To New Beginnings

With the end on March finally here the school year is now officially over and us teachers have to get ready for a new group of students to arrive and try our best to make sure that they can cope with their school lives and start their journey to university and an eventual career in whatever field they choose.

We also have a new group of teachers arriving and for me this means that I’ll be getting a new supervisor since that’s the responsibility that’s usually foisted on the youngest member of the English department as the other teachers don’t really have time for it. It also means that I’ll be teaching with different teachers but that’s a more than welcome change for me after a lot of issues I had with how the first year English course was run last year. Continue reading To New Beginnings

And Back to Ghost We Go

There’s two types of blog posts in this world:

  • posts about not posting;
  • and posts about changing a blog’s backend.

Unfortunately this post isn’t going to be any different since I’m going to talk about the slight change I’ve had to make to the backend of my blog. Don’t worry though, it’s not going to be overly long or technical! Continue reading And Back to Ghost We Go

The Annual Teacher Swap

Every year at the end of March there’s a lot of important events in schools around Japan. Not only are the students finally coming to the end of the academic year and the hundreds of tests that they have had to endure but the teachers themselves find out if they will be staying or transfer to another school.

Now this was something as a surprise to me since South Africa doesn’t have a teacher transfer system and it’s extremely common in SA for teachers to spend almost all their professional lives at the same school. In Japan though teachers are frequently transferred between schools. Junior teachers can only spend up to four years at a single school while senior teachers can spend up to 9 years although that is pretty uncommon. Continue reading The Annual Teacher Swap

Publish by Day One

Before starting up this blog I’d had a break of about 3 years where I did no writing on the web. My previous blogs all went the way of the dodo and due to my move to Japan I had to stop writing for the various sites and publications I was working for back in South Africa.

Even though I wasn’t writing anything online I kept a pen and paper journal on a regular basis and tried to make the time to jot down my thoughts and ideas, my feelings and anything important that had happened to me. Continue reading Publish by Day One

Japan is Cold!

One of the biggest shocks to my system when I first moved to Japan as just how cold the winters here can be. Now those of you who come from the US or Canada will be laughing at me and telling me that your winters get just as cold if not more so, but what you’ve got to realize is that South Africa has particularly mild winters paired with hot, dry summers.

On top of that most housing in Japan isn’t insulated so when it gets hot it gets hot and when it gets cold it gets cold. Continue reading Japan is Cold!

Graduation Day

This week was the graduation ceremony for the third years at my main high school. It’s the main event of the school year and all the staff and students try their best to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch.

As with most ceremonies in Japan it’s a very formal affair with all the teachers and parents dressed as smart as possible. The teachers also make sure that all the kids are behaving themselves and not falling asleep during the ceremony (something they seem able to with alacrity). Continue reading Graduation Day

Moving to Octopress

So the first thing you might notice if you’ve been here before is that the site looks vastly different from before. Previously I was running it on an instance of Ghost 0.4.1. The second thing you might notice is that the site is no longer hosted on kibayanse.com, but rather a vanity URL – terrancebrown.me

So why the change? I love trying out new tech and software and my blogging is no stranger to that. I’d tried out Octopress a month or two back and liked it. It’s simple and yet at the same time gives you a lot of power over customization without sacrificing speed. Since it’s a static site generator it also does all the data grinding before pushing your site up to the internet. This means you won’t have to worry about dealing with a database that might make your site less responsive. Continue reading Moving to Octopress