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Yes, we are English Teachers

ECC's 'school' year goes from April to April, so we started just when all the year-long classes were finishing up. So for the first two weeks we were going out to schools to do FTL's. Except, for me(Andrew). On my second day of teaching I was sent over an hour away to cover three different kids classes. This wouldn't be too bad, but I found out about two hours before my shift started and I still had to get to school and the only time I would have to prepare would be when I was on the train. There is 10 minutes in between each class, which is just enough time to clean up your mess and write your next plan on the board and maybe go to the bathroom. So, I taught a class of 5&6 year olds, a class of 7&8 year olds and one of 9&10 year olds. For the last class (the 9& 10 year olds) I had to review and make sure they got the structure:

  • Where are you from?
  • "I'm from Northern Ireland, I'm Northern Irish" or whatever country they picked.

It was an interesting day and once I got through it, I knew nothing else would be that bad.

Our new schedules started on April 1st, so we got assigned our class lists. So, here's a break down of what we are doing:

Andrew's class list:
I have three kids classes:

  • An AL class (Ages 3-4) - There are three students. Two boys and one girl. The girl is all over the place and gets into everything and touches everything. Her poor mother tries to keep her focused, but she just wants to explore. One of the boys is very shy and nervous and always carries his security toy with him. The other boy is front and center doing everything I do. The boys mother's don't come in the class because they both two younger children to look after.

  • A BW Class (Ages 7-9) - This class is four boys. There used to be one girl, but she had to change classes. Most of them are just starting to take English classes, but they catch on very quickly and like to play any game where they can run around, compete or be loud.

  • A BY Class (Ages 7-9) - This class is four girls and they have taken English lessons before. They are very sweet and don't like to compete against each other, they prefer to help each other. I like teaching them and they give me candy after every class.

I am also teaching to adult classes:

  • An Advanced English Class - These students range from ages 19 to 45 and they come from many different experiences. A lot of them have lived or studied abroad (the generic term for anywhere not in Japan) in England or Australia. So they all have really good English. They just want a place to come talk to people of their English level, interact with a Native teacher, learn about Western Cultures and to practice their listening ability. They do not want to do any grammar at all. This class is a lot of fun to teach because I can really push their abilities and do a lot more high level activities.

  • Weekend Intensive Course - This course is, like it sounds, on a Sunday. They come for four hours. They spend the first two with a Japanese teacher learning grammar or doing TOEIC (a English proficiency test) lessons. The second two they spend with me. This class is a more practical based course. I'll teach the students how to take a Taxi, how to book a hotel room, catch their flight, complain about something in a hotel and more practical topics than a conversational class. I haven't actually taught this class yet, but I am really looking forward to it.

Courtney`s class list

I, on the other hand, have seven kids classes. Hurt me, hurt me.

  • an AM class (ages 4-5) - there are six children in this class, an even split of boys and girls. Some of them say nothing at all, others are quite keen to produce the language, and there are some that are a little shy but are slwoly coming around. I really enjoy this class because they look like they`re really having fun themselves.

  • three BY classes (ages 7 - 8)- each one of these classes is entirely different. My first has six boys and one girl. There is one boy who I know wants to get into lots of trouble, but there is no one in class that will help him do it. All the other students are really good and seem to have fun. My second class is awesome. Two girls and a boy, all really smart and eager. I`ve decided to challenge them more than the curriculum calls for, because otherwise they`ll get bored. My third class (five boys, one girl) would be alright if not for this one little boy who distracts everyone and disrespects me. He made one of his classmates cry last week. I had no idea it was happening because he was speaking in Japanese. Challenges await.

  • a CB class (ages 9 - 11) - these kids would rather be anywhere but in English class. There are a few that I think are really into it. The rest cause me great concern. Six boys, three girls. They speak a lot of Japanese. I think I`m getting through to them though. Persistence and not being afraid to scare them helps.

  • a CP class (ages 9 - 11) - see above. Six boys, four girls. There are three students that are really smart. One student that I wish I could give the extra help he needs, and the others fall somewhere in between. One boy distracted three different students in one class. Each time I had to separate them. He blatantly disregards everything I say, and doesn`t do his homework. I didn`t think I`d have to get staff to talk to my students, but I may have to make an exception.

  • a private kid`s class - oh, the bright spot in my week`s kids classes. I get to spend 40 minutes with an indredibly bright 7 year old who watches the news and whose favourite band is the Beatles. I get to plan my own lessons and gear them to meet his needs. It`s a little extra work for me, but so worth it to see his enjoying a class that I planned myself.

I also teach a couple of adult classes.

  • an AV class - I have five students in my advanced level class. They don`t want homework, and are only really interested in learning conversational stuff. All the students had homework for the first class: fill in a personal information sheet. One of my students wrote that she was taking the class to make "Alzheimers-proof" herself. This is the same student who wore a Metallica hooded sweatshirt to the second class. These are the kinds of people I'm teaching. They all have such great personalities and I`m going to have a whole lot of fun with them.

  • a full day of weekend intensive classes - I haven`t started teaching these classes, but they should be interesting. See Andrew`s description above.

Posted by agc_cwm 21:38 Archived in Japan

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