Tag Archives: Teaching

First Day Back

Well it’s the first day back to the grind stone. I know I’ve only had 3 weeks off. But it has all gone by so quickly.

 

I thankfully arrived back in Japan with no problems, my flight wasn’t overbooked and I didn’t get delayed a whole day. The only down-side was that I wasn’t able to sleep as well as I would have hoped. I was one of the few who were fortunate enough to be sitting with an empty seat next to me. So after a while, I gave up trying to be polite and try to sleep in one chair. But I really needed to sleep to help with jetlag. It was just that finding a comfortable way to sleep was difficult. I was seated in the middle 4-seat width column on one side, while on the other side; the person didn’t seem interested in sleeping at all. He was far more comfortable reading his book with the light on. I think he did sleep for a little while, but it wasn’t very long. His light was bright and it didn’t help that I was sat near the toilet in the middle of economy. So I also had the light to show that the toilet was vacant or occupied shining on me. I didn’t really fancy wearing a night mask, so I tried blocking the light with my hands in front of my face or just throwing the blanket over me to dim it out. Overall, I think I got a few hours’ sleep, but it clearly wasn’t really enough. I slept more on the train from the airport to Ueno Station, the shinkansen and the bus from Morioka to Kuji. I guess I was more relaxed than on the plane even though I am sure that it would have been better to sleep on the plane because I didn’t have to worry about missing my stop. Oh well, it’s just one of those things I guess. I am just glad to be back in Kuji safely.

 

Friday was so hectic. It didn’t help that I had bad jetlag and felt dizzy most of the day. But in the morning I had to meet the new school principals and head of English, which finished at 11:40am. Then I had to go home and then go to Morioka for a health check and to sign my contract. When arrived at the office, I just saw a bunch of smiling faces and frantic hands waving at me. It was great to feel welcomed, but it seems that most of them wanted to talk to me. I didn’t get that finished until around 5:40pm. Then I really wanted to make the most of being in Morioka and near my favourite shop “The Body Shop”. Although google maps hated me and I almost went to the wrong Aeon mall, which was in fact a super market. But it took a fair bit of my petrol while trying to drive around on roads I don’t really know. But once I stopped at a Lawson, and managed to find where the right Aeon mall is. Once I got there, the mall was quiet and I was able to get what I wanted in the Body Shop and then I went to Tower records and found Super Junior M’s Swing mini-album. After that, I went to get a quick snack before the drive back to Kuji. Although, I tried to save the little battery power I had in my phone and not use the GPS to help me find my way back. But I was getting annoyed by the lights of the car behind me instead and ended up turning when I wasn’t meant to. Luckily I didn’t go far and was able to turn around and get back on route. I didn’t do too bad and got back to Kuji in two hours and thirty minutes. It would have been quicker if I had not taken the wrong turning and gotten stuck behind a really slow driver.

 

Thankfully Saturday was a little bit more relaxing. I did have an Eikaiwa (Adult English Conversation Class) in the morning. I felt a little bad by just leaving instantly. But I was given a Bagel to try and I really enjoyed it. Then I noticed someone was watching Finding Nemo, so I was intrigued to listen to it as it was in Japanese. Afterwards, I was finally able to go shopping and buy all the food and drink that I needed. I arrived too late on Thursday to go shopping and I was also exhausted. Then I definitely didn’t have time on Friday, so I just had to wait. When I got home, I was also finally able to clean the mess that I left before going on holiday.

before After

As you can see, I really did leave it in such a state. In addition, as it was finally warm enough to sleep without using a heater on a timer, I could move my bed back into my tatami room and make way for getting a better sofa into my apartment. Even though I only moved my bed into the room just before Christmas, it was strange to be back into the tatami room.

 

Today was my first day at a new High School. It was really nerve wrecking to have to start all over again. There isn’t a teachers seating plan, so I can’t try to learn all the staff’s names as it’s a huge staff room and so many faces to put the names to. Luckily I only had two classes to teach today and the students were shy, but I think I managed to get them to open up, even if it was only a little. However, I am still nervous about teaching them from their text book. Although I might know the second years textbook as Taneichi is using the same book. I might be lucky and be able to use the same ideas for the different schools. I am hoping I can get away with that.

Proud Moments

From StudentIts a proud moment yet tearful one when I read this. A student gave me her exchange diary today and she wrote this message inside. I had a very small class of 9 3rd year students studying Oral Communication. But now their final tests have started and I don’t get to teach this amazing little group any more.

This small class was such a joy to teach and I really got to know them. They were the perfect small group of students who interacted, listened and studied very hard. I hope their little project was enjoyable as they learnt about describing a character, while reviewing what they had already learnt but put in a different way and expanded on it.

