Published: August 29th 2011August 25th 2011
View from First JHS
This week was mostly overcast, but nonetheless, I still love the scenery
Another early morning for me, but I'm already getting used to this routine! Today was the day I went to visit 2 of my junior high schools; First Jr. High and Tamagawa Jr. High.
As soon as I walked into the staffroom I could tell this was going to be another busy day. All the teachers were busy so it was a bit hard to get my schedule from them. Essentially, they told me to talk to the English teachers and see if I could join their class! So by the time I was told this, first period had already started but I spoke to one of the assistant teachers (who I was very happy to see again!) and she said she'd ask the grade 7 English teacher for me.
Since I had nothing to do during the first period, I walked around the school. I didn't notice any damage to the school, but I assumed this was because it wasn't very old/had some renovations done in the past few years. As I walked by the classrooms, many students saw me and waved enthusiastically. It's nice to know they haven't completely forgotten me.
During second period I went with
Walking from First JHS to Tamagawa JHS, I walked by the famous Shiogama Shrine. I'm glad to see it's alright!
Ito-sensei (the new gr7 English teacher) to the special education class. There was only two students in the class but one I taught previously and he remembered me too! We had quite the fun class. We reviewed introductions and vocabulary and then spent the rest of the period playing Karuta with English cards.
Third period I went to another grade 7 class. As I walked into the classroom I heard a loud "AH" and was surprised to see that it was one of my former island school students. He remembered me right away, but the rest of the class needed a bit of prompting before they remembered. (Since I taught them when they were in elementary school, and most often only went to their school once a month...but then again, the kids who are still in elementary school remembered me....oh well.) I had such a great time helping them with their English work, it reminded me of all the fun I used to have there!
After that class I had a quick lunch then trekked out to Tamagawa Jr. high. (Oh, how I don't miss the long walks in the summer heat haha.) I arrived at school just
Students waving to me
as lunch was finishing and the students were starting their Sports Festival cheering practice. After a nice chat with the new Principal, one of the English teachers (Kubo-sensei) took me for a tour of the school before going out to watch the students practice. Although this school was far from the port area, and thus was not damaged by the tsunami, it received quite a bit of damage by the earthquake. Part of the outside wall of the gym fell off, so the front parking lot was off-limits and many cracks developed on the inside of the school. I am assuming that while it looks very damaged, the school is still very safe and they are planning to repair those once the worst areas of the city have been fixed. The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the students outside practicing their cheers. Many students came up to me during break time to say hello, and again, that made me very happy to see that 1) they remembered me and 2) they were still very lively. The last half an hour at the school was spent in the staffroom talking with teachers. It's always sad to hear that many
lost their cars or that their houses were damaged, but despite all this they said that they were doing fine and that they will keep doing the best they can.
The last thing I had schedule for the day was dinner with my former adult English class. When I lived in Japan, I volunteer-taught English to a small group of adults along with another ALT. I became good friends with the people in this group and kept in contact the best I could while I was away. I found out that today was actually the first time the class met since March 11th. They all said they were doing fine, however, one of them had lost his car in the tsunami and had to purchase a cheap used one, and one's house was damaged. It took them several months to get their day-to-day activities back to normal but they were all happy that they could start their English classes again and that I could join them on their first one back. By 8:30pm it became apparent that the Jet Lag was kicking in again so we decided to wrap things up for the evening. We promised to keep in
touch, and I told them I would be back again to see them!
There are more photos below