What Makes an IB School Different?

One of the most popular questions I am asked by parents is ‘what makes an IB school different from other schools?
Firstly, IB schools specifically aim to make students more internationally-minded. That may sound like a cliche, so let’s explore what it really means.

The Choices We Make: Building School Community


It was my goal that OYIS would be a safe space for young people and would aim to provide a community where they felt safe, supported, and engaged. I wanted to build a space where I would have felt connected to and supported.

The Silver Lining

If there is any silver lining to the last several years, it has been that we have been given time to really understand what we value in life. For me, that is spending time outside with my friends and family and being able to foster face-to-face relationships but professionally and privately.

A Reflection…on Reflection


This brings me to the most difficult question: do I conduct genuine reflection, as I so often ask my students to do?



Be enthusiastic! 何かに夢中になろう!

japanese books

“The only thing that can truly move people’s hearts are the deeds and words that emanate from the person’s experiences. This is because knowledge alone is not enough for people to feel empathy.” – Kenji Miyazawa, poet 


Sports Day at OYIS

Sports Day was an event that brought togetherness to our OYIS community. Parent involvement and teacher collaboration made the day especially successful.

How I Learned English as a Kid

How do you “immerse” your child in English? As an educator I am tempted to post and quote research from different sources but I feel disconnected when I do that. Speaking from my own experiences and struggles is more meaningful. Immersion requires effort from the child and the parents. While it may seem overwhelming at first, it holds tremendous benefits.

Social Media: Avoid the Hook

Social media addiction is a serious problem, but by following the strategies in this blog you can evade the hook.

Trauma and Resilience

Amy and her Grandma

My homecoming wasn’t some moral or spiritual victory. I had managed to escape where others couldn’t and I was lucky. I also worked really hard. I took advantage of the opportunities. All of it was in the shadow of my childhood traumas, the ones I carried around with me and dealt with the hard, and only, way: slowly and steadily and with the help of loved ones.