Today after class, my JTE (Japanese Teacher of English) remarked that I'm always sick or tired at school.
Well, today at least, that was a fair assessment. I had a massive coughing/sneezing fit while he was explaining today's recitation exam to the students. Part of me almost thinks that it was an allergic reaction to the recitation exam itself. My JTE believes that the rhythm and flow of the language is very important. Which it is, but not so much if all you can do is recite passages from the textbook. Which these students are very good at. They might as well be learning things like "This is a pen." though, for all the good it does them.
They were reciting a passage about daily schedules. "I get up at 6:45. On weekends, I get up at about 9:00. I eat breakfast at 7:00. I go to school at 7:30. I get home at 5:20." And so on. I'm sure I could do it too, after listening to the same thing 30 times. I would have liked to hear about what the students themselves do. And I'd like to think that it would be easier to remember if there was more application to their daily lives.
It's proving to be an interesting and trying year at the Junior High School this year. Maybe that's what it tiring me out, though I'm sure all of the other commitments I have taken on this year aren't helping. But really, I don't feel very helpful in classes where students are honing their rote memorization skills. That's up to the students. In classes like that, a tape recorder is a much more useful tool. And one, I might add, that I am frequently forced to listen to. Ah, the perils of team teaching.