It’s been about two months since the new school year has started. I thought I would be less busy once we got into the swing of things but I’m just as busy as ever during school. The first couple of weeks have been a bit slow and I didn’t have many classes. However, things are back to normal now and I’ve taught enough classes to determine how things have changed compared to last year. Here are my thoughts:
My Monday school seems to have improved a bit. Actually, out of the five, I probably have taught the least there due to many holidays taking place on Mondays. We had a rough start at first, mostly because the school forgot to tell me that they had a school-specific holiday on a Monday. Since no one told me, I went to school regardless, only to be welcomed by a closed school gate. I was happy that I got a day off but really irritated that no one told me because I would’ve not woken up early and gone on a 1.5 hour commute to work if I had known about this. After that, my vice principal informed me that they lost my attendance sheet and wanted me to come in to fill it out, right before the holidays were about to start. I flat out refused since I wasn’t about to make another long commute to school just to sign some paperwork that could be easily done the week after. Blargh.
Besides that, work has been pretty comfortable. I have taught my classes enough to determine how good/bad they are.
5-1 has a new female teacher and she’s great at her job. I really do feel like we’re team-teaching as we both teach the class together rather than one of us sitting it out. The kids there are pretty polite but if they get rowdy, she can quickly shut them up. Most of the kids are nice except for one girl, who seems to just not give a shit about class. The teacher gives her a free pass; as long as she doesn’t interrupt class, I could care less.
Like last year, 5-2 is the worst class out of the three but at least they will follow my lesson. One kid introduced himself as “Super Aho”, aka Super Idiot. I think I will dub him that because he does act like an idiot and will be yelling 24/7. He doesn’t bug me that much since he doesn’t interrupt my teaching. From the one class day I taught, I could tell there was one girl who was really serious about studying English because she copied everything on the blackboard once class was over. This has never happened before. There is another girl who knows quite a bit of English but since she has a quiet voice, I can barely hear her half the time. Unfortunately since she’s in the worst class, I never hear from her. The teacher in charge of the English planning is the teacher for 5-2, which makes me wonder if she really sucks at controlling her classroom because we had a similar problem last year. I probably have around 4 asshole boys this year but at least most of the kids think they’re stupid. The girls don’t have Sass-like attitude, so that’s good.
5-3 was the class I was most weary about because an older, quiet guy was teaching it. This class however might be the best class out of the three. When I first came in, I noticed there were three desks in front of the blackboard, with some kids sitting in them. At first I thought they were in trouble but then I found that that they were actually today’s student representatives. We started out class by having each one of them write their goals for English on the blackboard. After that, the teacher wrote today’s objectives on the blackboard, in which we proceeded to teach. It was so…organized! All the kids were well-behaved and followed directions. At the end of class, the kids wrote on their English notebook the grammar and vocab we had learned today. I was floored; I have never seen a class that serious about English! I wish all my classes were like this but I can tell they’re going to be a smart class once I start teaching them. After one class, a few kids went up to me to ask a few questions about English. I love it. I’m sorry I ever doubted this guy.
Tuesdays are hard to judge mainly because I barely interact with my 5th graders, all thanks to Subarashii-sensei. If I’m lucky, I can ask them a question. The kids I interact with the most are my 3rd graders; I teach them every other week. Overall, they’re really good kids and look forward to having me in class. I’m mainly on my own in these classes and it’s up to me how to run it and what to teach them. I have no complaints. My former 5th graders (now 6th graders) only talk to me a little. Since I don’t teach them anymore, it feels like they’re more distant with me now. I guess that makes sense but it’s a little sad. Hopefully I can make friends with some of the new 5th graders.
As you know, my Wednesday school has changed a lot. We lost around half of our staff and a ton that have transferred in. I was very skeptical at first but I can safely say that things are still pretty fun. The best change was having Kimoto-sensei be the 6th grade teacher. We’re both young guys so we get along pretty well. At first, I was worried that he would let me do all the planning for English like he did with his 4th grade class. It looks like that’s not going to be the case though. Although he may not be super organized as Aiko-sensei, he’s trying his best to have time to lesson plan with me and my JTE. He came up with a really fun game the other week; it was so fun that the kids were still playing it after class was over. Apparently there is going to be some prefectural presentation where our school will be taped and shown in some sort of conference in July, something we all have to prepare for.
Although I have a weird 2nd grade teacher now, the new 4th grade teacher, Chika-sensei, makes up for it and more. I can see why my friend Tina was really sad to see her go from her school because she’s one of the most cheerful people I know. When I first taught a class with her, she busted out the piano and started playing along in some snazzy way while I was singing my ABC’s, I totally wasn’t expecting that! She seems to really be serious about lesson planning too and is challenging me to make my classes more unique with her. She’ll always say stuff like “We could do that, but do you think they’ll be bored of it?” or “I like that but maybe we can make it more fun…”. It’s refreshing to see a teacher motivated to teaching English because most just half-assedly plan something with me. She also told me she really wants to talk to me more in general, which makes me happy. I’m glad to have another awesome teacher in our school.
The new custodian is a really cool guy as well. He likes talking to me a lot and will often give me rides home from school. Apparently he knows my predecessor and we talk about him sometimes. He definitely makes me feel at home there. The new math teacher seems to be a quiet guy but I know he likes interacting with the kids, so I’m sure he’s nice. Maybe I’ll get to know him more as time goes on.
The students are all the same. My 6th graders haven’t changed at all, which I’m happy for. I still eat lunch with them and we’ll still have interesting things to talk about. I can tell things are a little different with the transfer of Aiko-sensei and the others…but we’ll be okay (hopefully). I told my JTE about my little chat with her, and she said we’ll try to set up a date to have cake and tea.
I’ll talk about the other schools another time.