Tet or Lunar New Year is upon us with the Year of the Ox being heralded in this Friday. It's meant to be a time of celebration here in Vietnam and a time of sharing, of hope, and of family. For those lucky enough to have family close, their celebrations, although subdued, will be together. For those whose families are further away, it means finding friends to celebrate with instead this year. This is because last week saw a resurgence of Covid, which brought with it remote learning and another lockdown - just before celebrations are about to kick off. But I still count us among the fortunate, as Vietnam has done an amazing job of being on top of any outbreaks and keeping cases to a minimum.
We were lucky enough to squeeze in our school Tet celebration before last week, which meant I got to participate in my last one before heading home to Australia next July. It was colourful, noisy and as always, great fun. Happy Year of the Ox!
It's been a long time in between blog posts! World Language and Literature Week, Virtual Author visits, a bout of illness and end of year school craziness have gotten in the way. But thankfully now we're on holidays there's more time to write, reflect and relax!
In terms of reflection, I wanted to share my favourite books for 2020. They are all by Australian authors and illustrators and I'm really proud of the fact that each one of them are absolute standouts in their respective literary genres and have already won numerous awards. I've reviewed some here under Book Reviews and now that time permits, will get around to reviewing the rest.
I really think our Aussie authors and illustrators are much undervalued and overlooked in favour of American and/or British writers by a lot of international school libraries and I hope that you will look at these and add them to your #musthaves list for 2021.
I really do love my job! Last week we had a professional photographer do a photo shoot for our school and I was thrilled with the way he captured both the Early Years and Whole School libraries and our students. The students had so much fun showing off our wonderful spaces and beautiful books. They are such a great bunch of young people at my school and make my job as a teacher librarian so inspirational and so much fun.
In both my native Australia and here in Vietnam, remote/online/flexible learning is/was the norm for teachers and their students. When it all started it was a bit of a 'trial and error' time but as closures stretched from weeks to months, online learning became an essential and integral part to teaching and learning. Now that it's been happening for a while, we've been able to take a look at the impact this has had mentally on everyone. Although there are no validated empirical studies out just yet, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence around to suggest not only the need for balance in terms of screen time, but the critical importance of face to face human contact. This TED Tech article sums it all up. Even though it's aimed at adult workplaces, it easily correlates to students, teachers and educational environments.
Zoom Fatigue Is Real - here's why video calls are so draining by Libby Sander & Oliver Baumen.
May 19, 2020 in IDEAS.TED.COM - Tech.