July 12, 2005

It would have been so cute if...

A lot of the students at school are very cute (kawaii) and adorable - wether by doing silly things, or being adorably sweet when they don't have a clue what is being said to them, or when they a very good idea.

On Wednesday night, Helen asked me if I hated any classes/students, I obviouslsy quickly replied no, and thought I was being moderately honest there. Then came Friday. I had a nice class on Friday; big, but nice. It had a nice balance of smart children and not-so smart children. Then we got a new student with no English education background, and my best student moved to my Wednesday class (which just became even more awesome). This means that I've lost a brilliant student, and gained someone without a clue. But after two weeks, without-a-clue is now number 3 in that class of five, which sort of tells you the level of number 4 & 5.

If I had to choose a child I teach to hate, number 5 would probably be it. His English extends to  Hello, How are you, I'm Fine Thank You, the vocabulary from today (which is good, I guess) and surprisingly Rock Paper Scissor (which even my Junior High and Senior High kids don't say). He tries and he wants recognition, but he just can't manage English. He arrives to class early (I think the time has changed by 5 minutes since I arrived, and none of the parents realise it - or its standard Japanese punctuality) - and tries to come in while I'm still setting up tables. So I try to explain to him to wait at least another 5 minutes, because he runs riot in the room while I'm lifting tables. I do not need to accidentally crush (another) students foot. I even use the clock and point to where the minute hand is, go tick-tick-tick, and point to when class starts and say "English school start/go". I think he actually got it, because he said juu-pun (10 minutes) and then wouldn't come back into the room until that 10 minutes was up. My previous tactic was to just speak rapid fire English to him and scare him off - but that wasn't working. When he came into class thsi week (before the clock visual explanation) he said to me in Japanese "Speak to me in Japanese, I don't understand English" ---- it would have been so cute, if only it wasn't English class, and I wasn't his teacher.

Actual cute things that my students do/have done:
- A spoiled 2 year old, when asked what colour the colour train is says "Its green, desu-yo". Desu-yo is the equivilent of Japanese exclamtion point. Or adding, "are you a fucking retard" on the end of a sentance.
-One of my loud and smart 4 year old students ahs a mother-child class. She's normally smart, loud and generally genki. Mother left the room for all of 20 seconds to attend to older sister - I thought the poor girl was going to breakdown into a foetal position and start crying - luckily I realised why, so that was at least one student I managed to prevent from crying in my class.
-A semi-bi-lingual two year old from another South Asian country just started. I was chatting to her outside of class with a bit of "How's the weather", "It's good". "Is it sunny?" "No, its good". It was sunny, sunny obviously wasn't part of her vocabulary -- all students learn sunny very quickly thanks to How's the Weather? (Sunny, Windy, Rainy, Cloudy, Snowy) being an integral part of all little children classes.


At Tue. Jul. 12, 10:19:00 pm AEST, Anonymous john cowart said...

I always enjoy your word pictures of life in what to me is another world. Thanks.

At Thu. Jul. 14, 07:41:00 pm AEST, Blogger Friendybaby said...

Dear Michael,
I received your postcard few days ago,you are so sweet!I like the card very much,very pretty one!My mom asked who you are?She asked "Who is Michelle?"I said "He is Michael,not Michelle!"LOL!May I have your address in Japan,so I can send you a postcard too!Take care and miss you too!:-)
Friendy xxxx

At Fri. Jul. 22, 12:50:00 am AEST, Blogger Michel Lafleur said...


Ah yes, the weather song... while I do not have the pleasure of teaching children (Utsunoiya is served by an Amity school) and so have not sang the children's songs since training 2 months ago... I do have the pleasure (no, not sarcastic) of hearing the one private lesson given by one of the Japanese staff to two sibblings of about 6-8 years old.


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