Published: June 3rd 2012June 3rd 2012
Woke up at 8, and prepared a lesson for the Pandas. It was a snake to colour in, and cut out, and stick on a stick. Also got my bingo ready for the Juku students. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but getting up an hour earlier to have an extra coffee, and just some time to potter around in the quiet, before the screaming madness of work, really makes all the difference. It calms me down, and a calm teacher results in a calm class. I wore another of my new dresses: it’s so nice to have some new clothes to wear, and due to price and accessibility, be able to wear them without the fear of slimy, dirty, grotty little fingers!
There was a 13 year old girl, Yui, doing some volunteer work, so she helped out in the classroom. Quite shy, so she didn’t speak to me.
A few of the boys in the class have new haircuts, as the warm weather has just come in, and they look so cute! Though it does make them harder to tell apart, as I tend to judge who it is from their
Last night I invited Dominica around for dinner, spaghetti as per usual. As we were sitting chatting, a tea cup fell inside the cupboard, and got stuck half way down, looking like it had paused mid air! A haunted cup! It was very creepy, and we spent the rest of the evening discussing ghosts and haunted houses: not so good for when I was trying to get to sleep!
I had spaghetti left-overs for lunch, and a few of the kids had tin spaghetti in their obento’s: they were absolutely chuffed to be eating the same as me!
In the afternoon, the thunder got louder and louder, so I raced there very early as the thunder was brewing and echoing off the surrounding mountains. This meant missing going to the Post Office and the Bank, but I’m dreading going to the Bank anyway.
ABC Bingo was an absolute success, and although I only intended on them learning their alphabet, they learnt some new phrases as well ‘I have it’, ‘I don’t have it’, ‘One to go’, ‘Double/triple/quadruple one to go’.
However, the Senior Juku students will now hate me: I made them read
and practice pronunciation from my Penguin translated text. It was really, really hard for them. We also studied ‘clothing’ which was a bit easier. Have no idea what to do with them next week to make up for having such a hard lesson. Perhaps some new songs.
Ham and cheese toasties for dinner: absolutely delicious!
Before music class, purchased a much needed coffee from the vending machine. I photocopied the books I got from the 100yen shop: a Doraemon book, and a book with little mice in it. They had to explain what each character was doing before they were allowed to colour them in.
Yui sensei was in again, but she didn’t come to music with us. She draws these fantastic anime pictures for the kids, and they absolutely love her for it!
Had salad with green dressing for lunch from the Shizutetsu.
A few cuddly students today: Yuma and Ayanori. Both these kids have certain days when they just need a cuddle. It’s really nice. We heard today that the Zoo trip on Saturday may be cancelled due to rain: but I guess that’s what you get for
planning an event during the rainy season!
After school I took a trip to the Post Office, and went via the French bakery for a spicy curry roll for afternoon tea. It was so spicy! Was studying at the table, and couldn’t keep my eyes open, so I went to bed for a quick nap, only to wake up 7 hours later at midnight! My poor, poor sleeping patterns! Thank goodness for hot chocolate, as it was the only thing that got me back to bed! No idea why I was so exhausted!
Took my pile of bills in to Miki today to again be sorted through, hopefully she calls today to sort out my internet fees, as I don’t want to pay for another month of two internet lines to the house (not that I can find the second line anywhere!)
Took the kiddy-winkles to the playground this morning, a great way for the teachers to relax too: get some fresh air and sunshine.
I was in charge of Mat time today, so we went over the days of the week, heads, shoulders, knees and toes (and still can’t get
them to whisper it, they will only scream it), and then the hokey pokey, which resulted in many tears from flailing arms and legs up in the air! Read a book to quieten them down before listening to Rebecca, (they love animal books, and there are quite a few at the school, so I’ve been working my way through them).
Today Rebecca had the students make apples for the class tree. They had to stick a medium apple onto a big apple, a little heart in the middle, and two leaves on top. The class tree is filling up and spreading out. I can’t wait to spread it across the tops of the windows.
Then it was off to the park and this time the children literally clawed at me for the box of toys, I thought my pants were going to be ripped off!
Rebecca found a strange infested leaf that looked like a dried out peach. Later discovered that near there were tiny caterpillar larvae, but still didn’t explain how the leaf had transformed so horrendously. (It wasn’t something attached to the leaf, but rather the leaf had been impregnated and expanded.) It reminded me
of Paul Jennings and Morris Glitzman’s ‘Wicked!’, and the horrible Apple Man in that!
