Sunday, December 5, 2010

ES Tour Week 5: Mountain Mama

Wow. I'm exhausted. The fifth week into my elementary tour, and I think it's finally starting to wear on me. Not in a bad way - I really enjoy teaching those kids - but being that high energy all day really takes a strain on you after a while. You think I'd be used to it, as I taught 6 or 7 high-energy classes every day back in the US. Despite the exhaustion, I've loved every school I've gone to, and I'm always sad to leave after the 2 or 3 days I'm there.
A statue in front of Shiseikan Elementary School. All bundled up for winter!

My first school of the week was in the heart of Susukino, the entertainment district of Sapporo. A young school - it was built only 7 years ago - it had a very modern feel, which I loved. The whole school had what they called open classrooms, which meant that there were no doors or hallways separating the classrooms, only walls. I think there was an elementary school in CISD that had this same concept. Was it Sundown Lane? Anyway, I thought it would be extremely distracting to the students, but they seemed to work with it quite well. As always, the students were friendly and eager to speak English with me. One group of 6th grade girls really took a liking to me, and asked me if I knew the song "Country Road". Of course I do! I sang it for them a few times in English, which impressed them so much! They even asked me to write it down in English for them. I asked a teacher why the interest in this song, and I was told that it's a song in their music class. The song was used in a Studio Ghibli film, Whispers of the Heart, and is apparently a very popular film with kids that age. Here we are singing it, you can mostly hear me, but they really are singing with me, I promise!

For my second school of the week, I would be staying for 3 days. I always like staying at schools for 3 days, I feel like I get to know the kids better. And these students were a delight! Every one of them so eager to speak English with me, even the cute 1st graders!

And this school was autograph crazy! Kids were literally running down the halls screaming, "Sarah, sign kudasai!!" I was signing notebooks, pencil cases, caps, hands. This is probably the closest I'l ever be to feeling like a celebrity.

Oh, and did I mention it snowed Monday? Big, beautiful, fluffy flakes. Ethan I enjoyed walking to school together in it.

Until the next day, when all that beautiful snow became packed down slippery ice. I had a few close calls, but never totally fell, thank goodness. I was taking the tiniest steps, it took me forever to reach the subway. And then it turned 50 degrees on Thursday night and all the ice was gone overnight. I'm sure there's more to come.

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