Sunday, May 13, 2007

my own horn...

Hey Gang,

Here is one of those posts where I get to tell you all how cool I am. No, seriously - I am cool. Just ask my students. What? The opinion of 14 year olds who don't know any other foreigners don't count?? What's up with that?

OK - kidding aside. I'm off to Kobe for an ALT conference in two weeks. I got selected to be a presenter at the conference for 1st year ALTs who have decided to stay a 2nd year. I went and spoke at this same conference last year and had lots of positive feedback from my workshop, which is all about using your laptop and other tech toys in the classroom.

I never got any official feedback, from the conference surveys that the attendees fill out, and when I mentioned that to the guys coordinating this year's conference, they found my feedback from last year and forwarded it to me.

So, yeah, I'm gonna toot my own horn a bit...

Of the 200+ ALTs that attended my two workshops last year in Kobe, 187 gave me a rating, on a scale of 1 (being poor) to 4 (being excellent).
I got no "1"s, so that's cool. I got five "2"s - for "average." I got fifty-three "3"s - for "good," and I got 129 "4"s - for "excellent." Not bad.
People were also able to write in comments - here are a few:
"was excellently presented by someone who clearly loves being a teacher and is damn good at it. Practical, relevant and inspiring. Top Stuff!"
"Very good ideas and concrete advice."
"It was awesome."
"It was obvious that many of the presenters were simply going through the motions, uninterested in passing on anything useful. The exception was audio and visual aids, which was relevant, very well executed and energizing."
"Of all the workshops I thought that this one was the most thought provoking and creative. I will be most certainly be using many of the ideas presented, and building on them to create a more lively and communicative learning environment."
"Jason Harris’ workshop was more useful than the other workshops combined."

Ok - I'll stop now. :)

But comments like those from your colleagues really make my day. Because I did work hard on the presentation and I did try and pack it with useful ideas. So I'm really happy that many people, including others that emailed me, put comments on my blog here, or just caught me in the lobby of the hotel and said how much they enjoyed my workshop, got something out of my presentation, and I'm really looking forward to doing it again this year.

I really do enjoy this type of public speaking - where I know what I'm talking about - have a passion for what I'm talking about - and know that the people listening can really benefit from what I have to say.
I hope to bring this same kind of energy and excitement to my history classrooms back in the States when I eventually become a teacher.

Anyway - I'm gonna be busy in the next few weeks getting ready for this year's Kobe conference, but I still hope to get some posts up. I had a fun Sunday, watching my kids play kendo and last night I got to play cards with Eric, Chris and Susie, which I always enjoy.

It's Mother's Day in America today - so to my Mom - who now lives in America again - HAPPY MOM'S DAY!!! Wish I was there to give you my gift in person, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

Thanks for indulging my horn playing... :)

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