I went back and read my original post on the matter and unfortunately, not too much has changed other than my getting accustomed to it. Sadly, I haven't learned all of my students names. Not even ten to be honest. In something of a defense, they are NEVER said aloud! I could tell you some of their last names though since that's how they call on them. I am though a bit more structured since my first couple of lessons and know what the teachers expect from me now. At my base school, Hikami, I am basically a human tape recorder and someone to bounce ideas between. In most of my classes here, I prepare very little and just do as I'm told in class which includes: writing sentences from the text book, talking about my weekend, thinking of easier synonyms to help the students with a difficult word, having them repeat vocabulary after me, etc. The times I've been able to plan a lesson on my own have been for holidays, my self-introduction, and a presentation on my volunteer trip to Tohoku. My JTE seems to enjoy those times but is content with leaving it at that. When I'm not teaching, I've been asked to grade papers, tutor students, and coach the speech contest contestants. I was also asked to join a commerce class I would ordinarily never go to, but because they were doing a class project on creating a company and dealing with foreign investors, I was the choice foreigner to have mock meetings and practice formal emails with. When I'm not doing any of these things I'm at my desk doing, well, this. Some people would rather be put to good use, but I really appreciate having a lot of down time to catch up with my own interests. My fellow ALTs nearby at ES/JHS have an average of five classes a day while I usually have three.
|Where I spend some of my time|
|Where I spend most of my time|
In both schools, I've added some fun elements here and there where I can. For example, I had them help me make hand turkeys to give away to the kids I was visiting during my volunteer trip. They seemed to enjoy that. I also gave out candy for Halloween and Christmas, making them say 'trick-or-treat' for the former and getting all the answers correct to a word scramble for the latter. I've put stickers on their papers which I then see them remove and attach to their pen cases. I've played pictionary and hangman with a couple of classes. I interact with them when they ask me what movies, actors, singers, anime, manga I like. I visited each of their classes stalls during the cultural festival and bought something. I have no doubt that they are fond of me but I do doubt how much English they're retaining.
So far I would say that this experience has taught me a lot about patience, resourcefulness, and adaptability. I honestly don't feel built to be a teacher but have had my fun experiences during this time. As the school year progresses, I also learn more about the Japanese school system which was somewhat of a gap in all my collegiate studies. In April, the new school year will start bringing in new students and changing my schedule completely. If much changes, I'll update again!