This year's international school conference is held in Manila from Nov 1st to Nov 3rd. I had the privilege of attending the conference and had many great conversations with headmasters and administrators around the Asia Pacific region.
Mandarin education is becoming an important part of the international school curriculum. For existing programs, the schools want to make sure that they are addressing the changes in education today. They want to want make that they can provide something that will have continuity and are thinking about how to better address the different needs of heritage students vs. students who have no prior Chinese experience. Of course, the issues are complicated by the constituency of the community. Every school inevitably needs to define their unique vision and value to their community and sets goals for attaining them.
This is a very exciting time. Never before had we had so many different tools available for our students to connect with the rest of the world. However, in the end, it’s about how to make these tools relevant in students’ lives and make learning a part of who they are. Better Chinese has been developing new tools to better facilitate teaching and learning. I had a chance to demo our new Online Lesson Planner which allows teachers to create customized syllabus and lesson plans in minutes and also our Online Classroom Management System which allows teachers to assign stories and homework to students easily. Make sure you sign up our Online Seminar if you want to find out more.
I was very happy to meet old friends and put faces to names that I’ve been corresponding with. It was also encouraging to learn about new developments. I was also surprised to run into old acquaintances! In particular, I ran into Todd Wyks, who was a Radio News reporter with ICRT in Taipei. He is now an IB Coordinator with Brent International School, who we work with. It is a small world!
The conference was great that administrators can share with each other their experiences and also it provided a channel to generate new ideas for their schools. It really made me feel great to be part of the community. Now, onto ACTFL in San Diego!