Friday, August 30, 2013

I am looking forward to...

Good-bye summer!!

Here are some things I'm looking forward to this fall...

Teaching with iPods this year.

We are continuing our use of iTech in PE this year, but now instead of the teachers only using our personal iPhones or an iPad in class, each student will be assigned an iPod for personal use during PE class time.  Using iPods in class will allow us to differentiate our instruction discretely, grade objectively, assess for skill proficiency more accurately, empower students with options,  build student portfolios of progression on their student website, improve students' intrinsic value of wellness and allow for a better home-school connection.  Gone will be the days of parents asking their child, "What did you learn today?" and receiving an "I don't know" in return!  They will already know what their child had learned from looking at their results posted on their student website.  This will also allow the teachers to go "green" and lessen the amount of paperwork and student work that accumulates throughout the year in our filing cabinets that ends up in the trash in June.

Moving to Puxi.

I can't wait to be closer to my favorite dance and yoga studios, spend more time with my Spanish and Italian friends, get more involved with couchsurfing events, dance with the Shanghai Sharks cheerleaders, have more opportunities to network and make new friends.

Visiting the migrant school with my dance team in September.

Last year my team visited an elderly care center to perform for and socialize with the residents. The experience was meaningful for some of the girls, but not for all of them. I think this was mostly due to the fact that a lot of these third culture kids are not raised in close proximity to their grandparents, and are not used to interacting with elderly people.  The girls also voted for visiting a migrant school vs visiting the elderly care center again, so I arranged for a visit on September 14th to the WILL foundation, in collaboration with my colleague David who has been working with the organization for the past few years.  As the boys at this foundation are not English speakers, we plan to teach them simple dances/songs like the Hokey Pokey and then perform a short dance.  We'll also be helping out at the school with activities like gardening, or painting murals. It should be a good learning experience for the girls.

Traveling to Xiamen with the 6th graders.

Last year I traveled with the same group to Nanbeihu when they were fifth graders. This is one wild bunch.  We have also never been on this trip, so I really have no idea what's in store for us, but I heard there's surfing involved. Either way, it should be a fun trip with fun kids.

Traveling to the Philippines with my dance team for a service learning trip during our October holiday.

We still have to book and finalize our plane tickets.  This one's still up in the air because as time marches on, the prices keep getting more and more expensive.  Inshallah, i will have good news regarding this trip next week!

Traveling to Seattle for the IADMS dance conference mid October.

There will be experts from the dance medicine field there, offering seminars on dancer injury prevention, nutrition, and methods for teaching improved alignment. There will also be movement and somatic practices workshops. I'm most interested in learning more about the Alexander technique. Lastly, it will be fun to explore Seattle a little bit, since I've never been there.

Traveling to Beijing with my dance team for the APAC festival mid November.

I've done plenty of blogging about this festival for the past two years.  It's always been a really fun four days of non stop dancing, international collaboration and a great exhibition of awesome choreography; especially the student fusion pieces. This year, the Western Academy of Beijing will be hosting the event.  Above all, I'm really excited to see my colleagues from the other international schools in Asia. The coach dinner is always a rowdy, fun time!  I'll also be able to meet up with a TCNJ colleague who has just started his overseas career, and is in his first year of teaching PE at ISB.

Heading back to school is always an exciting time for students and teachers alike, but at Concordia, our fall season is jammed with event after event.  It always seems to fly by so fast, but I hope to better enjoy it this year and practice being mindful in each moment.

I'm off to go receive my keys to my new apartment.  Here's to respecting the past, looking forward to the future, and enjoying the present moment.  Namaste!

paz.amor.felicidad siempre <3

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