Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Blogging Meme

This is my first blog post for 2014, and the first for this new blog - I have just discovered that my old blog has been removed. I guess that shows just how much I blog.... Thanks to Marnel @1MvdS for tagging me in her post.

The blogging task includes:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List 11 bloggers.
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated.  Don't nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

11 random facts about me:
  1. I, also, am a very reserved person, an introvert of the highest degree.
  2. I was born in Ashburton but went to Otago University due to my father's blue-and-gold blood. I am a Mainlander living in Whangarei.
  3. I wrote an MA thesis called "Marriages and Inter-gender Realtions in Monogatari and Nikki Literature of the Mid-Heian Period" which is a known cure for insomnia.
  4. I strongly - very strongly - dislike spring onions and coconut. Especially if served together.
  5. I am married and have 3 kids - Phoebe (9), Oscar (7), and Rebecca (2).
  6. I played soccer since I was six up until last year when my right knee was injured.
  7. When I was 11, I lived on two Japanese islands called Miyake-jima and Hachijo-jima with my family while my father was on the JET Programme.
  8. I love my Apple toys.
  9. I don't like writing. There. I said it. I like maths, where "outcomes are right or wrong, not like in writing where everything is all fuzzy and fluffy." (not my own words...).
  10. You know the food pyramid? I believe that there is a forth layer below the fruit and vegetables called "ice cream".
  11. My spelling is terrible - see if you can find *all* the intentional mistakes in this blog post.

My answers to Marnel's questions:

1. What Inspires you?
Lots of things. In terms of teaching, I really value the relationships that my class and I build over the year, and love it when students have their 'a-ha' moments. I'm lucky to teach in a school with a fantastic staff and great students.

2. What are you reading now?
In all honesty, I'm not much of a reader. However, these holidays I have already read "The Book Whisperer" by Donalyn Miller and "Igniting a Passion for Reading" by Steven Layne. I'm currently in the middle of Jonah Lomu's Autobiography, and also "The Magic Thief" by Sarah Prineas

3. If you weren't a teacher, what would you do?
At high school I was going to be a cartographer, then a statistician, then at University I was going to be a translator. I taught English in Japan for 3 years which put my on to 'proper' teaching. However, I would probably have ended up as an accountant - I like numbers.

4. If you could change something about the education system, what would it be?
Just one thing? I think that if politicians and policy makers actually placed their trust in us teachers and other educators, our system would look very different. I really hope that education in NZ doesn't turn into the one-size-fits-all model that we seem to be heading for....

5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Um,.... That would have been just after the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami. I wrote to a family that I was worried about. I knew their postal address but nothing else.

6. Android or iPad tablets? Why?
At our school, we have neither. I have an ipad at home, and am a big Apple.

7. What do you find hardest to teach your students?
Writing. It is not a strength of mine at all, and I think my lack of confidence transfers into my teaching. Having said that, I know I am getting better all the time.

8. What will you be doing differently this year?
I am going to focus a lot on reading this year - after reading the books mentioned above - not teaching the skills of reading as such, but focusing on the joy of reading, and get kids hooked into reading as much as possible.

9. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be and why did you choose this language?
I already speak Japanese "fluently" but I am pretty rusty now, seeing as I don't use it very often anymore. Japan, its culture and language are full of contradictions and extremes. Learning and speaking Japanese has taught me a lot about myself.

10. What is your favourite way to waste time?
Mucking around on twitter is up there right now. I always check the latest news about my beloved Seattle Mariners baseball team. Spending time with my family is always something that takes me away form work and other thing I should be doing.

11. What is your life motto?
I like "Every marathon begins with a single step" but also "You can not wait to spontaneously combust - you must set yourself on fire."

And now my 11 questions:
1. What motivated you to become a teacher?
2. If you could invite anybody to dinner, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
3. What fictional character are you most like, or do you most relate to?
4. Where does the tomato sauce live - cupboard or fridge?
5. What would be the first thing you would do as the new Prime Minister of NZ?
6. What has been the coolest thing you have ever done in/with your class?
7. Crosswords or Sudokus?
8. If you could be a professional athlete, which sport would you play? Why?
9. What is one thing you want your students to remember about a year in your class?
10. Uniforms or Mufti? Why?
11. Choose a verb, a noun, and an adjective to describe you.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark, Great to read about you and make connections.
    I used to host a Jet Teacher from Japan.
    I hosted two a few years ago now.
    I love Ashburton and loved river swimming down that way.
    Great to read about time spent with family.
    I also speak a little Japanese and am also rusty.
    I liked your questions and look forward to seeing how the people you tag respond to them. If you do blog again, Tag me on twitter and I will try and write something.
    All the best.