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2010 March 10

Finished another two schools with today’s joint class. Eight of twelve students in the combined fifth and sixth grade are moving on to middle school. They are awesome kids; I am loathe to give them up. Treat them well, middle school ALT!

In honor of the occasion, I made certificates, which the teachers filled out while I finished up running the board game that I spent so long with the laminator to make. I hope the kids are really proud of them even if (especially because) they can’t read them. (I didn’t get to point out to the teachers which certificates were for which schools, so some may have gotten switched. Oh well, it’s one word… I hope they don’t spot it…) In exchange, I got a hand-made card from each of the sixth graders, and from two of the fifth graders. I got pop-up cards from the fourth graders too. This on top of getting books full of thank you notes from yesterday’s two sixth grade classes, a memory board from Friday’s school… I think I need a memory box of some sort to store all this stuff. It’s amazing. 🙂

I am really excited about the kids who, next month, become fifth and sixth graders. Although, it sounds like we won’t be doing a combined class anymore, so I won’t be able to rely on the rising fifth grade boys to improve the maturity of the rising sixth grade boys. Damn!

I’m staring at a foot of snow piled up on the structure just outside the window. Hopefully I can get my car out of here when the time comes; I almost couldn’t park today due to a particularly bad clump within a snow drift. I’m super tired, but at least keeping out of sitting around the house is forcibly improving my mood. 🙂 I had a good time at calligraphy last night, and I’ve had a great couple days at school. Tomorrow’s schools will be good too; I’m going to surprise them (teachers and students) with the certificates. Tonight I have to undertake some major cleaning though. My house is awful, and it has to be extra-livable for the company that’s coming Saturday night!

Later:
Found out on my way out of school that one of my favorite teachers is leaving. 😦 It’s strange; he’s a young guy, and I had thought this was his first year teaching, at least at this school, but people don’t get rotated until they’ve been in one place for a few years. It’s a shame because his inexperience put us on a slightly more even footing, and he gave me the most freedom and responsibility in terms of lesson planning and material preparation. He’s moving to another town within the prefecture, so maybe we’ll meet again, but I hope our collaboration gives him more confidence in teaching fun and interesting English lessons. Having the materials I made for lessons with him has allowed me to show other teachers that my creativity is a good supplement to the regular textbook activities. Maybe some of them will be inspired to ask me for more materials!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 2010 March 22 8:31 am

    Sounds like you’ve been having a really neat time! You’re like the reverse of that Japanese teacher we had in 5th grade!

    • 2010 March 24 10:57 pm

      That’s what I keep in mind while doing my job, actually. Maybe most of the kids won’t visit America or maintain much of an interest in English (although they’ll have to study it anyway in middle school, let alone if they continue on to high school or uni), but if I can get them to have fun and open their minds a little about the size of the world around them, plus give them some cool souvenir stickers, mission accomplished.

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