Roger in Japan

Day-to-day life as an English teacher in Japan... some days are interesting, some days are painfully boring. Most days are in-between.. Hopefully you'll enjoy reading here as much as I enjoy writing >_<

Monday, May 09, 2005

Golden Week

So Golden Week has come and gone. For those of you who don't know what Golden Week is, it's a week-long holiday here in Japan that is sort of made up of different public holiday days... for example, Green Day, Children's Day, etc.. so most Japanese go on holiday then. I organised with Cheryl to go island-hopping. Well, sort of...

We visited the north part of Okinawa mainland, which is really beautiful. We drove up through Motobu and stayed with one of her old JTEs. Then we visited a few islands - Ie, Iheya, and Izena. I think Iheya was the best of the three, probably because of a combination of the weather, people, and things to do. I took a heap of photos (about 140) which cost a ton to print from digicam. But yeah, all in all it was a very relaxing week. I won't go into too much detail here, but here are the main points:

Ie: - bike riding, lily festival, climbing the ONE mountain
Iheya: - staying with Masa, rice paddies, big tree, big cave, beautiful beaches
Izena: - rainy, not much, statue of (King?) Shoen

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dodge ball day!

We had Dodge Ball Day last week.. which is sort of a sports festival thingy to welcome all the new students (yes, we are still in welcome phase - we just had ANOTHER welcome party for teachers, but that's another story). Dodge ball in Japan is a little different to Australia.. it's a little more confrontational and combative. It's pretty fun though, but since I hadn't grown up with these rules, I was left stranded like a deer in the headlights a couple of times. But it was all fun!! Each class made their own shirts and costumes so play in, and some of them were really elaborate (Kitty-chan, kimonos, Mario...)

Monday, April 18, 2005

New school year - fresh start...

So the new school year has started. It's been pretty good so far. This year, I'm teaching 10 ich-nen classes, three ni-nen classes, and one san-nen class. But it's still a struggle trying to remember all the new students. It's good though, because as usual, in every class, there's always a few students who are confident enough with their English to talk straight away, so they are usually the ones I remember first (and for some reason they always tend to be girls too...)

But yeah, and we have about 30 new teachers this year too, so even more people to try and remember (I think i probably remember about five or six of the new teachers....). One of the new english teachers has his desk next to mine, and he is only a year older than me. It's pretty cool - now I am finally a senpai!! But it's pretty good because there are quite a few young teachers in the new group, so hopefully we can go out together and stuff..

This year, i'm trying to be more involved in doing other things in school, other than just teaching. I want to help in other classes, and other activities... and maybe even go on school trips with some classes... maybe... But I actually want to teach proper stuff this year, rather than just the games like last year. I teach with eight different teachers this year (as opposed to five last year) so it's interesting seeing the different teaching styles.

P.S. I've had the first "I love you" from a new student today... there's always one....

Thursday, March 24, 2005

No break?

Well, today was the last day of the school year.. Next year starts on the 7th of April... for students. Teachers still have to come to school every day until then. No break!! Of course, since Easter is a Christian holiday, it's not recognised as a holiday here..

But yeah, it was exciting for the students today because they all found out what classes they will be in next year (students here all change chasses each year, so it's a gamble if they'll be in the same class as their friends).. But one thing I forgot to do is to get students to write me little messages before the year ended... damn it!! And it's too late now.. oh well. I guess that's just something i'll have to remember for next year.

It's going to be strange, and i forsee it as being a little stressful, starting to teach all the new students. Since i teach 14 classes, and each class is about 40 students - that's over 500 students! Not to mention that a lot of them have the same name.... near impossible to remember them all! And it's sort of not fair, because just as i was getting to know all the students from last year, now they move up a grade and I don't teach them anymore... so sad.. But that's life i suppose... i'll still see them around school, even if i don't actually teach them. And looking on the bright side, i'll have these new students for the whole year (instead of just september - march like the last batch). So hopefully i'll get to know them better.... and of course, i have the experience of almost a full year behind me now... So all in all, i'm looking forward to the new school year!!

This year, we have an exchange student from Australia coming. It's kind of cool... well, actually my first thought was that he would take attention away from me, but then again that's not necessarily a bad thing. But it is a good opportunity and experience for him.. i can't imagine doing it when i was in high school! So yeah, i'll keep an open mind..

Monday, March 21, 2005

School year almost over..

Well, this week is the last week of the school year.. it has gone by so quickly! Actually, I can't believe that it's almost the end of March already!! It seems like just yesterday that it was New Year... So yeah, I found out that i'm pretty much assured of staying for another year, so that's good. I think in the new school year, that'll be like new year for me.. so i'll start following new year resolutions then (since i haven't really been up until now..)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Last classes for the year...

Well, this week I've started teaching my ichi-nensei classes for the last time... I think I'll be teaching some of the students in the next year - if they take English as an elective subject. But yeah, so sad... We just played games (as usual) and in some classes we had parties. I took photos of each class too.. And of course, being average Japanese students, they don't really care (or didn't really realise) that it was the last time I would be teaching them. Oh well..

I just realised something.... you know how sometimes when you are walking down the street, and you think you hear someone calling your name... but then you turn around and it's just a bunch of strangers..? Well, that happens to me a lot, but when I turn around, I see a group of giggling schoolgirls (or sometimes, schoolboys...)! It's pretty funny... it makes you feel special in a way.. I just know things are going to be so remarkably quiet when I go back to Australia...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

End of the school year

It's almost the end of the school year now - only a few more weeks to go. The students have had their final exams, and the san nenseis have graduated. Now all that's left for me to do is teach the last class for each class - PARTY!! And photo time!! The past few days, the junior high students have been having their entrance exams at the school, so it's interesting to watch them.. knowing that i'll be teaching some of them in a few weeks time...

First post!

Wow! I can't believe that it's been more than seven months since I came to Japan! Time flies when you're having fun (then again, it hasn't exactly all been fun..) It's great here - I'm having a blast. My Japanese is improving, and I don't think my English is getting that much worse.. although i'll have to wait and see how it is after a few more years. Hopefully i'll stay for another two years or so - fingers crossed!!

Me with some of my students Posted by Hello