Sunday, October 19, 2014

Exciting Family News

 This summer I was able to be in the States to attend a cousin's wedding, a family reunion, and spend time with my grandmother.  While in Minnesota, I also got to meet my twin sister's boyfriend, Mike. Mike and Lisa got engaged in August and are now planning a wedding for January 2, 2015. I am excited to welcome him into the family and anticipate making a quick trip to Minnesota over the holidays for the wedding. 

Prayer Prompts

PRAYER 

  • Praise God for a refreshing summer visit to see family in USA
  • Pray for my students:
    •  that God would draw each student to himself at a young age, 
    • that they would know and love God's Word, 
    • that they would have and be good friends
  • Pray for me to have the energy, wisdom, patience, and joy to teach well
  • Pray for team unity and clear communication among the KCS staff
Up-coming Events
  • Nov. 14-15:  Japan Field Council, Tokyo, Japan
  • Nov. 20-21: KCS Parent - Teacher Conferences, Nara
  • Nov. 26-29: International Christian Educators Conference, Deajeon, South Korea
  • Dec. 18 -19: KCS Christmas Outreach & Christmas Program
  • Jan. 2: Lisa and Mike's Wedding, Minnesota, USA

"Everything is AWESOME!

"Everything is AWESOME!

Everything is cool when you're part of a team."  
The lyrics to a popular Lego movie theme song would have us believe - things are just awesome in a team.  But reality teaches us that teams are like families and all families face tensions at one time or another. Being part of a team means learning to balance tensions, accomplish goals and keep relationships in tact. People on a multicultural team have a variety of view points, cultural approaches, leadership styles, educational philosophies and communication styles yet they must strive to work together.


Last year was a challenging year for me at school as I adjusted to new leadership, new roles, and new staff. Please pray for our staff this year as we work to build unity, use our giftedness, and honor God with clear communication through challenging relational dynamics. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many students do you have?
For the 2014- 2015 school year, Kansai Christian School has 44 students, grades 1-12. There are 10 students in 7 & 8 grade, and 4 students in 5 & 6 grades. 

What subjects are you teaching this year?  
For 7 & 8 Grade:  Bible, Japan Studies, Study Skills, and Life Skills. For 5 & 6 Grade: Math, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts, and Study Skills.

What are your extra curricular responsibilities?

This year I am mentoring a new 1st and 2nd grade teacher and organizing all things sports related as the Athletic Director.

Growth Spurts

"My favorite class in 7th grade is Bible, because the teachers treat us like big kids. They ask our opinion on stuff and why we believe things. I'm not sure yet which religion to follow, though. I'm doing a lot of research online. I kinda think I'll pick Christianity, but how do I know which is the right one? Have you every heard of Jediism?"   ~ quote from a KCS student

Middle schoolers want to believe in something. They experience physical, mental, and emotional growth spurts, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise when they hit a spiritual growth spurt. 

From the student who speaks four languages and has lived in multiple countries, has non-Christian parents and declares to the class, "When I grow up I want to tell the world about Jesus."  To the  student who is learning to trust God while watching parents divorce, and learning of a parent's cancer. To the kid who says, "I'm a Christian, but I'm not really good at following the rules."  They are all growing.

The more I spend time with middle schoolers the more I realize that they are in the midst of some of the most intense self-discovery they'll ever experience. Their whole world is beginning to shift and re-settle. Developing questions and doubts about the faith they've inherited is a sign they are in the process of personalizing their faith, making it their own rather than merely that of their parents. 

This year as I teach Bible at Kansai Christian School (KCS) and make efforts to integrate a Christian worldview into all subject matter, it is my prayer that God would draw each student to himself at a young age. I pray that they would know and love God's Word, and that they would have and be good friends.

Teaching middle school takes a different kid of energy than teaching in the lower elementary grades: they can dig deeper on a topic and work more independently, but there are also more emotional ups and downs, and more relational drama. Although people are shocked when I say it - I love teaching middle school. Each age is special - but I am especially loving the potential for lifelong and eternal influence that teaching this level provides. Please pray for the energy, wisdom, patience and joy to navigate the growth spurts well.  
  

Grateful for your partnership,

Lori 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Adventures in Computer Skills

Teaching a weekly class in computer literacy is a challenge when you have some students who know more about computers than the teacher and other students who have limited access to computers at home.

"Have the students finish this textbook in this year." Were the directions I was given and the lessons I presented, only to be met with mixed reaction. Some students respectfully completed the lessons and submitted their assignments while others were questioning, WHY. Why do I have to prove to you I already know how this stuff? Why do I have to spend 1 hour doing something I learned years ago? Why can't I             ? (fill in the blank with student's suggested computer or online activity.)  

The challenges left me exhausted! The tension of following the curriculum and trying to make it relevant and motivating to students at different levels of understanding, with the added challenge that we have more students than computers left me saying - "There has to be a better way!

Recently I've tried blogging with the students.

It is a password protected website that allows the students to have a class website and each student have an individual page to post their writing.  It has encouraged creative writing, given practice in publishing, and is building community among the students as they read and comment on each other's posts.  

I see great potential for continued educational uses of the blog such as:  developing social skills, learning internet safety, developing computer technology skills, gaining an authentic audience for our writing, building literacy, reflecting on learning, responding to classroom challenges/homework online, and creating classroom community.

I'm excited to see where the middle schoolers go with this adventure in blogging.
Our website is password protected but you can glimpse our homepage here:

Have any of my readers done a class blog? 
If you visit our class blog please let me know by leaving a comment on this post 
and let me know what corner of the globe you call home.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Teacher Opening at KCS for 2014-15 School Year

 School has been busy and the learning curve teaching new classes, 
to a new age group 
with new staff 
and a new principal 
is where I've been focusing my energy this school year.  

I've found I really enjoy teaching at the middle school level, 
it's a different kind of teaching than previous years teaching 1-3 grade. 
Both are exhausting but in different ways. 
Both are rewarding but in different ways.
  Someday 
- maybe- 
I'll find the right words to express 
the joys
 and 
challenges 
of teaching middle school
 and 
what I'm learning from it. 
No two days are the same,
 the kids keep you on your toes 
but they also bless my socks off
 in so many unexpected ways! 

Right now, I want to let you know that there is a teaching opening for next year.  

Kansai Christian School. 
Our small private International Christian school will have a job position open for first/second grade next year. If you, or anyone you know of who is qualified to teach and has a heart for teaching TCKs overseas please apply or encourage, him/her to apply!  Please share this at your local church and pray for God to provide.

 Here is information about the job . . .  

FIRST AND SECOND GRADE TEACHER NEEDED for the 2014-15 school year.  We need a certified lower elementary teacher to teach a combined classroom of 1st and 2nd graders.  It is important to apply and be accepted before the end of March.  Some support raising is encouraged, especially for travel and set-up.  KCS pays an adequate stipend to the sponsoring mission but raising some support will make living in Japan a little easier.  A two-year commitment is requested.  Experience is preferred.

To find an application look at the KCS website under "resources" and "downloads"
Or click here.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions or want more information about the job opening!