sculpting the minds of japans future leaders

So i just formally started teaching classes today! it was insane-- i'm both worked up and exhausted from them. Overall they went pretty well. here was my lesson plan
1. warm-up (5 minutes):
Assistant Language Teacher (ALT): Introduces self as new ALT, Michael-sensei.

Explains rules an expectations:
1. Everyone participates
2. Do your best to speak only in English
3. Mistakes are OKAY!
4. Have fun!

Japanese Teacher of English (JTE): translates and comments as needed

Students: listen

2. Presentation (5 minutes)
ALT: Explains: instead of a speech, students will interview the ALT.
To give an example of interview, ALT interviews JTE:
“Where were you born?”
“What are your favorite foods?”
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

JTE: Answers interview questions in English.

Students: Listen

3. Structured Practice (30 minutes)

JTE: Calls out numbers, 1-40

Students: Read their cards to “interview” the new ALT, as they are called on

ALT: Answers numbered questions as they are read by students

4. Wrap-up/review (10 minutes)

JTE: Quizzes students on information about ALT

Students: Attempt to answer. Correct answers Rewarded with US pennies!

ALT: Judges whether answers are correct or incorrect. Distributes rewards

I taught this lesson 3 times today, and i will do it 5 more times over the course of this week and next. My first class was second period, so the students were drowsy and I was nervous- a combination resulting in a moderately sloppy first lesson, but the second class that followed immediately i was batting a perfect game. students were relatively engaged and for the most part listening to and understanding me.

later during my third lesson to the other day, it was bordering out of control, but fun and successful. the students were pretty rowdy, inspired by a couple of clowns in class (one boy has got a stylin' "CANNABIS" pencil case in red, yellow and green.

This is worth talking about for a second because drug use in japan is extremely rare and casual use of marijuana is considered equally severe as hard drug abuse on a large scale, so use is extremely low. there's virtually no drug use especially in high schools. especially in an academic high school like mine. Nevertheless rasta music is really popular here and therefore so are little red-yellow-and-green products with marijuana leaves embossed all over them. Even one of the teachers sitting near me has a little hand towel with the 5 leafed symbol in the corner. I dont think they have any idea what it means.

anyway in my third class, this kid swiped the rubiks cube from the teachers desk as he came in and was playing with it before class, tossing it around to his friends. I am solving the cube during my class to show them how awesome i am and it's byfar everyone's favorite part of the lesson because they get to see a party trick and sit around chit-chatting for 3 minutes while i work on it. So at the beginning of class i called out cannibis boy and asked him for my cube. everyone laughed- not happy to have that kind of attention drawn to you in a japanese class, so i felt victorious in my round-about indirect discipline.

I drew pictures of my family, and an octopus, showed them paint brushes, explained english words and felt like a total badass english teacher.

Tomorrow i have english club after school where we eat snacks and talk in english, and then there's a welcome party for me with the english department at the local japanese restaurant/bar. saturday im going to visit my HS friend Jon in Kurume and tuesday is a business trip for the prefectural ALTs.

today was a good day. this week is a busy week.


Kinoko Times said...

Micheal-sensei seems to be a celebrity now. ^^
Rock that rubics cube!!!

...hey...isn't the prefectural meeting on the 16th???