It’s Australia Week in China this week, and I’ve noticed the crucial Chinese concept of guanxi 关系 (‘connections’) described in a few places recently. Most notably in the fabulous new resource from Asialink Business “China: Cultural Awareness Guide” and also in this ABC article “Australians doing business in China: Five questions” today.
A great range of resources, across a range of curricula, from the British Council. 恭喜发财, monkeys 🙂
It’s been nearly two years since I posted here. A lot has happened, and as is usually the way when you stay true to yourself, life events have come together to set me off on a renewed path.
I graduated at the end of 2013 and my first teaching position was as a 0.5 upper primary teacher in 2014. That opportunity gave me a chance to implement several teaching ideas and to learn a lot about teaching in a team. As a digital being, my ongoing challenge there was to adapt my teaching within a limited ICT environment.
In 2015 I wasn’t able to secure a contract to start the teaching year, and then in February my mother fell ill. This dictated my path for the rest of the year: I spent chunks of weeks at a time caring for her in NSW, 2000km from my home in North Queensland. I taught casually in the weeks that I was home. And I did this Cure Brain Cancer China trek , this PechaKucha talk, this calendar, and this Facebook page.
My China trek in October was life affirming in many different ways. It also rekindled my passion for Mandarin, a subject I’d not really considered teaching before. I spent 5 weeks over Christmas with Mum, wondering how to re-access teaching. And then on Thursday, an hour from home on the 2446km drive from Sydney, as my mother was undergoing her tenth surgery to remove brain tumours, I got a phone call. I was offered a position teaching Mandarin at a local high school. I start tomorrow and I’m ready for the challenge.
I wouldn’t have applied for this position if I hadn’t been to China in October, and I wouldn’t have gone to China if Mum wasn’t so ill. No-one knows why Mum has brain tumours, but I wouldn’t be the person and teacher I am without her.
Live well, do good and 新年快乐 (Happy New Year)!
My little book club (called RED) has an idea. Each of our 9 members has chosen our favourite book from 2013 and we want to donate the collection to a group of book lovers in need of books.
More specifically, we want to give them to a group of women (18+) who need English books. And we want to do this every year – maybe the same group, maybe different groups. Essentially, we’re seeking to fund a book club for women who struggle to access quality contemporary fiction.
Problem: we don’t know a group of women who would value our gift. This is not a random donation – we want it to be a personal gesture. Some of our thoughts have been – tertiary English students in remote universities in Thailand or China; English teachers in Namibia; Indian domestic violence women’s’ group; an NGO in a refugee camp…
We just need a contact person somewhere in the world so we know our books will end up with a group of women who’ll value them.
Please let me know if that is you, whether you’re in a group or know of one!
For other book clubs – perhaps you’d consider doing something similar. My suggestion: tweet using #bookspred and see if anyone matches up needing what you’re offering. It could be books of any language or genre, and for any age or demographic.
Similarly, if you are in a group that needs books, tweet a few details of the need/situation using #bookspred, and see who responds…
“The Penguin Foundation has a global callout for knitters to make pullovers for penguins in rehab. Penguins caught in oil spills need the little jumpers to keep warm and to stop them from trying to clean the toxic oil off with their beaks.”
“Does your school hold elections?
Get Voting makes it easy to run a fair and fun school election.
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“TED-Ed Clubs is a new program aimed to get students and young learners all around the world the space and time to pursue their larding passions and to support them in presenting those ideas in the form of short ted like talks.”