I recently got promoted to a position as English Program Manager at my school and began my duties early in February, preparing for the new school year which began at the start of March. It has been a real whirlwind getting used to my new responsibilities and trying to develop a functional workflow to deal with all of the tasks that present themselves each day.
Hence, I've not posted to my blog in quite some time! It's certainly not because it's been a boring few months, though!
I'm still finding my rhythm in the office. I've been a classroom teacher for the past 15 years, and even when I had administrative duties I was always teaching a mostly full schedule. This is the first time since graduating teachers college in 2002 that I am not spending my days in a classroom with kids all around. It's an interesting experience, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous of the awesome teachers in our program as I looked in on their classes on the first weeks of school.
Despite the learning curve that moving into a new position brings with it, I'm pretty satisfied with some of what we've been able to accomplish in our program so far. The end of last year saw our teaching staff collaborate to create a writing curriculum based on the BC Curriculum standards. It's been really rewarding to sit in on classes and hear reports from teachers about how the new curriculum, workshop model, and aligned assessment strategies are working. We're all learners, and we have a long way to go to become totally comfortable with the transition, but I'm really impressed with the great work that the faculty has done so far!
Another small victory has been the implementation of a program-wide discipline framework based on Positive Behavioral Intervention & Strategies (PBIS) and Restorative discipline. Again, we still have professional development to do with regards to the nuances of the philosophies, but we've come a long way in implementing a more unified approach within the program. I look forward to working together with the Korean teaching staff to try to have it implemented on a school-wide level in the weeks to come!
I'll review the items above in more detail in the weeks to come, and also post about the last few weeks of mindfulness training AND the Junior Division ABQ course I'm currently enrolled in in the next couple of weeks. Stay busy!
Matthew Boomhower is a mid-career educator with 15 years of classroom teaching and educational leadership experience. He is Director at a private elementary school. in South Korea. Matthew has lived in Seoul since 2004, and is a proud husband and father.