Monday, 17 December 2007

PostHeaderIcon Empty here for relief

I taught a lot of classes at junior high school today as they all have something going on tomorrow and I have no classes then. I’ve been told that the 3rd grade have taken a turn for the worse in all of their classes because they’ve already received the grades they need for senior high school. Yesterday afternoon all the bad kids turned up at once and created quite a difficult classroom. In the first minute two of them had jumped out the window and another had emptied a bin and stuck their head in it. A lot of the teachers seem aghast in horror and embarrassment at their behaviour and keep apologising to me. However, I witnessed things about a hundred times worse at the secondary school I attended (on my first day of school someone threw a chisel at me) so it doesn’t bother me. Indeed, when I started to teach my bit in the class then they all shut up and joined in. This pleased me and some teachers have commented on my seemingly calming effect on the class.

Although this was far from the case in an elementary school class I taught last week. One of the boys in my 6th grade has learning difficulties (I have no idea what the politically correct term is these days). To their credit, the Japanese seem to employ a teacher to help these children even if there is only one of them in the whole school. I was playing this basic new game I devised where I shout some vocabulary/dialogue and then they need to race to the board and draw it. I then award points to each team for the quickest/best drawing and the winners usually get a prize. It’s quite a good way to end the lesson and they really enjoy it. However, until a few weeks ago I had been treating the 6th grade more like junior high school kids and the games had less running about. I decided I should probably make things more fun for them like I do for my younger classes since they have six more years of mundane English ahead of them. Yes, so it hadn’t dawned on me that this particular boy would struggle at the game. When it came to his turn he came last and then walked back to the end of the line. I didn’t notice anything unusual as I still had thirty other kids running about and screaming at me. Then I glanced up and saw the boy karate kick a double door off its hinges. The whole class went silent and turned around to stare in his direction. Even I was surprised but I managed to break the awkwardness of it all by shouting out a word on the board quickly. This immediately focused their attention back on the game and all was well. I’m a great teacher me.

P.S Nobody had taken my mystery coffee drink when I cycled past the machine this morning. If I was an angsty junior high student I’d put a sad emoticon face here.

Here are some excess pictures from yesterday.

You're a philistine if you don't appreciate this magnificent work of art.

A badly taken picture of my elementary school.

Entrance to the temple/shrine (sssh I still don't know what one it is.) Look how blue the sky can get here.

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.

Shashins