ new textbook series Stretch. I wrote the presenting skills curriculum.
I was able to present at a number of international and domestic events this year, including delivering my first plenary at VUS TESOL in Vietnam, presentations in Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand, and a number of events in Japan.
- Guest Lectures
I really enjoyed giving guest lectures at Miyagi University of Education, Nika Junior and Senior High School, Sendai Second High School, and Tago Elementary School. It was a great experience to present on new topics to new audiences.
I will be working on my annual review and plans for 2015 over the next week or so, and will post some of my educational goals here in the new year.
Hope you are all enjoying a bit of a break. Happy holidays!
And the benevolent shall inherit the earth
I just read a fantastic essay on the role of character and success, and how it might be changing due to our society’s evolution. Check it out here.
From a teaching perspective, this underscores the importance of helping our students learn how to work together and collaborate.