03 January 2016

Happy New Year

Another year has come and gone. I can distinctly remember all the work that went in to computer programs to ensure that Y2K (Year 2000) didn't create massive disruptions in the health system (and more particularly the BreastScreening program that I worked in at the time. At that time I had no idea what God had in store for me. In fact that was the year I embarked on a Graduate Certificate in Management (Queensland Health). I wasn't really sure where I was heading, but I guarantee that I wouldn't have even dreamed of being an elementary classroom teacher in an International School in Phnom Penh, let alone having been doing it for 9 years! Yes, I'm about to start my tenth year of teaching! Doing what I always wanted to do, back as far as primary school, and certainly for most of my high school year. God took me on a journey, eventually leading me to East-West International School, Phnom Penh. It's my sixth year at EWIS, and I still love it.

Tomorrow is the start of second semester for me. I've enjoyed the two week break from teaching (not completely from the classroom). Now I'm looking forward to seeing the children again tomorrow and getting them back into learning mode. Some of them have been busy over the break using RAZ-Kids and Xtra Math, which is good. Others have hopefully read the books they borrowed from the classroom library and school library. Some will have done both. My lessons for this week are planned and most of the preparation is complete.

Tomorrow we start work on daily number fact practice for multiplication. After we finish 40 days of multiplication we'll move on to division. Some of the students know their facts quite well so will be working on speed, others know them or can work them out very slowly, and they'll be working on speed as well, while others will be working on both speed and accuracy.

I'm not completely caught up on my marking, but there's not a huge amount to do. I'm hoping I can be completely up-to-date by the end of the week. I've still got after school program on Mondays for 3 more weeks, and then I'll do a term on Tuesdays, since uni has scheduled Collaborate lecture sessions on Monday afternoons.

My non-school goal for January is to read and take notes on my text book for the coming semester. The unit I'm about to embark on is called Inclusive Education: Theory, Policy and Practice. While the primary focus of the textbook is on the Australian and New Zealand context, I'm looking forward to exploring it in relation to the context of International Schools, especially in Asia, and particularly in Cambodia. Semester doesn't officially start until 22nd February, and actually teaching dates are 29th February to 3rd June, with a break from 26th March to 3rd April (I've got no doubt I'll be busy working on assignments during that break!). There will be plenty of extra reading to be done once the semester starts as well as lectures to listen to and assignments to write!

After a very early start this morning (4.30am wake-up to catch the flight back to Phnom Penh), I'm planning an early night tonight. I hope that plan works and I'm bright-eyed and well rested by 6am tomorrow for the coming school week. I hope that your 2016 has begun well, and is a good year. Soursedey Chnam Thmei. Happy New Year.

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