Showing posts from April, 2016

What Makes Ikejiri Ohashi the Best Area to Live in Tokyo?

It's the Ikejirians of course!
The time has come for me to say a fond sayonara to my room in Tokyo--inevitably forcing me to also say goodbye to the people and places which have made my stay all the more memorable. Just before heading off to explore many southern parts of Japan, I wanted to capture one last smile from the familiar faces of Ikejiri Ohashi. After bestowing delicious Tim Tams upon them as a parting gift, I asked whether it would be okay to take some snaps as a trade-off. If you ever visit Tokyo or take my advice and stay in the area, do yourself a favour and visit some (or all) of the places featured in this article. 
While most individuals spoke very little English, it was quite astounding to witness how unwaveringly kind and accommodating they were towards someone who largely remained a stranger in the background. It was only from saying our goodbyes that one of my favourites worked up the courage to ask me my name and what I was doing in Tokyo. I think especially wh…

ASG Teacher of the Year Award

In June last year I was made aware that I'd been nominated for a teaching award (AGS National Excellence in Teaching Award) by a member of my school community. While this honour was gratifying enough in itself, the judging process was as equally rewarding, as it helped me identify my teaching philosophy and determine what I'm most passionate about. 
Upon being named a state finalist, I was asked to produce a short film and answer a series of questions addressing some current concerns relating to Australia’s education system. The below video titled Challenges Teachers Face in the 21stCentury was my submission.

The judges' decision to select me as one of 12 national NEiTA awardees was based on the video as well as a series of written Q&A style submissions. Below you can read some of my answers and gain insight into my personal teaching philosophy. 

What inspired you to enter the teaching profession, and what maintains your enthusiasm for teaching?
During and after high schoo…

Cultivating Creativity and Connections at Hakuba International School Japan

Last week I was fortune enough to be part of a project harbouring the rarest kind of energy— generated by the sharing of ideas and emotions among young and old. Through unrelenting determination, one Japanese lady by the name of Tomoko managed to gather a bunch of Japan’s most talented individuals to teach native Japanese high school students within the natural setting of Hakuba. Situated within Japan’s northern alps, the first day saw 17 nervous students enter the retired Norwegian Olympic ski lodging and collect their name tags. With the furthest student travelling all the way from Kyoto (6 hours away by shinkansen), majority of them commenced the 5-day spring program as strangers. After spending most of our waking hours together, many of us left as Facebook friends with genuine intentions to meet again. The daily line-up of presenters and visitors rivalled that of any well-established private school within a major city. With the CEO of Yahoo Japan stopping by as well as the mayor of…