So before anyone says, “You’re just starting school? I’ve been working forever,” in Japan teachers don’t have summer break. So, while classes begun today, I’ve been working on lesson plans, schedules, etc. But today, I had my first lesson with non-Native speakers.
And it went just fine. One thing I kept reminding myself: Don’t forget to speak slowly! It’s so easy to go fast, to speak like one speaks with Native English speakers. Luckily, M-sensei let me know afterwards that my volume and speed was “excellent.” Oh yeah.
I went in ten minutes early, connected everything to the projector, turned everything on (it’s a really good thing I have a passing knowledge in technology, or I’d be screwed, because everyone kept saying, “Do you know how to do this? I’m not very good at it…”), passed out papers, got everything set up, and bamph!…
This is where four years of experience comes in handy, because I knew about things like timing, modeling, scaffolding. While the time was tight, I managed to get through everything I needed to. The students were generally quiet, but they paid attention. Truthfully, in America, I would have done an extremely short introductory PowerPoint and spent the rest of the time doing icebreakers. But, whatever, it’s not my choice.
The thing that amuses me to no end is out of all the information I present — Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the University of Tucson, Prefectures vs. States, etc., etc. — consistently, the one the students found the most fascinating was the fact that one of my hobbies is kickboxing. Invariably, someone would ask “How long have you been doing kickboxing?” and another student would ask, “Why did you start kickboxing?” I’m not sure it’s so odd because it’s a sport that is relatively new to Japan, or because I’m a girl.
In one class, they asked, “What is your favorite kickboxing move?” And I answered “the high kick,” even though those are killer to do in repetitions (I just always feel so cool when I do a good high kick). I then demonstrated and the class gasped with wide eyes. Am I a ham for the spotlight or what?
But hey, if it gets me a reputation as a tough teacher (“don’t mess with her!”), I’m not going to complain. 😉
So, about my hopes in making my first day a success?