This is a new blog and I’m sure the people reading it know me already so there is no real need to go very in depth into who I am. What exactly it is that I do however, is still a subject I haven’t really covered. When I have friends saying “So you what are you doing over in China?” I think it’s time to clear things up.
Basically I am an assistant English teacher in Japan. I say assistant and sometimes that actually means assistant, sometimes it means “repeat word monkey” other times it means “Teacher in charge” and it can also mean “Entertainer of children” but mostly it means “Sit in the staff room on facebook”
That paragraph could use some explaining. I teach in three types of school: Junior high, elementary and kindergarten. I spend most of my time in Junior high school and go on school visits to 3 elementary schools and 4 kindergartens. In Junior high I teach sometimes, if I’m lucky 2 classes a day. In Elementary school I teach 1-2 classes per visit.
Elementary School dan dan daaaannn.
The Elementary schools were a real stress inducer at the very beginning, I have a degree in Japanese and translation, I am not a qualified teacher. So, when I went to my first few school visits and the teachers stood me in front of the class with NO PREPARATION and pretty much just said “Ok go” I was a little peeved. One guy actually said to me “You need to study how to teach”….In my head I responded thusly: “Ok son, how about I follow your example, I’ll just sit and watch someone else do it. Is that how we teach is it!!?? Hmmmmmmmm” (My voice would have risen to a near inaudible pitch at the end of the hmmmm to show that I was inquisitive but angry). But something changed and we actually teach well together now so all is well…talk about a conflict-less anticlimactic mess of a story!!!!
Anyway, in these schools we usually follow a book calle Eigo noto which means English notebook (as far as I know). I think this is a good book with some good lessons marred by the listening section. They hired the worst voice actors on the planet for this book, so much so that you ask anyone on the JET program about eigo noto and they will have a favourite phrase or character and by favourite I mean “So bad I love it and hate it at the same time”.
See for yourself!!
The Kindergarten duu duu duuuuuuuuu
These were familiar to me as I have been in Scouts for years and have often been left in charge of many, many evil screaming maniacs i.e. 6-8 year olds. The kindergarten age is zero to four so you would think you divide the “evil screaming maniac” factor by about 2. If you thought this you would be very wrong, you only divide the evil by 2, but you MULTIPLY the screaming maniac factor by 2.5. What you are dealing with in a kindergarten is a number of quick, manic balls of fists, hugs and kicks all with limitless energy. Here is where I have the most responsibility, I have to entertain these children for an hour and try to teach them something. I generally have fun doing so as they want to show you that they have learned something so you will say “well done” and make their day. In one particular kindergarten I have to be there an hour early (It’s very far away and the busses are limited) so for an hour I run around the room being the Baddie while the children shoot, stab and kami kami ha me to death with laser guns, magical swords and bombs etc (Lego like).
Junior High School Du du duuu duuuuu, du du duu duuu duuuuu
Ages 12-15, teenagers. Well that is not strictly true, I don’t use the term teenager to refer to someone in their teens, it is reserved for people/groups of people in their teens, wait for it, acting the arsehole in public places, how curmudgeonly I have become considering I used to be one. Generally I must say that the children here are all cool people, even the ones that cause trouble are charming in their mischief. Of course a lot of them couldn’t give butlers monical about English (holy god Hershys chocolate is vile) but many of them can be funny. When I have class here I enjoy it, I work with good teachers who seem interested in working with me so I can’t complain about that.
In Junior High the children are taught how to write, grammar and vocab, it’s grand like.
So that is a bit about what I do I hope you enjoyed it.
Japan is a strange place!!
Look at this picture, I took this in a 7/11 while micturating (ooh lah dee dah, that word is so fancy gmail spell check just thinks I spelled maturing wrong). What I find strange about the picture is the way the guy is standing….Why is there a triangle coming out of his ass. I have developed three hypothesisesesies:
1). This man is taking a piss with his hands behind his back
2). He has a huge protruding hemorrhoid
3). He has a Duckuphisass and it’s trying to get out.
I’m going to stick with guess (3) because as he walks away his back starts to bulge which to me looks like the duck is getting ready to do some serious pushing.