June 01, 2005

I Am A Japanese Teacher

If you hear some moronic Japanophile or elitist snob mention how stupid, lazy, pathetic or easy eikaiwa teaching is ---- give them a big kick in the 'nads for me. No warning, just a big fecking kick right in the danglies. Maybe kancho them too.

This is serious hardcore work. This isn't your piss-ass JET assistant "teacher" crap. This is a full on solo schedule of four-eight 50 minute private or group lessons (my biggest class is 7 seven year olds --- aaargh!!) 5 days a week, with only 5 'personal days' a year, and three weeks holidays.

I'm also stuck with texts that may or may not match the set teaching style. Trying to keep my students speaking english, rather than Japanese, not knowing where in the textbook some of my students are despite the wonderful loopweek system -- and of course being in a freakin' foreign country where I know hardly any of the language. (I think one of my students was telliung me this wonderful long story about his uncle/grandpa being blind or something... but I really wouldn't have a clue).

Highlights (and sad highlights) from first week of observation/tecahing:

Tuesday last week: Only observation. Managed to scare a little girl onto Wa's back. Also observed a seminar for a student I will not be teaching. Despite being Autistic he managed some quite serious phrases like "I eat fried buckwheat noodles" quite well.
Wednesday last week: Met my one and only groping kid. Yes. A little boy went for my groin. Narrowly missed. First time teaching - verily sucked like vaccuum cleaner on high. My student has the memory of a goldfish, speaks 80% of class time, but in Japanese (mostly "waka-nai" - "I don't understand") and the cards made two colour objects very hard to teach (one had six different colours). --- Outside of school I saw the cutest thing while while getting groceries --- a dog the size of a small lion (In Japan!! - its so nice to be regional here - public transport means cities aren't unreachable) and all fuzzy like one too. And two young women practicing dance moves in the dark window of the shopping center at about 9:00pm.
Thursday: Very confusing, switch to other foreign teacher's classes so unsure of what I am teaching (two lessons today) - Meet another trouble making student - but after class he started talking inane nonsense about something, then I heard "Naruto", OMFG NARUTO!! Naruto is awesome. After work I also see Naruto Snack Chips. OMFG Naruto!! - yes I'm tragic - yes I bought them. In the moring performed "Alien Registration" with the nicest girl in the office (who has quit, and finishes tomorrow - hopefully we will stay in touch). Every foreigner staying in Japan more than the 90 days tourist allowance must register in the ward/town/village office that they will live in as an Alien so they can keep tabs on you. This card must be carried at all times, and is needed for a bank account, mobile phone ownership and other necessities I'm starting to pine for (cards don't arrive for another week - June 7). Also spotted Hello Kitty's rival: Cute Kitty in the 7'11 across from work. An octo-pussy with alarmingly Hello-Kitty-esque properties also appears to be advertising for moibile internet on TV.
Friday: 3 classes today. First class - a floor class was fecking tragic. I'll put it partly down to dehydration, but alos poor planning and lack of songs. I couldn't match a single name to a face in this class. And finally switched tragetlanguage to repeat last week's lesson. W00t! Lets hope it goes better second time round. Today also messed up a bit with two classes scheduled simultaneously, luckily one doesn't show up. Also taught some very shy high school girls. Not very talkative, thankfully the talkative one did show up, albeit a bit late. Not as shy as Wa made them out to be. After work, very stressed, lesson plan, MUST LESSON PLAN. No exciting adventures for this night.
Saturday: That's right Virginia, Saturday is a work day. None of thos cool Saturday morning anime's fopr you (okay, a few, work doesn't start till 11). Met another 'problem' child I'm teaching. Too much dead time, even with Wa as a distraction. However my floor class was much improved. Table classes are fine. FT2 even decided to leave the room because I was doing allright ("shout out help if you don't like him" - they only tried it once). And while getting cocky about table class ability I truly stuff up a JH lesson (well we were speaking mostly English so good) - the text book had a tiny box of grammar (what is supposedto be our focus) so I didn't notice it till halfway through the lesson and only added it on a side. Irregular plurals were also very hard to explain on the spot. Evening - farewell/welcome work party. Very nice Restaraunt "SOUTH", and unlike Boon, has a Western style toilet - thank Word.
SundayMonday: Days off. Elaborate next time.
This Tuesday: First day of pure solo tecahing. Mostly good. Mummy and Me class still 1 child down. But the kids I do have are just wonderful. Parents absolutely *adored* my use of plenty of active games - Vocab: "Up, Down Turn Around and Jump!". Tell them next week may be a little less tiring. Next student is "fun" class - smart child who is slightly brattish and will play games (Hokey Pokey "put your right hand in" - puts in left foot). Three young 'un class is a bit of a mess. One child is scared to come into my new room (it had a toy alligator last time he was in it --- but today toy alligator was not in it) - burst into perpetual tears and didn't come to my class. Great. Manage to almost poison girl (the one who was scared of me last week) with bubble liquid - tell her to quickly wash mouth out. But otherwise good. Girl, despite poisoning incident, is not scared of me today. Large class a nightmare. Involves changing rooms. I took very little supplies. Lets play the pass the microphone game. Lets pass the microphone again. And please one at a time for homework (all want to be first to be marked - even if they haven't done it). Just found out I skipped a few weeks for the following solo lesson, but we both enjoyed it, and it explains why the "reveiw" appeared so new to him. Another child missing from my JH boy class in the afternoon (all up 3 down today). Have silly fun with Jenga and Blindman's bluff. Actually teach the grammar section of this class, W00t!
This Wednesday (Today!): Crotch attack child is to shy to come into the new teachers class today. So just have silly fun with excitable girl. Shy crotch-grab kid eventually comes in with lesson 3/4 over. Doesn't go for crotch, but does rub his face in my buttoks. Yes, he did. And yes, I was rather freaked out. I don't think my ass is really that interesting. Thankfully I don't think the parents were watching at this point (Unlike at Western extracurricular activities, parent often just stay the entire time their child is at Amity - many hovering in the hall intently staring through at the window) I verily hope they weren't. Next is "poo poo" kid who knows a quite a bit more English, but is very focused on those words. Also attempted to introduce me to a variant on Kancho - apparently to the front. Much more dangerous I think. Luckily I spot the trademark pistol formation - so no Kancho for you today kid. Redo dual colour lesson, this time with my handy self made cards (which use only two colours - much more useful for teaching only two colours - don't you think) - amazingly picks up very fast. Awesome. Finally second biggest class of 5 seven y.o's -- but mostly smart and catch on to concepts well. Mostly have fun, with snapping alligator and pop-gorilla activities (yes we do teach English during these activities - not games - they are activities!). Use overly genki actions for "Sure!" and attempt my first Simon Ring activity -- hard enough when you know English, almost impossible for these japanese kids. Overall great day. Also met new staff member, very friendly and nice, so yay!

