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Qianhua - Readers Theater

August 30, 2013
The 5th and 6th grade students at Qianhua Elementary School received recognition for their performance in the district's Readers Theater competition.  Schools were to select up to 12 students to do the reading.  Qianhua's total 5th and 6th grade enrollment was 9.  Other schools, 5th and 6th grade enrollments, were up to 250 students.


Don't Get Lost

May 6, 2012

I told a story to the graduating twelfth grade class at an international school in Qingdao.  It was about my very first day in Asia.  It was the center of Cheongju, South Korea, (shinae).  I told them of my feelings of seeing all the people bustling through the streets and the colorful store fronts all written in Korean.  The people were friendly but there seemed to be no pattern to their walking.  People seemed to be everywhere; cars too.  Motorcycles would buzz by me on the sidewalk.  I was...
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Education: East versus West

March 28, 2012
I have been fortunate to have experienced the teaching of students in the United States, South Korea, China, and Taiwan.  The positive experiences continue.  I’m often asked of my opinion of the differences of the education systems in each of the countries.  There always seems to be great anticipation that my answer will reflect positively of the country of the person asking.  While there are problems in all of the countries with their systems, I will speak generally about the positives
I ...

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The Viola Grace Expedition

March 1, 2012

The Viola Grace Expedition was the idea of my brother Jerry Strain. We talked about making a plan together shortly after the death of our father. Our mother, Viola Grace Strain was excited about the idea. With the winter coming on, we set the date for the following summer. Our mother’s health was not very good, especially with the recent death of our father and she passed before our expedition. So Jerry thought to dedicate our expedition to our loving mother, Viola Grace Strain.

Lake Michiga...

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How Parents Can Help Their Children Study.

February 20, 2012
Not all students are self motivated.  Some students may need a push from time to time.  However, too much pressure can cause additional stress for both the child and the parents.  I would like to suggest the following ways for you to help your child:   

  • Check to make sure your child has written down their homework in a consistent place for you to check.(notebook)
  • Monitor your child during their homework session.  If you do not have time, pop-in...

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About Me

John is a certified teacher from the United States with over 30 years of teaching experience in the U.S.A., South Korea, China and now Taiwan. He has taught elementary, middle school, and high school students in the areas of science, social studies, reading, grammar and writing. John has served as the chairman of the Sycamore School District's curriculum committee in the state of Illinois as well as worked on the writing of curriculum standards in the states of Illinois and South Carolina. John has also served the community of Sycamore, Illinois as an appointed Economic Development Commission member for 18 years and as an elected park district commissioner of 5 years. He has also participated in the Red Cross in Qingdao, China.
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