Friday, April 23, 2010

School!!!

I have really been slacking at writing, so now it is time to catch up! I will do this entry, and then do an entry on the random Beetles cover band I saw, an entry on Shuzenji, and then an entry on Atami (that's where I'm going tomorrow!).

I teach at one elementary school and one junior high. Once every semester I will teach at a kindergarten... sooooo cute!

I have been in school for three weeks now. I didn't teach at all the first week, but I attended many ceremonies. The first day I attended a ceremony at the elementary school. There used to be two elementary schools in this town but they have merged into one school. So there was a big ceremony the first day with photographers from the local paper and a lot of important looking people. When the important looking people (maybe like the mayor or something) came in all the teachers stood up and we bowed to each person. I was bowing for several minutes straight, haha.

Then the second day I attended another ceremony at the elementary school for the first grade students. It was very formal! Many parents attended the ceremony and some of the mothers were even in kimonos! The tiny little first graders walked in a line and sat at the front of the gym facing everyone else. Many older students got up and performed a song for the first graders. Many people gave speeches. I didn't understand most of them, but I understood part of the principal's speech. He was telling them something about breakfast and that the school lunch is delicious.

I found a picture from the ceremony on the Izu website, which made me really excited. Here it is: First Grade Ceremony Picture
Their clothes are adorable! The boys even have on little jackets and ties!
The picture made me really excited because we're not supposed to take pictures of the students and put them online, but if they put it up I'm sure it's okay to link to it. So yay! Now you can see some of my students. :) I haven't gotten to teach first grade yet. I wont get to until late May.

Later in the week I attended a couple more ceremonies and spent most of my time planning activities. That was pretty boring because I didn't want to plan too much because I really had no idea what kind of activities I needed to prepare for. However, I did have fun because a couple days I got to go hang out in some of the homeroom classes and talk to the students while they made posters.

The second week I gave my introduction to many of the classes. Students also had the opportunity to ask me questions. In almost every class I was asked if I had a boyfriend. I think some of the elementary students were trying to hook me up with another teacher because they asked how old I was and then told me the other teacher is 22 and were pulling him over towards me. Then the kids asked if I had a boyfriend and when I said yes they seemed disappointed and quit trying to pull that teacher over. The kids are crazy. :)

I didn't get asked anything inappropriate though. Some other ALTs said that they were asked their bra size and other odd things. Though one student in the 4th grade class asked something in Japanese and the teacher would not translate. I asked him, but he just waved his hands and was like, "no, no, no" and quickly picked another student to ask a question.

This week I have started regular classes. I taught two classes in elementary this week and have had several junior high classes. The junior high classes are really easy though. The teachers pretty much have everything planned out and I'm just an assistant. I read a lot of stuff out loud and also help lead some games. The teachers have told me what games they want though, so there's not much planning on my part. It's fun though.

I really like the first grade class in the junior high because they seem really excited about learning English. I like the 3rd grade class because they're pretty good at English and I can talk to them more than the other students. I can ask them things besides "how are you?" and "do you like cats?" Several of the 3rd grade boys think it's really funny when they greet me with a loud, "HELLO! I LOVE YOU!" They're so weird, haha.

The elementary students are really adorable. After class they all come up to me and talk to me in Japanese. One little boy asked me if I like Mos Burger (a fast food chain). I said I liked the Teriyaki Burger so then he went on and on about the different sets that they have and how much they cost and I think he was talking about which ones are the best deals. He's obsessed, lol.
Also, they all like to grab onto me and hold my hand when they talk to me. It's really cute.

Today there was a school assembly at the junior high and we watched a horrible video about bicycle safety. It was horrible in a hilarious way though. From the video I learned that if you collide with a car, you will fly really high in the air and flip around, but when you land you'll be fine. You might be stuck in a garbage can, but you wont get hurt. However, if you hit obaasan (a grandmother) with your bicycle, obaasan will beat you with your cane.

This has nothing to do with school, but today I bought some Cookies and Green Tea ice cream. It was very very green. It tasted a little strange at first (I expected that though). It really did taste like green tea. Towards the end though I didn't notice the green tea flavor as much and noticed the cookies more. Mmmm... chocolate. :) So overall it's not as good as cookies and cream, but I still enjoyed it! It was worth the money just for the experience.

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