The lovers, the dreamers, and me

3 Sep

ImageHaving taught a whole two and a half days at middle school, I have now done a self-intro to the first and second years (7th and 8th graders in the American system) and taught one regular class to the first years.  I have two more first year classes to teach today, the same lesson for all three, as far as I know, and I think it generally is going all right.  Unlike my self into, the JTE (Japanese teacher of English) is in charge of teaching the class most of the time, so my purpose is mostly to demonstrate pronunciation and practice dialogues with the children.  This is much easier than entertaining thirty twelve-year-olds for 50 minutes, since school doesn’t even try to be entertaining for the most part, and they’re used to the class structure.  The first years, though, are generally pretty quiet and shy anyways.

My self intro lessons on Thursday with the second years were interesting to say the least.  Two our of three classes were incredibly rowdy, and spent most of the class talking, poking their friends, throwing things, etc.  The JTE didn’t seem to surprised or bothered by this behavior, much to my surprise, and didn’t do much to stop it, so much of the class boiled down to my futile attempts to yell over uninterested and bored thirteen-year-olds.  However, I haven’t taught any regular lessons with these students, so perhaps their behavior is different in a class setting, rather than when they’re asked to pay attention to a powerpoint presentation about some random foreigner’s life.

ImageI’m still dreading teaching elementary school.  Having planned lessons with both of my elementary schools now, both seem to expect me to come up with the lesson plans exclusively on my own and execute the class essentially solo.  Since I have no experience in elementary education and don’t really know how to tame a class of children speaking a language in which I’m only conversational and by no means fluent is highly concerning to me.  Hopefully, I won’t die.  That’s… about the best I’m hoping for right now.  It’s frustrating, because I watched a few elementary lessons as an example on Friday, and when the teacher was engaging and helped make the English understandable and interesting, the kids seemed really eager to learn and ask questions, but when the teacher was less involved, the kids were also less involved.  Since the homeroom teacher is technically in charge of the class and I’m supposed to be an assistant, I don’t want everything to fall on me.  I enjoy teaching, but I really don’t enjoy discipline and forcing kids to do things they hate, which may be idealistic of me, but regardless… I want the homeroom teachers to do their jobs so that I can do mine.  At any rate, I’ll do my best and see how Wednesday and Friday go.

ImageCompletely unrelatedly, this weekend, we had some gross rainy weather.  S and I went to the mall and got caught in the rain coming back, which left us drenched and sad, but… the rain also brought about something much more pleasant: a rainbow!  I possibly have the mentality of a five-year-old when it comes to rainbows; basically, when I see one, my reaction is to drop everything and run to stare at the rainbow until it disappears.  Perhaps this is not the best for my productivity, but it does lead to some enjoyable sight-seeing, and the rainbow on Saturday afternoon was particularly pretty!  It stayed very bright and strong in one point the whole time, and at one point stretched across almost the whole sky.  There was also a faint double rainbow above it that at one point stretched almost always the length of the first one.  With the mountains surrounding us in Kiryu and the great view from my balcony, the whole sight was really pretty!

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