On Wednesday, I finally got to go to my field placement and work. Got up around 5:30 in order to be at school in Sengakuji (about 1 station away from Shinagawa, southern Tokyo) by 8AM. Honestly, I do absolutely nothing until 8:45, when first period starts. I’m going to start getting there at 8:15 or 8:30 from now on. Especially considering the American lady who is my supervisor doesn’t get in until about 8:44, and before that I sit there and do nothing.
I taught 4 English oral communication (OC) classes. 1 class for the first years (equivalent to American high school sophomores), and 3 for the second years. All these OC classes are “team taught” by two teachers: a Japanese and a foreigner. I just join as the 3rd teacher, although they make me sit and practice with the kiddies also sometimes. That right there is the worst part of my job period. Sitting with the kids and helping them practice their English. I realize it might be good practice for them, but it’s almost…degrading for me at times to sit there and help practice English. I might mention to my supervisor that I’m here to be a teacher and not just a practice partner. I’m more comfortable at the head of the class here.
All the classes I taught, even the class for the “advanced” second years seemed about the same. The main things they were practicing were “What’s New” and “That’s All.” Pretty much just asking questions about recent activities, and giving long responses. For someone who is fluent in English, this is about as exciting as stabbing yourself in the foot with a corkscrew. Not only that, but I had to say the exact same thing about 50 times in one day. If I have to do something like this again, I swear I’m going to start making stuff up. One kid will hear me talk about my adventures the previous night in outer space. They probably won’t understand me, so it will be OK. If they happen to understand me, I will tell them “Hey good job for seeing that I was lying to you.”
After one day, I know I could never be a teacher “for real.” It wasn’t that bad, honestly, and was actually kind of fun. But the pure fact that I had to do the exact same lesson 4 times (in a row) bored the life out of me. I don’t know how teachers who do that everyday can live with themselves. I’m not one for rubidium of something boring like that, so I guess I can’t be a teacher. Overall, it was a fun day, but I’m going to have to start putting a little more variety in my work schedules otherwise I’m going to go nuts working at this school. I’ll be going back this weekend to help with the English Speech contest the 1st years are putting on. I’ll either be a judge or the M.C. I’m hoping for MC.