Teaching in Japan

Shower Thoughts

I always come up with my best and most interesting ideas in the shower. Unfortunately, I never write them down. Sometimes I am lucky enough to remember them. Today, two things came up.

1. Do the companies that provide you with water sell you the actual water, or just the service? I would assume it would be the water itself, as they charge per liter. Therefore, any recycling of said water, and then charging again for it would be, in a sense – illegal. They are taking the water we paid for, cleaning it and then selling it again. We should get a cut for the water that goes down our drains – if it ends back up at the shower-head.

2. Tests in Japanese high schools are stupid. This may only apply to the school I teach at, but the way students are prepared for tests (English anyway) is ridiculous. Again, this is based upon my personal experience so your opinion may differ. What I remember about tests in ‘High School’ or ‘College’ (that’s what we call it in New Zealand) is that the teacher would tell you that: 1. There is a test and 2. Everything you have learnt in class so far may or may not be in it.

This makes sense, as the purpose of a test is to see how much you have learnt. Now compare it to the tests at my Japanese high school. First, the teacher will tell the students there is a test. Second, what particular section of related textbooks will be covered in the test. The teacher, under the assumption the students are semi-retarded may or may not provide the exact page numbers and/or actual test questions to ensure all of them pass the test.

To be fair to the teachers, the entire education system over here is messed up, so it’s not entirely their fault. They are expected to have an average class score of around 65% to keep people happy. Students in Japan aren’t allowed to fail no matter how stupid they are.

Thats enough ranting for today.

New School – Toke Junior High

Another term, another school. The teachers here seem really nice. The school is about a 10 minute walk from the station and its in a really rural area. I will finally be able to breathe without inhaling metallic fumes (Sanno JHS).

Luckily there are only six classes, meaning only six self introductions. Defiantly much more fun when most of the time is not self intros.

Made a milk tower while waiting for lunch too!

Milk Tower

Farewell to the Third Years: Dance

The second year students made a play for the graduating third years. I’m not too sure what it was about, but this is the dancing portion.

Typical School Lunch.

Not one of the better days. Although I did enjoy the fruit (can’t remember what it was called.)

School Lunch

The Cake

The wonderful students of 3年2組 made me some cake! Tasted good 🙂

Only problem is, now that they are preparing for graduation – I don’t get to teach them anymore. I only had three classes with them too 🙁

Some Cake

New School – Sannou Junior High

Started at Sannou JHS Tuesday last week. Still have a few self introductions to do. I really don’t have a problem introducing myself, yet doing it fifteen times over a week and a half is just a pain in the ass. Still, I am getting paid so who am I to complain right?

From my house, Sannou is probably the second furthest school I have been to, the first being Tokeminami. I take the train from Honchiba to Nishichiba (I could bike it but it’s too cold and I am lazy) then grab the bus from Nishichiba Station. It’s a 35-40 minute bus ride and then a five minute walk.

There are 16 classes with around 35 students in each class. The kids seem nice so far, with the third year students the most ‘active’ – most likely due to the fact they will be graduating soon. Luckily they have badminton, tennis and volleyball clubs, sports which I can play without looking like a complete noob.

Only six more months to go until the end of my English teaching career (probably)

Sannou Junior High School

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