From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






Skype: "ericandjamie"



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No Gradebook? What!

No crazy pictures for you today, but there is a site with many crazy pictures on it. I guess most of these are legit from what I have seen around here. provides mainly Japanese signs, but some China and other Asian countries. Not to promote the website in any way for purposes of making fun at these places, but it is interesting to see translation difficulties. I can't write the first Chinese character, and doubt I'll ever be able to. We've ordered the Rosetta Stone to help with the oral language. We've ordered Chinese Mandarin, but for many that do not know, there are dozens of variations of the Chinese oral language. Written Chinese keeps the country unified, but Mandarin would not be understood in many parts of China.

We learned today more about the scoring system for our school. Like I mentioned before, they use a "nothing below an A or a B. We have assessments at the end of each unit. 10 units total, 10 assessments, 10 grades. That is it, 10 grades only. For educators reading this, have you ever been able to predict what a student will make in your class after one month based on their performance and willingness to do the work? Have you ever wished you had additional time for that particular unit. Pacing in most U.S. schools becomes demanding because of the standardized tests which must be administered. With no standardized tests mandatory, our students will be able to pace themselves each unit and complete it with mastery before moving on. Sure, we can give those students who refuse a grade of a "D" which means "deficient," but those cases are few and far between from what we understand.

What does this translate into? No set gradebook and many hours of averaging grades, putting them into the computer and numbers crunching. Either the student mastered the unit with exceptional work and knowledge with an A, or mastered the unit with above average work and knowledge and receive a B. We establish the rubrics and elements of assessing that mastery.

I think it sounds pretty cool and allows the teacher flexibility. No worry on percentages or giving students nothing less than a 50 (hello Bartow County).

I was really excited today when they discussed traveling today. Jamie and I are going to discuss and probably book our first vacation (last week of September and first of October) very soon. We're undecided, but the possibilities are endless. Strongly considering Thailand first. I get downright giddy thinking about it.

Much more on our school, but too much to type for one post. We've spent a great deal of time discussing our health care plan, travel, salary stuff, etc. Our administration wants everyone to be relieved of all personal matters so we can solely focus on teaching before the year begins. I'm continually impressed with our Director. His experience in international teaching makes him perfect for this job, but his administrative skill would be an absolute incredible asset to any school system in the U.S.

Have a great Wednesday America. Most of you will waking up soon. Keep reading and let me know if you have any questions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm pretty upset at this news considering I have 1,000 papers waiting to be graded! I'm very jealous.

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