18 May 2012

In with Spring

Posted by Roland under: JET .

For all the complaints that I had with the hot summers (humidity stinks) and the cold winters (although there was really no snow fall this year), when spring comes around to Japan, you can’t help but love the weather. They say that with June the rain showers will come so we might have to retreat back indoors again a la winter, but at least you don’t need the heater/kotatsu/many layers of clothes to get through the days.

The new school year is starting up rather well at the various schools. New first graders are pretty much as adorable as advertised, even though I don’t get a chance to work with them too regularly. But at least they seem the most excited by my presence, which pretty much confirms my belief coming into JET that I would do better with younger kids than older ones. As for all the other grades, they’re slowly growing into their new roles at their new grades. The biggest evidence of this is for the new 6th and 9th graders, as they’re now the leaders of their elementary/middle schools. And for the new 7th graders at the middle school, now back at the bottom of the pecking order (from the top of the elementary) seems to have made the desired effect (that is, taking them just a peg down). For myself, now that English is a serious subject (tests and grading!) I’m honestly surprised to see how good some of them are at English…it could be that they’re just good at studying, which is fine. It’s a big step forward for a lot of them. There have been a few embarrassing moments when I had to explain myself to the middle school teachers why they were deficient in a few basic English areas (alphabet, colors, etc.) but other than that, I think the impact of having two extra years of English, as non-serious as they may have been, does have some impact. The early grades are promising, but let’s see as we start moving into actual sentences and grammar points.

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