Back to School
Its actually really fun for me to go to the schools as I am asked to do a “International Understanding” lesson for the kids. What this entails is me giving a self introduction about myself and where I come from. Then depending on the age of the kids I will talk about different themes. For instance with the 1st and 2nd graders I just talk to them about the difference between American and Japanese elementary schools. But with the 5th and 6th graders I usually try to give them a little inspiration about the importance of learning a foreign language. The older students are a pretty tough crowd but the young ones (up through 4th grade) are all pretty excited to talk to me and usually have a million questions. I also try to play different games with them like “Heads Up 7 Up”, or “Simon Says.”
This time on Friday which was my last day at the school I came dressed casually so that I could join the kids for games during recess. Japanese kids love dodgeball and since I used to play almost everyday when I was in elementary I was really excited to play again. Of course I was playing with 3rd graders so I had to ease off on the speed of my throws but actually some of the kids were throwing harder than I was. The funniest thing was when I pegged one kid with the ball and he screamed out, “Arigatou!!!” (Thank You!) I guess it was like an honor or a merit badge to get hit by the foreign teacher during dodgeball!? Anyways, while its tons of fun to hang out with the kids, I can’t even begin to imagine how tiring it would be to be a full time teacher and have to deal with the kids all day everyday. You really have to respect a public school teacher for what they deal with on a daily basis.