New beginnings

Welcome to the Languages Teacher Support blog.

This blog is dedicated to helping Languages teachers everywhere, specifically those in the primary and secondary sectors.

After ten years managing the Japanese Teachers Resources website, the time has come for a new direction (read the final message below). Others were doing a much better job than I was at resource sharing (see www.japteach.com), and I lost the passion to put in the time and money it required. What I did increasingly enjoy, however, was the collegial support and practical advice shared by teachers on our Facebook page.

And so, on our new path I invite teachers of all Languages to join us in sharing ideas, posting problems, proposing solutions, venting our frustrations, motivating each other,  and providing an occasional shoulder to cry on.  I do not profess to have all, even any, of the answers. But with our collective minds we can share practical and realistic advice on issues that are relevant to us.

I look forward to this new project and direction.

Shannon

Final email to members of the Japanese Teacher’s Resources website announcing the closure in January, 2012.

Dear Teachers,

After more than ten years coordinating the Japanese Teachers’ Network website, I have made a decision not to renew the hosting of the site when it expires at the end of the month.

This is a difficult and sad decision, as this has been a long journey for me. Beginning during my university prac so that my classmates could share resources, it has grown and changed over the years from including all languages teachers, to concentrating on Japanese resources, and the recent addition of social networking.

It has been a vessel for learning about web design and management, giving me skills which I use in my classrooms, for meeting Languages teachers from across the world, and of course, providing a pool of resources from which I can grab ideas and resources for my own teaching.

There are two main reasons for the closure, which are related. The first reason is time. I am a mother of a two year old and a ten-month old – which should say it all. I am also a PhD student, and have this year returned to teaching after a two-year break. I don’t have a lot of spare time and even adding one resource is quite time intensive as I update the relevant pages, create thumbnails, upload to the site, and add info to our Facebook page.

The second reason is numbers. In the past month we have had record site visits and downloads. But in the past two months there have been donations from only 2 teachers.  It’s been a constant struggle in managing the resource sharing, that the taking of resources has always been outweighed by the giving. There are many reasons for this, some of those I have written about before, and I have taken steps to overcome some of the obstacles, but I feel I’ve lost the passion to continue on with the battle.

So, what’s the future? Inge at Japanese Teaching Ideas is doing a great job of building a collection of resources for Japanese teachers, and after getting permission from the teachers who have generously given their resources, I will be donating the resources from our site to Japanese Teaching Ideas. Be aware that this may take some time, and if you would like to use any resources from the site you will need to download them before February 28.

Firstly thank you to all the teachers who have ever donated their hard work for the benefit of others. I understand it’s not easy to put yourself ‘out there’, but your generosity has surely helped many teachers, including myself, and I thank you for your contributions.

Thank-you to Saizen Tours, who has sponsored the network for the past 5 years, providing financial assistance to cover our web hosting and domain name. Kellie and Rondell have been extremely supportive since I started teaching, and I would absolutely recommend their services when you plan your next trip to Japan. They are former Japanese teachers and understand our struggles.

Thank you to all teachers who dedicate their lives to bringing Languages into the lives and hearts of our students. It is not an easy job, and is often thankless. I hope that I could save you a little bit of time, or bring to you different ideas and perspectives from other teachers, that you may not have had otherwise.

I am passionate about supporting Languages teachers, my current research is about why so many of us leave the profession, and while this is the end of the line for resource sharing, there is another project in the works, that I hope will support fellow Languages teachers, but in a different way. Stay tuned on this Facebook page!

Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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