July 2017

Hot and humid. That's the forecast for the next couple of months. Please keep yourself hydrated! As usual, there are some changes coming, it's the only constant in the universe. Some of these changes will have no effect on you, others will. I'll try to do my best to keep everyone informed and up-to-date as possible.
Remember: "Pain is inevitable, suffering is an option".

January 2017

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2017! Have you made your resolutions yet? Have you broken them yet? It's a new year and time for new starts. Let's make 'em great!
Remember that January and February are the coldest months of the year, so bundle up and stay well.

October 11, 2016

You wake up one morning and it's suddenly a new season! Welcome to autumn. The mornings and evenings are cool and crisp, and the humidity is down to a more or less reasonable level. Enjoy the fall colors, or colours if you prefer, while you can, as they will not last long!
Anyway, classes are restarting soon, so if you haven't finished up your evaluations from last term yet, this is your chance. Please ask Richmond if you need any help.

Enjoy life!

August 26, 2016

Welcome back from summer vacation! I hope everybody had a chance to recharge and refresh, whether locally or abroad. Now that summer vacation time is over, it's now typhoon season. That means lots of unpredictable weather, so be prepared! Remember also that when a typhoon approaches, the worst weather generally precedes it. Once it makes landfall, it tends to move on quickly, so, for example, if you wake up one morning to high winds and heavy rain, and the news says a typhoon is right on top of us, chances are by noon it will be sunny and calm again. If you have concerns about travel, please call the office.

Stay safe! 

June 9, 2016

"Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet." - Bob Marley
Yes, rainy season is officially upon us. It's up to you whether you're going to get wet or not. ;-)
But seriously, be safe on the roads, give yourself plenty of time to get where you're going, and if you can, use the dryers at the coin laundry or your clothes will just never get dry. 
Before you know it the rains will give way to the summer heat, so take a minute to listen to the sound of the falling rain...
Soon enough it will be typhoon season!

May 26, 2016

Spring was in the air! Now it feels nice and sticky, like summer... As June is right around the corner, I suppose that's not too surprising. Speaking of surprises, you may have noticed a new file in your evaluations folder: Evaluation Sheet-Base.xlsx
Please use this folder for your evaluations from here on out. The layout has changed, but not the evaluated points. The hope is that this version will be a bit more useable. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome, just don't expect that implementation is guaranteed or immediate. If we use your ideas they will go into the next version, which will be made available before the beginning of the next term.

Stay cool, and keep up your fantastic work!

November 19, 2015

It's that time of year again; new classes are starting. I hope everyone has gotten their evaluations and reports all in order from the last term. The evaluations we fill out over the course of a term serve two uses: for one, they show our students where they have made progress, as well as where they need to put more effort in order to improve. The second purpose is for the corporate clients to evaluate our work in the classroom; how much effort our instructors are putting into their lessons, and how much improvement their staff members are making in the classes. I can not stress enough how important it is for these evaluations to be done, correctly and on time. Please do not copy and paste your comments. Be thoughtful, thorough and professional.
In case any of you don't know, we have dictation homework available for elementary to upper intermediate level English classes to use as homework. here are the first batches of dictations for the Elementary (A1) and High Elementary (A2) level learners, along with the scripts to the dictations:

A1 Dictation Audio page 1(for students): www.fourseasons.co.jp/dictation-a1-1-6

A1 Dictation Answers page 1(scripts): www.fourseasons.co.jp/dictationscript-a1-1-6
 

A2 Dictation Audio page 1(for students): www.fourseasons.co.jp/dictation-a2-1-6

A2 Dictation Answers page 1(scripts): www.fourseasons.co.jp/dictationscript-a2-1-6

September 3, 2014

Fall is upon us, so be prepared for anything weather-wise. It could get freezing cold suddenly and then we might have a few days or weeks of Indian Summer. Who knows? We will more than likely have a few typhoons to contend with over the next month or two, so beware about that. 

Classes will be wrapping up soon and that means reports and evaluations. Expect that you have reports due for each class and evaluations due for each student. Do that and you won't be surprised if you do... Be proactive!

May 23, 2014

I took part in an interesting conversation the other day. One of our instructors was getting feedback on a class observation. Their response to criticism of their class was brief: "I didn't know I was going to be observed." Really? My thoughts were simple, and I expressed them: "Would you have done something different if you knew in advance that you would have an observer? What about the students in your class? Don't you realize that you have anywhere from one to ten observers in each and every class you teach?"

Please don't fall into this kind of habit. Each lesson you teach should be the best class you can produce. Each lesson should be a learning experience for your students, of course, but for you as well. Even your first lesson, the one where you're getting to know the students and their levels, you should be prepared to teach. Look for opportunities to increase their vocabulary, correct their mistakes, and help them become more confident. Use the whiteboard to list up new items.

In a perfect world you should walk into every lesson with a goal, or a set of goals. In any event, you and your students should walk out of every lesson with a set of achievements.

-Joe