Friday, 5 September 2008


Yesterday was my first day at Showa chugakkou (middle school). They had a sports day -- more of a sports preparation day -- so I didn't have class until the afternoon; and then, only one. For the first part of the day, I sat in on Mizobuchi-sensei's ichinensei (first grade) homeroom class, as they discussed stuff for sports day. He is the English teacher. His students are all girls. The entire population of the school is only 32 students: 13 boys, 19 girls.

Some time was spent in the gym. I'm not sure exactly what the point of sports day preparation and discussion is, but the students sure seemed to be occupied.

Sixth period was my only class for the day. I took the sannensei (third grade students). I went through my introduction, with photos and pictures, and then had them ask me questions. I also asked them each individual questions. That class has five boys and four girls.

Today, I went to Wakaigawa shougakkou (elementary school). It is another small school -- just 13 students. I took the 5th-6th grade students in the second period, then the 3rd-4th graders and the 1st-2nd graders in the third and fourth periods respectively. None of the teachers could speak English (the principal knew a little, and he took the senior class), so it made my day interesting. My introduction to each class was good Japanese practise.

The 3rd-4th grade class asked me a lot of questions about animals in New Zealand. The 5th-6th graders asked me what I liked and I asked them what they liked (food, colours, etc). I love how much more responsive kids are than teenagers, even if they can only ask questions in Japanese. I think that communicating will get easier as I learn more Japanese. Today's experience really stretched my Japanese language skills. I didn't understand a lot of the time, but I lived. :)

The most interesting class was the little ones. There was one 1st grader -- a cute little boy -- and one 2nd grader: a girl. They ended up just showing me a few of the toys in the classroom, after my introduction and a couple of questions.

I played with the kids between classes and also after eating lunch with them. The teachers also eat lunch with the students, as there are so few. It was fun to play with the kids. I showed them how to play bat down. There was one boy, Ryo, who was about eight. He had a lot of energy, both in the classroom and in the gym, running around. He reminded me of my nephew Reuben. XD

Mikey and I are going into Kochi city tomorrow. I am really tired right now and have a headache. I think I will rest when I get home.

On Monday, I am going to Tokawa shougakkou. I will try and be a little more prepared this time, but without my own computer this might be difficult. I should be getting my laptop on Monday. I can't wait!


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