Sunday, September 06, 2009

あたしの可愛いの生徒達。。。(My cute students)

So it's been a really long time since I've actually given a factual update for my situation here (for those who don't know me personally and might have been wondering...)

I am now working at a Jr. High School as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher.) It's not a hard job, and I don' t have to do so much prep work or anything annoying like that. It was a bit of a "second" culture shock to see Japanese schools, but I'm getting used to it now. Hopefully in the future I might write a bit about that.

In Japan, Education is mandatory until the end of Jr. High. (most still go to High School after that, but it's not required.) Jr. High is the equivalent of seventh, eighth and ninth grades in the states. In Japan they are called first year, second year and third year of Jr. High. Pretty simple.

I teach at just one school, and I help teach all of the students. There are three first year classes, two second year classes and three third year classes. First years tend to be cute still, and more eager to learn English. We get along well together and I seem to be popular. Second years are becoming more bratty, and dislike doing work. But they are still cute, and when they put their minds to it, they do pretty well. The third years at this school are insane. Most of them don't like school and don't want to study. There are the really good students, and then everyone else. I think English might be the most hated subject among the third years. Haha. But there is still cuteness to be found. ;-)

The classes are actually primarily taught by the Japanese English teacher (in Japanese.) So many times I have no active role in class. So I end up patroling the classroom trying to enforce discipline. (this has given me a few kids who hate me.) Fortunately, I have overcome the need to be liked by my students. I of course like them regardless of whether they like me or not. I've developed a tough enough skin that there's not much these kids can say that's going to upset me. Hehe. I have fun with that. They don't really know what to do with me most of the time. :-D Just the way I like it.

Anyway, I do have plenty of kids who like me.

Today I went to a dance recital that many of my students were in. I think I recognized 5 girls from different grades. It was a nice recital. {Much less shocking than the first one I went to several years ago with completely inappropriate music for kids to be dancing to.} When I got there, I saw some of my favorite second year boys. They are nice kids, but they like to goof off in class a bit too much. They are a handful sometimes, but they are cute. So I went to say hi. They actually invited me to sit with them! I was very happy that they didn't chase me off. ;-) It turns out that they had already watched the (more than two hour long) dance recital in the morning, and were back to watch the second performance! I was told that at least one of the boys must like one of the girls in the recital. And his buddies came along. Talk about impressive. That's dedication. I mean, these kids have trouble sitting through class without talking and they sat through TWO dance recitals. Ah, the power of young love. haha.

After the recital it was fun finding the students in the recital and congratulating them. Most of them didn't know I had come, so it was fun to shock them. I was also invited to another dance recital of a different set of students in November. That was nice. My students are cute.

I really like meeting my students outside of school. For one thing, it's kinda fun to see them in street clothes. (they have to wear uniforms at school.) But I just like connecting with them.

Going all the way to school made my Sunday a bit long (it's about an hour commute plus 30 mins walking) but was worth it. I smiled a lot today, and got to see my students being cute and could praise them. On the bus ride home, God treated me with a soft sunset and some beautiful scenery including multiple baseball games, boats on the river, white cranes, and burning rice fields (after they have been harvested.)

I like having students. I think it's official. I'm a teacher at heart. <3

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