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    Nanjing April Staff Meeting

    Kathleen Oleksiuk


    On Friday May 5th, 2017, the Nanjing teachers got together for their monthly meeting for April. We met at our usual 1:30 time. Upon Ping's opening of the meeting, our newest teacher, Krystal Hampton, was asked to introduce herself to the other teachers. We also had a newly-arrived intern from York University, Canada, Hala Hassan, attend her first staff meeting, pretty much fresh off the plane. Welcome Krystal and Hala! 

    We did our normal sharing session, which because of the new series of teaching talks recently added to the staff meetings, was done quite briskly. To allow for more effective use of time, Val skipped ahead and quickly covered points about the recently submitted articles and the upcoming film and photo essay submissions for May, as well as relevant social media information. Congratulations to Damien in Wuxi for winning 3rd prize in a photo contest. Way to go, Damien! From there, it was easy to slide on to presentations on the use of PPTs.

    As a part of the first in the Teacher Talk series, Tony kicked off with a short but fascinating lecture on how to design better PowerPoint presentation. Since many of us are ignorant of the potential awesomeness of PPTs, this was extremely informative. Apart from touching on some basic ground rules of using PPTs, Tony demonstrated how to break the restrictive linear format of a usual PPT by using hyperlinks to make presentations more convenient and interactive.

    Christine talked about the pluses and minuses of using PPTs, and how she uses them to present material to scaffold and adapt for the different levels of her students. Her presentation was more like a demo lesson that allowed her teacher's personality to shine. Brian, despite an inadvertent snafu, explained how he uses a very simple template with his PPTs to move from vocabulary to using full sentences and questions. Cheryl approached the topic by discussing how she tweaks material she gets from online to meet the needs of her class. She shared some tips and websites that she uses to adapt her borrowed material. We finished off with a quick reminder that the next staff meeting will be on June 2, and that the Saturday (May 27) before the Dragon Boat Festival will be a work day, so all teachers should check their schedules accordingly.