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Welcome to our new year
By Bruce Pohlmann
iteachnet's new editor

Welcome to TIPS, the Teacher's Internet Pages. This is the start of TIPS fourth year of being online, and with this issue I will officially take over as iteachnet's new editor. David Bucknell, founder of TIPS and iteachnet, has done an outstanding job as editor of TIPS for the past three years. In that time TIPS has gone from a new, unknown presence on the web to one of the most widely read educational internet sites. TIPS has constantly added features that we have felt would be of interest and use to educators. While we have particularly focused on international education because those of us involved in this project are all, or have been, international teachers, we feel that iteachnet offers features that are relevant to teachers posted anywhere in the world whether working in a foreign post or at home. I would like to introduce myself, and briefly mention some of the new features that we at iteachnet are working on developing for the coming academic year.

I am an American citizen by birth, although I have been living in Indonesia for the past nine years. During that time, I worked as a teacher for an International Schools Services school which was located in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Nine years in the jungle is a long time, and, at various times, I taught second grade, middle school math, algebra, P.E., and computers. I also served for two years as the principal of a new school that ISS started in a small town, Kuala Kencana, in the lowlands of Irian Jaya. After finishing my last day of what sometimes seemed like a long nine years, I officially "retired" from teaching and moved to a home that my wife and I have been building on the island of Bali in Indonesia. When I announced that I was leaving active teaching, at least for a year, David graciously offered me the position of editor of iteachnet's Webzine so that he could devote more time to his new post in Israel. Having worked with TIPS over the past four years as the Humanities Editor (which I will still be doing except under the name of Social Sciences Editor), I was excited to receive the offer and quickly accepted.

Before hitting my mid-life crisis and moving to the jungles of highland Irian Jaya, I spent forty years living in the States (Chicago and San Francisco) pursuing a wide assortment of goals, interests, passions, and hobbies. I worked for close to twenty years in a newspaper factory while chasing my collection of academic degrees: a B.A. and M.A. in anthropology from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. I also picked up a teaching credential at the same time and worked for several years in Marin County, California, as a sixth grade teacher. Shortly after receiving my doctorate, I accepted a post with ISS. While working in Irian Jaya, I married Suhanah, a lovely Balinese woman, and we began what has become a rapidly expanding family - we now have two girls, one boy, and another baby due this December.

What about new stuff at TIPS? If you're new to our site, you will want to check out our mainstays: homeswaps, updated news, curriculum areas, database of international schools, job listings, links for living and learning overseas, IT tips and discussion area, our weekly cover article, and a lot more. If you're one of our regular readers, you will find that we have added a free resume or cv builder.   The most exciting and significant development for over-seas educators, however, is the creation of the International Educators Network, the iteachnet membership.  We are currently finishing it up and testing it and will give you a chance to see it and join in next month.

This is going to be an exciting year for TIPS as we work on expanding our offerings. Part of the success of TIPS in the past has been our responsiveness to reader suggestions. We plan on making TIPS more interactive than ever by adding bulletin boards to our curriculum areas. It is only by working together that we can succeed in our project of improving international education and the lives of international educators. We sincerely hope the TIPS readers will become even more involved than ever in using TIPS as a central forum for international education. Of course, as we work on expanding and improving TIPS, we are bound to experience some growing pains. We hope that not only will you bear with us, but that you will actively take part in our growth by informing us of problems with our code, redundant links, navigation problems and the like. Take a peek inside, try out some of our new areas, and, please, send us your feedback as that is the only way that we move forward in what we hope will be an exciting and rewarding new year.

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