Wednesday, November 15, 2006

びっくりしたんだ!What a surprise!

Yesterday, I had an eikaiwa class at the high school. I must admit, I was not looking forward to going -- I'm still tired from the weekend in Toka-ko, and I haven't been getting enough sleep. And I hadn't really planned anything apart from having the students tell me about their recent travels. The two students that I started eikaiwa with were in Canada last month, and also just got back from their class trip to Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima.

After their trip to Canada, they were keen to continue having eikaiwa classes. Our eikaiwa classes were fun for me, and beneficial for the students, so I agreed. Besides, I don't get to participate in communication and conversation based classes anywhere else (oops, bitterness towards current JTE showing through).

I asked them to see if they could find any more people who were interested in coming to class -- as much as I like a small class, the largest my high school eikaiwa classes have ever been was three or four students. In a school of 200. Not bad, but the JTEs at the school weren't terribly interested in promoting the class to students who might be interested.

I dragged myself out to the high school, reminding myself that this class could be the most rewarding teaching I do here. Aya and Misaki (the two students who went to Canada) met me at the door.

"Shall we go study English?"

"Sounds great! Let's go!"

"Today... class... lots of friends..."

"Oh, that's great! How many?"

"Eto... maybe...ah... let's go."

We entered the classroom, where I was absolutely blown away to find a whole dozen students! Okay, okay, so two of them were teachers. We'll see how many of them continue to come, but it really made my day to have so many people show up. And they are a fun group of kids. I had them start with self-introductions so that I can try to drum some names into my head. It's mostly a futile effort. I'm bad at names in general, but something about Japanese names makes them impossible for me to remember. And there are 9 different English classes at this small school that I go to once a week, so it's even harder for me to get a handle on student's names.

The time in class flew by, and I got to know a few students a little better. I hope they'll come back next week. Maybe I'll even have a lesson planned.

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