Hi everyone. It has been quite the hectic autumn season, and I am late with the meeting reports, so I’m going to combine them both here in one article.
Andy Boon – September 27
On September 27 we had another amazing visit from Andy Boon. He talked to us about how teachers can be more reflective in how they approach their teaching style, and methods we as teachers can use to self-analyse our performance. One such strategy was having another co-worker listen to our reflection,not making any judgements, and summarizing what we told them, allowing us a moment of self-reflection. Overall, Andy’s ideas for teacher self-evaluation and reflection were very helpful.
Andy’s second talk about on Negotiated syllabuses. This is a method of planning a course curriculum involving the students themselves in the planning process. This allows the students to be more involved in guided learning and add their own input. He cautioned that it can be tricky to have the student help you plan a syllabus on the first day of class when curriculums are usually supposed to be set way before then. However, if it can be done, negotiating syllabuses with the students can be a rewarding experience. Personally, I applied this to my community English class with amazing results. Thanks again for two more amazing talks, Andy!
Louis Carlet – October 25
This snippet form Wikipedia is probably the best way I can introduce Louis.
“Louis Carlet is the general secretary and founder of Zenkoku Ippan Tokyo General Union (“Tozen”), a union representing both Japanese and migrant workers, including foreign language teachers, bank and newspaper workers. Tozen is the only foreign-led amalgamated union (godo roso) in Japan.”
Louis came to Morioka and gave us a presentation about the current state of employment in Japan. While things are grim, he spoke to us about his history in fighting for employees with his union, and how most foreign employees in Japan could benefit from union representation. In fact, his stories highlight that many foreign workers in Japan are simply unaware of what their rights are under Japanese Law. His talk was eye-opening, and he answered many questions from the concerned people who came to listen. We want to thank Louis for coming up and giving his presentation.
Reported by Jason Hill
All photos ©2015 Jason Hill