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And off we go~!!

(2012-09-03 16:37:56)
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工作

生活

英语

杂谈

新仕事最初の日終りました~!

Finished my first day at my new job And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!! !!  Going to write in English since it's faster and there's a lot to write.  They said not to put too much info on the internet but since this is a Chinese website I doubt any of my students or potential ALTs will see this.

Anyway, so my new job is at a public junior high school in a very small town.  I'm not really the English teacher, but I'm the Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) meaning I assistant Japanese English teachers, checking homework, helping the kids do worksheets, coming up with activities, etc. And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!

I take the train from my apartment to the town, about 10minutes.  I woke up at 6am today because I wanted to make sure I get there with plenty of time to spare.  I got to the school around 8am.  I only had 1 class today, 2nd year junior high students, so they knew a little English already.  

The Japanese school year starts in April, so now in September it's 2nd term.  Their previous ALT quit over summer break so I'm actually a replacement, so I was a little nervous what the students might think or how the other teachers would treat another ALT when one had quit so suddenly And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!.  But everyone was really nice, some teachers came over to introduce themselves, and I met the other English teachers (I think there are 3 in total at this school).

I went with the Japanese English teacher to first class.  It was so intimidating standing in front of 30+ students And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!  Oh my god, I thought I was prepared but holy hell, having them all looking at you is so nerve wrecking.  I did a short, 10minute self introduction and afterwards the Japanese English teacher asked them some questions to make sure the students understood what I said.

Then class began.  I guess they had homework about [to+infinitive] verbs so the teacher gave out a worksheet and the students began to work on it.  I just walked up and down between the desks, checking the students' answers, helping if they needed it.  It was really easy to see which students were good at English and liked to study it and which ones didn't.  Some students finished in no time, others couldn't even finish half.

Then the teacher took up the worksheet.  The students were so quiet.  I don't know if they were just tired or shy (but they should know the Japanese teacher already, plus she speaks Japanese, so I don't know why they would be shy), but the teacher would ask for an answer and you'd hear silence.  Then after the teacher persists a few times you'd hear a small, small voice say the answer from one of the students And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!.

So that was the entire class, super easy for me.  After class, as the Japanese English teacher was moving her stuff (in Japan teachers change classes, unlike in Canada where students change classes) one of the students came up to me and introduced herself And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!.  She was right in the front row and I could see from when she was doing the worksheet that she was someone who was quite good at English.  We talked for about 5 minutes or so, she was really shy but she tried hard to speak with me.  I felt kind of bad because I would ask her something and maybe I spoke too fast or it was too noisy (the other kids were running around, chatting with friends since class was other) so she would ask me to repeat, and every time she would say "sorry".  I wanted to tell her that she didn't have to be sorry, that I'm more than happy to repeat because it's great she's even trying to communicate with me And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!.

So anyway, that was my first and only class today.  Later, we went outside to practice for Sports Day.  In Japan every year schools have a Sports Festival and a Cultural Festival.  Sports Festival is coming up soon so they had to practice.  Today they rehearsed a Japanese dance and I went outside to watch.  One of the students caught a cold and couldn't participate today, so she sat next to me.  Initially I tried to talk to her in English but she was painfully shy and barely answered, so I switched to Japanese (ALTs are allowed to use Japanese outside of classroom, unlike at my previous job).  She opened up a lot more and told me she liked English and thought it'd be cool to be able to speak it.  She was a little negative about school in general though, she said she didn't like the city (she had moved from a much bigger city when she was in elementary school) and she didn't like the teachers because they were mean And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!  She also said something about bullying which worries me a bit, but I couldn't catch exactly what she said.  I'll have to keep an eye on her.  Later, I told the head English teacher that I chatted with the girl (I didn't tell her about what, though) and the head English teacher said that girl was so, so, so shy.  I got the feeling she wasn't so much shy as maybe just not enjoying her time in school and so she's unwilling to participate in class.

Then we had school lunch.  The school provided lunch for students and teachers, so I ate with the other teachers, and after that was cleaning.  In Canada schools hire janitors to clean, in Japan the students clean.  So for 10 minutes or so they grabbed mops, brooms, rags, and started cleaning from the classroom to the washroom to the teachers' room.  They refilled the toilet paper, took out the trash, scrubbed the floors, I was thinking I had never done any of those things until like...university when I started living on my own, and these kids do this everyday 
And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!

After that, since they had the Sports Festival coming up the afternoon was used to rehearse more for it.  The head English teacher told me I could leave early if I wanted to, so I finished correcting some of the kids' English writing homework (one of the Japanese English teachers asked me to help correct it) and then headed home around 3pm And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!

Pretty easy day, it was actually pretty fun although I was nervous as hell.  I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow.  Tomorrow I have 2 classes, and again I can come home early.

This is going to be really interesting going back to school, lol And <wbr>off <wbr>we <wbr>go~!!

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