A few non-eaters at lunch, well beyond my patience levels. Like them, I start off enthusiastic, but after 45minutes of ‘good girl, keep eating!’, ‘fantastic! What a good job!’, ‘Just eat a little more’, I become very unenthused. ‘Just eat it ok?’ ‘No playtime if you don’t eat quickly!’ ‘That’s it! Give me your spoon!’
Eventually all the children toodled off home, and so could I. Back home to collect my books and fill my water bottle, then it was off to the city for my Japanese lesson (madly studying along the way).
Again an excellent lesson, but my text to read through was a bit too hard. There was so much I couldn’t understand. I’m using the N3 text books, but Hiroko suggested (very carefully and nicely) that I start with N4, and in September I should start on the N3 books, and that would give us enough time to work through the N3 level before December’s test. (The tests go from N5: easiest to N1: native level Japanese.)
So after my lesson, I headed to the book shop to get
some new texts. Bought an N4 Reading Comprehension book and a grammar and vocab book. Flicking through it, I could understand most of it. There seems to be a huge jump between N4 and N3. Also, there are heaps of N3 text books, but a very sparse amount of N4, no idea why that is. I also bought a big Miki Mouse text book ‘My First 1000words’ to use with the children, but also for my own review. I’m going to photocopy it and stick the little pictures around the house ‘kitchen sink’, ‘entrance hall’, etc., (but in Japanese of course!)
Toodled around a few shops, and headed down to buy some delicious croquets from the same shop as I did on the weekend. I feel bag for not buying from my Gyoza shop, but I just wasn’t in the mood for gyoza and prawn cakes. Picked up a free coffee, and then a Cheese-bread from Pompador (and a seasoned knot-roll to eat on the way home). Got my directions muddled and walked a full circle of a block trying to get to the bus stop, but ended up at the train station which works as well.
to a relaxing evening eating dinner at my leisure, doing some much-needed tidying and going to bed early.
Virtual pinch and a punch to everyone out there!
Woke up refreshed this morning after a pillow rearrangement (really need to get into town to get those pillows!) and a good long sleep. I wish I would get up early more often, as this little peaceful time to myself before the madness of the day is more than beneficial.
Pompador French bread with cheese in it, and ham on top for brekkie, and the same again for lunch.
Music class, and I photocopied my Disney book, so we learnt all the vocab for around the house and garden. The kids had to draw lines from each item to its matching item in the picture, and then draw a picture of their own house on the back.
At lunch, I totally forgot about the time, and at ten past one, whilst trying to get kids out for the bus, I realise that I could go home!
I’ve been told that I need to know all the bus times for the kids, as
I will be the main teacher very soon. But the manager has really been getting on my nerves. I tried once to send the kids out five minutes early for the bus, and she sent them straight back into the classroom. So, I wait until exactly the time they are allowed out, and lo and behold, five minutes before that time, she barges in and gets the kids out. She keeps complaining that she has to do everything, but she really just needs to let people do their jobs. I know what I’m supposed to be doing, but she doesn’t give me a chance to actually do it. Anyway, that’s my whinge for now.
Just after arriving home, the rain poured down, so I left at a good time. I heard today that it was Masa’s last day, so I wrote him a card, but don’t even have a small gift to give to him.
Juku went well, ABC Bingo again, but one student I had to send outside. Last week he was really disruptive and I spoke to him after class about it. This week, he was even worse. I yelled at the whole class in the
first five minutes to be quiet and listen to each other (and felt bad as most of the kids are really good!) but he continued to talk over everyone the whole lesson, so in the last five minutes I kicked him out into the hallway. Dominica got in trouble from a parent for kicking their child out of the class. The parent told her that they pay a lot of money for the classes, and don’t want their child to be put out. This really upset her, which is understandable, and now she is afraid to kick any disruptive child out. But if it were me, I would explain to the parent that every other child in that class also pays good money for their lessons, and they all deserve to learn. If a child wants to stay in my classroom, they have to behave. Anyway, this kid only missed out on the last five minutes. We’ll see how he is next week.
Was invited to the Izakaya for a farewell party for Masa after Juku. Met the new bus driver (who was a previous bus driver, but he broke his hand, so has been on leave), and a
The class tree
Note the new apples
few of the staff were there. We had some fantastic fried foods, fresh beans, grilled chicken and sushi. Went to Thomas’ house afterwards for a few more drinks, and as is Friday tradition, arrived home at about 4.30am. The light in the town at that hour is very soft, and it is so quiet and peaceful, (even for a town that is peaceful most of the day!).
Found some ready-made potato chips at the shop, so microwaved and fried them up for lunch. A really lazy day listening to the children play both out the front and out the back, a bit of reading and quite a lot of napping!
Went to bed early, absolutely exhausted.
There are more photos below