I have 66 students. 67 as of Friday.

Yes, Amity is really jampacked teaching. But its probably doubly worse for Japanese Teachers (JTs). And its teaching kids - so its lots of lots of fun, and as long as you put the effort in, the results will be worth it. So Don't think I'm trying to freak you out. If you think you are up for it, give it a shot. They do seem to need a lot of FTs (Foreign Tecahers - Native English speakers).

PS - Seriously, just right in the balls, hard and swift.Then double kancho, front and back.


At Thu. Jun. 02, 07:50:00 pm AEST, Anonymous john cowart said...

All this sounds fascinating but incredibly daunting. You must really be gifted to stand what you are doing!

Good luck with it.

At Fri. Jun. 03, 10:43:00 pm AEST, Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

Damn Straight fellow AEON recruit!!! I will admit I am not teaching Children... which take about 7.567 million times more energy than adults but it's certainly not a cake walk for sure. And everybody? Kick the guy in the 'nads once for me as well. It is a very rewarding experience... that makes all the hard work worthwhile...

At Thu. Jun. 23, 04:21:00 pm AEST, Blogger Chris C said...

Sounds tough. I'm one of those lazy JETS pining for the activity levels I had in my last job. Elementary school for me is the best because the kids are way too cute, really genki, and always fun to teach. And they remember what I teach them, which is more than Junior High kids can manage...

Keep it up!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home