Teaching This Week

Some highlights of the week so far include:

An actual pleasant businessman on Tuesdays. He speaks a fair amount of English, is a more than adequate conversationalist (meaning he actually asks questions…for many students ‘conversation practice’ involves me asking them a laundry list of questions and them answering in terse succession…not very exciting). He also expressed the desire to actually spend time with his family, which sets him apart from most businessmen and also endeared him to me. 

One of my private lesson businessmen on Tuesdays has been trying to work up the courage to invite me to something with him for months. He finally managed it this week; he invited me jogging with him. I laughed it off by telling him that I’m no good at jogging (true) and that I’d likely have to ride my bike to keep up with him (also probably true). A narrow escape, but I figure I’m safe for at least another month or two.

Yesterday there was quite a little mess with one of my elementary classes. Yuta, a kid who is usually not an ideal student (doesn’t pay attention, is sometimes disruptive, is always behind the other kids) was particularly proud to show me his sticker sheet. I admired it, and  then he turned to show the other students, but they grabbed it and were tossing it around, he tried to grab it back, and then it was crunched. I had to grab the Japanese teacher to come in and give the kids a talking to. Yuta cried for the entire class. Even though he’s usually kind of bad, I felt sorry for him. His spirit was crushed with the sticker sheet. 

Today in one of my better elementary classes, the kids finished their work early, as they nearly always do, so we played Uno. Then something pretty cool happened which I decided to let go on: Tsubasa starting singing, and eventually scatting, while Mayuko and Sora accompanied with various “percussion” and occasionally singing. Most of the “words” were just nonsense noises, but they fell into something of a melody and beat with each other, which evolved every 30 seconds/one minute or so into something else (though there was a solid 3 minute streak on variation of the Super Mario Brothers theme). It was actually a pretty impressive performance, and given the insane schedules, studying, and test taking kids are help to in Japan, I wasn’t going to kill their ten minutes of creative release. 

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