TagTeaching

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.

Why Japanese kids think they are learning English.

For one of my first lessons, I asked the students to get into groups and try to think about why they are studying English. These are some of the most common answers from 18 classes.

For the entrance examinations.
It’s a common language.
To go to America.
To interpret / translate.
Want to be a stewardess.
Want to be a pilot.
I like English.
Useful in the future.
Writing letters.
Go on a trip.
Talk with foreigners.
Sing English songs.
Because I want to enjoy movies in English.
Because its compulsory.
Because it is fun.
Because I want to be an English teacher.
I want to go shopping in Canada.
Because I want to go to the U.K to study history.
Because we want to change to a foreign school.
Want to become a world famous actor.
Because I want to become the Prime Minister.
When we get lost in New York it will be ok. (Because they can ask for directions)
Because I want to be hero. (Maybe from Heroes?)
Work for the United Nations.

And here are some of the weird reasons.

Eating food in America.
I buy something in English.
Because I was told to.
Because I want to eat mushrooms. – ????
Song song song song song song.
I want to study U.F.O’s
I want to talk to Obama in the U.S.
I want to talk to Clinton about politics.
Because I love John Lennon.
Because I want to watch October Sky.
English Speak
English is my friend.
I want to write a letter to Santa.
I want to meet Stevie Wonder.
I want to help poor people.
I want to go shopping reduce prices.
I want to meet alot of pretty girls.
We want many foreigner girlfriends.
I want to die in America.
Beuna-Voidable – I have no idea what this is….
I had an unpleasant experience in Japan – Again… WTF?
To invite Europeans and Americans to my house party.
I want to get an American husband.
To be the president.
Abroad go time.
Forso Cipty – ?

There are hundreds more to choose from, most of them written in Japanese. I asked them to write as much as possible in English, then used pictures to illustrate their ideas. Ill scan one later and drop it in here.

Naughty Student!

Was teaching today and during the class there was this one kid that wouldn’t shut up. After a few interruptions the J.T.E asked him to quieten down, but he wasn’t having any of that. The language that came out of this kid was amazing! Luckily for me I know plenty of Japanese ‘swear’ words, so I understand what he was saying. It came as a shock that students could use this language in class – if it had been directed toward me I would have had a hard time restraining myself from beating the shit out of him.

After the verbal warfare between this student and the teacher, he was asked to leave. As he did, he decided to try and destroy the classroom door. Now, I just had to laugh secretly at this because apart from looking like a big cry baby, he didn’t damage the door. So either the classroom doors are strong (the thing bent as he was punching away, but no damage) or he is just really weak. What a drama queen!

Teaching alone again!

Had two classes by myself again, kids are pretty damn noisy, but as they were second years they weren’t as bad as the third year lot I had by myself my first day at this school. Managed to pass the time playing the line game and my version of shiritori. Worked out quite well, cause playing games for an hour is more fun than reading from a book.

Sports Day / Inahama Junior High School

Sports day wasn’t too bad. Spend most of my time helping out setting up and cleaning up. I was the judge in the Tug of War competition (my team lost) which was quite interesting. There were many games, I have no idea what they were, but one involved a student running along the backs of the other students who would then move to the front again forming a kind of bridge.

I took part in the teachers relay team, but we didn’t win. Some of the students were really fast, and although I could have beaten them all (hahaha) I was running too fast, and when I passed on the baton, the teacher in front of me wasn’t going fast enough and fell to his feet.

My legs are still sore from that 100 meter dash (3 days ago). I should probably take it easy for the next few days and catch up on sleep, as after the sports day, the teachers and I went partying. sooo tired. Need sleep!

Here are some shots of the sports day.

Sports Day Shot One

Sports Day Shot Two

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