Jul 4, 2012

Happy 4th! And a Bit of Shit

Happy 4th of July! From a cute little kitty.

And for the fun of it, cakes with some very special rockets.

Didn't do anything celebratory today.  There was a summer festival at my local shrine today (coincidentally... obviously they don't celebrate Independence Day here so it was just a random summer fest), but was too tired after work to check it out.  Today being a Wednesday I was at my second job all day.  Mondays I'm at the daycare from 11am-8 or 9pm; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday I do classes with the 2- to 3-year-olds at my second job until 12:30, then go to the daycare from 3pm; and Wednesdays I do the toddler thing til 12:30, then do evening lessons at the school's offices from 4:20 to 6:30.  A huge break in between which is pretty stupid, but I've been making use of it by bringing my laptop and JLPT study book, and studying and eating lunch at cafes in the area or going up to the rooftop park atop the Sogo shopping center.  

Still, I'd rather go straight from the toddlers classes to doing my 2+ hours (one 50-minute class and two 40-minute) of teaching the elementary schoolers then be done with it earlier.  And to be honest I'm really not a fan of doing those classes.  They're scheduled literally back-to-back, and I have to make sure to finish the first class one minute early so I can dash to the next class.  My first class is fine, a private student.  He's a good kid, but he's young and gets bored and doesn't like studying for too long.  I don't blame him and try to make things fun and let him goof off/take multiple trips to the bathroom if he wants.

Second class though, there are six kids, about 9 and 10 years old.  Two boys, four girls.  The girls are the most timid, soft-spoken things ever and I have the hardest time hearing their responses to anything I ask them, and the two boys are rambunctious little shits- flinging things across the room, flailing around in their chairs, making snide remarks...  Last week- my first time with them- left me quite frazzled.  I knew what to expect this time though, and came prepared.  I ran by the 100 yen shop before heading in to do the classes and bought a pack of little foam balls.  I came up with a game where I had the action words they were supposed to be learning lined up on the board- the one holding the ball would ask "What is he/she doing?", and the other would reply "He/she is ________ing."  Then the one with the ball would have to throw it and hit the appropriate action. There were only 2 of them in the class today, since the others were taking a test in another room, so it was just one Little Shit and one Quiet Girl, and they both seemed to quite enjoy that one.  At the end of the class when the other kids were coming back from their tests for the second half of their lesson with another teacher I heard LS 1 telling LS 2 "Today was fun, we played this game and blah blah blah...", so that made me feel accomplished.  Even if they are terrible I feel bad for them for being there even if they don't like it.  I feel like, for kids their age at least, once school is out they should go home, finish their homework, then go and be a kid.  But it's not that way here, so if I can get them to laugh or crack a smile, while speaking at least a couple English phrases, I feel like I've done my part.

While those classes aren't very enjoyable for me, the private lessons I do for the older kids/adults in the evenings at the daycare are a lot better, and I actually enjoy a few of my students there.  The youngest ones I have there are 1st year in junior high, so 11 or 12 I think.  Either they like learning English, or they're just a lot better behaved.  I do enjoy them though, they're good kids.
But, in the end, I've discovered I'm really just not meant to be a teacher.  I'm a good bull-shitter though, and I speak English obviously, which I think are the only two qualifications for teaching English here.  Anyway, I just hope I can eventually move on to something different.

I realize there was a lot of negativity in this post about the way things are here.  As a whole, I do enjoy living and working here, but not everything is all sunshine and unicorns.  I just had to rant about the little piles of unicorn poo that are lying around.  ;)

1 comment:

dubs :3 said...

I think you and I are in the same boat as far as the whole teaching thing goes. I mean I have experience in it now after having done it for a year, but I don't feel like it's what I'm meant to be doing for the rest of my life either.

Also, as far as the kids go, I couldn't agree more! I had a private lesson with a 6-year-old who was a Little Shit too, and not only was he taking private English lessons, he was also taking violin lessons, among other things. But because I didn't put pressure on him and I let him enjoy class in his own way, English ended up becoming his favorite subject, according to his mother :D So I think you're doing the right thing by letting them enjoy themselves. Seriously, kids need to be kids! Japan is way too strict like that.

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