I finished my elementary school tour this week, and honestly it was a little anti-climactic. I suppose I've been a little spoiled at my previous schools - the kids treat me like royalty and the administration and staff are always so interested in me. I guess it was inevitable that they weren't all going to be this way.
My first school of the week didn't have me speak in front of the staff like schools usually do. Instead, after a quick greeting to the principal, I was led to a room on the third floor being called the ALT Room. Obviously this room was not used in anticipation of an ALT's visit, as it was more like a closet. I was given a tray of drinks that I suppose were meant to last me for two days, and I was left to my own devices. A third grade teacher who speaks good English came and spoke with me about the day's lessons, but I never met the 5th and 6th grade teachers, who I would be teaching with, until I went into their classroom. I didn't spend much time in that room, since it was freezing and I would much rather visit classrooms. I especially enjoyed a science class I visited where the 3rd graders showed me how electricity works. Well, I think that's what they were trying to explain.
These two 5th grade boys were my groupies, and later on my last day professed their love for me. I told them I'm sorry, but I'm married and much too old for them. Maybe I should learn how to say that in Japanese.
My second and last school of the week was hard to find - it didn't even show up on the map on my phone. When I got off the bus, I decided I'd just follow the kids, as they seemed to be going in the direction of where I thought the school was. Luckily, the students did lead me to the correct school, and was again led to a special "ALT Room" and again didn't get to meet the teachers until the actual class. This school was especially challenging, as it was obvious that the 6th grade teachers were not that proficient in English, and the 6th graders just didn't seem interested. I guess it's good practice for Junior High, as I'm sure I'll come across that attitude more than once.
I did make a few friends, like this 1st grader who spoke pretty good English. And by pretty good English, I mean she could tell me, "I like fruit. Do you like fruit?" Kawaii!!! Notice her mask she took off for the picture. Yes, Japanese do actually wear the masks, but I have yet to try this out. I'd just rather take the sick day.
All in all I'm so happy I was given a chance to teach elementary school for 2 months. It was a great confidence booster and I hope I'll get an opportunity to teach some next year, even though our supervisor told us that most of the ES jobs are going to other independent companies next year.
So now it's time to get ready for Christmas! The holiday spirit hasn't quite hit me like it usually does this time of year. We do have a tree, with a few presents under there, but apparently not enough, as everyday Ethan says something like, "Is this all the presents this year? This is going to be the worst Christmas ever!" However, the relatives presents are en route, and he doesn't know the BIG present that's awaiting for him from us!
It's also strange to not be spending Christmas with my sister, who came to NJ for Christmas every year we were there. I miss you Rachel!!!!