Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bucket of hard questions...

A month after leaving home I finally had my first day at school today. For the last 3 and a bit weeks I have had to sit at a desk in the Board of Education office until the end of the summer holidays.
Today I was at my base school which I will go to twice a week - Yamaga Junior High School which has 173 students ranging from 12- 15 years old. Today went smoothly enough... I only actually had to periods in the classroom but the kids seemed to enjoy interacting with me at every opportunity.
My first chance to talk with the kids came at exactly 9.10am (everything is done exactly on time) during cleaning time. Here in Japan schools don't have cleaners that come in after school like they do back home; instead each school has a set cleaning time each day when the students and teachers all muck in and do the chores. I was given the task of getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing the floor... a great way to break the ice with the kids who have an annoying habit of talking behind their hands when they speak to you!
After cleaning time was over we all headed to the gym for a short Welcome Ceremony in which my instructions were to give a brief introduction about myself... the problem was everything I was going to say was said by the person who introduced me... a good lesson on how to think on my feet!
I then had two back-to-back English classes with the second graders which was a lot of fun... and even a little awkward at times... I was given 30 minutes to tell them about myself and about New Zealand which thanks to all the things I brought with me to show and the slides we had made was pretty easy. I then played a criss-cross game which involved the kids having to ask me questions in English... not only did this give me a good chance to get an idea of their English ability (quite low for most but some surprised me) but I also had my first taste of the kinds of hairy questions I can expect to be asked at my 9 other schools!
Some of the questions included: When will you love me? (asked by one of the baseball boys who has a large following of giggling girls), Will you kiss me? (asked by another of the baseball boys who also has a following of giggling girls) and If you wont kiss me, can I kiss you? (asked by the side-kick of baseball boy number two).
So what did I learn from my first day in the classroom?... The boys are going to be a handful... the girls will whisper when spoken to...and if you're not quick enough during school lunch... one of the baseball boys will whip it out from underneath you before you get a chance to notice (yes that did in fact happen while I had my eyes closed trying desperately not to bring back up the warm 200ml milk I have the luxury of having everyday!)


fergies said...

My gosh Meg, don't drink the milk!!!Develop a dreadful allergy!mum