My mother always told me this growing up but I seem to always forget it!
So there are four Elementary Schools in Osato and I teach at Miyake Elementary once a month. The other schools recently came to me and gave me a date when I am supposed to come and teach. I was assigned to one school, Ohya, for two days this week: Tuesday and Wednesday. Having already done my jiko-shoukai (self-introduction) at Miyake I figured I didn’t need to make any new lesson plans for the students. WRONG.
Tuesday was such a nightmare; I felt unprepared and clueless. At Osato Junior High School I’m the ALT with an emphasis on Assistant. At E.S. I am THE English teacher and responsible for creating 45 minute lesson plans for grades 1-6. I have done just fine at Miyake but for some reason the same plan didn’t work at Ohya. The students there were a lot quieter and shy which drastically reduced the “questions” part of my jiko-shoukai. When I returned home that night I was tired and disappointed at my lack of performance and how the day didn’t turn out as well as at Miyake. I decided to take to heart my mother’s saying and sat down to create detailed minute by minute lesson plans for grades 1-6 with backup activities just in case of extra time.
Wednesday was 10x better. I was able to walk into the classroom with confidence and a clear understanding of what I wanted to accomplish. The students seemed to be more responsive and involved too! It was likely a combination of being more comfortable with me as well as being more engaged because the lesson was better planned. If Tuesday was a nightmare–which is was–then Wednesday was a dream. In this case proper prior planning truly did prevent piss poor performance.
In other news, I finally went to my first Taiko practice this week. At first it was a little awkward because I just showed up randomly and because of the language barrier. Once they handed me the drumsticks (not sure if that’s the proper name in Taiko culture) though words were no longer necessary. I was able to learn from their actions and we had a lot of fun together. The hour-and-a-half practice sessesion included some “jams” and was over too quickly. The best part though was when they invited me back next week. They were sure to introduce me to everyone and remind me multiple times of when practice will be. I look forward to going back next week and getting into the Taiko community in Osato.