Compared to when I first started teaching them and starting the exchange diaries, their English has improved so much and so has their pronunciation. I am rather sad to say good bye to my 3rd year students as they welcomed me the most and talked to me a lot during and outside of classes.

Seeing a student write something like this makes me proud and very happy to have come to this country to teach. There may have been times when I confused them why trying my best to explain.

Now I can only wish them the best and hope they don’t forget what they have learnt during my lessons .

All The Best 3A at Taneichi!

Another Job

I finally got the approval of my company to work at a small English Cafe school. I will be teaching a small group of adults easy English. It will be my first time teaching adults. So I will do my very best to teach them. I won’t be alone, there will be a Japanese native speaker there to help me. It will also be great to have another job where I can earn that extra money so I can hopefully go to Tokyo this winter!

This will be the perfect opportunity to not only teach a different age range but I get to learn Japanese too. I’ve already had one of the English teachers I work with help me with a Japanese phrase I practiced on the board. I completely forgot about one particle, which I told her a little while before that I found はand が difficult, although I am better at them than I was. I was just happy that what I wrote made sense. A student who was still the room after class said I had nice writing. Its just a shame that I write better than I can speak. But I am working on the speaking part now.
So wish me luck in starting this new class!! Its going to be great to be teaching adult mothers who want to learn English but have never had a chance to learn because they have been busy with raising their children. The place where I will be work is more like a cafe and mothers can bring their children and be learning in a relaxed atmosphere so they won’t feel pressured. I just hope I can do a really good job. I am going to try my best with using Japanese to translate into English for them.
頑張れ!!

お久しぶり

みんなさん、お久しぶりですね。みんなさんは元気、私はまあまあで。今日は種市町で雨模様と寒いです、これは天気の私に英語のを思い出させる。それはくつろがせるで!仕事は多分忙しい、でも私が楽しいです。私が教える生徒たちは驚くべきものだ。彼らが私の日本語で私を助けて。私の自由な時間で日本語を勉強します。まだ私は勉強です。頑張り!
私の日本語が間違っている場合は、すみませんでした。

English:
Its been a long time everyone. I hope everyone is healthy, I am so-so. It is cold and rainy in Taneichi Town today, this reminds me of English weather. It is relaxing! The students I teach are amazing! They help me with my Japanese.  I study Japanese in my free time. I am still studying. I do my best!
If my Japanese is wrong, I am sorry.

本当にお久しぶり!It has been a month since I last posted anything. I’ve been on Summer vacation. Even thought it was a great time to go and sightsee, in the end, I ended up staying at home and going to the local festivals. I’ve not been saving up much money so I’ve had to try and cut back my spending to make sure I have plenty of money for October when I get for just about two weeks of work in August at the end of September. Although, I was able to practice more of the simple kanji. It may be strange trying to write it because I am someone who remembers things with practice. I can’t just look at it and remember it. But it is fun to learn and I’ve managed to find a program for my computer which tests me every day on the Kanji I choose. At the moment I am only working on the JLPT NS5 Kanji. But its funny to look back at my old notebook of Japanese from a year ago and see how much smaller the kanji has become now. Surely, that means I am getting used to writing it now, right?!

Otherwise, I’ve been to the nearest bigger city a few times this summer. I even got sunburnt by staying out in the sun for three hours without sun cream. I was too busy taking photo’s, which I have uploaded to facebook. It was nice to get out of the house and go for a drive. I also went to watch the fireworks in kuji and Noda. The fireworks here are so pretty to watch and colourful.

I finally went to a BBQ last weekend and I had a good time. I didn’t get to speak to many of the local’s much because I finally realised my Japanese skills is just so low T_T I really wonder why I have a job here sometimes. But it was strange to meat was constantly cooked while there was people there. Okay, so a lot of people actually brought a lot of meat with them. But, it was a good thing. I only took small bits at a time, as to not seem too greedy, but the food was delicious!

TEFL Course

Well I completed the 20 hour weekend TEFL Course!!! Although it was a lot of information given. I think I actually remember most of it. And now, It also means that I have basic teaching qualification in English!!!! I can now apply for jobs in Japan. However, I think I might take the other on-line courses available. The weekend course was great. But I think I need as much help as I can get. I am just glad that I passed the weekend course. Its really worth the money!

I just have to worry about when I actually go to Japan. I was looking at the jobs TEFL England has listed and they said that it would be leaving for Japan between March and July. But something else has come up to get me used to teaching. Someone on the course is actually the Dance teacher at my old High School. And I’ve been asked to go along and help with the Choreography classes. To help be an extra pair of eyes and help out. Everything is falling into place at long last. Its took its time but its getting there.