It stands at 9 weekly elementary school classes right now. That’s an improvement, because a few hours it was at twelve per week. They’ve agreed to merge the first- and second-years into one class, but the superintendent and principal still want separate classes for all the other grades. I also don’t have to do the teacher eikaiwa; instead, we’ll just make an effort to speak easy English while in the staffroom, so it’ll be pretty unstructured. Chalice is also taking my Double-Length Class of Doom–I sent her a message which she hadn’t gotten to read, and then I called and explained the situation and she immediately volunteered the idea before I could bring it up, because she’s just awesome. I feel bad calling the school that, because now that I’m letting it go, as stressful as it can be to suddenly have the equivalent of 2 more classes in a week than usual, it’s a great school, adorable and new, with a really good staffroom and a sweet principal (I’m going to miss her in particular), and the kids are quiet but just wonderful. I also really like the teachers I work with, particularly the one who lives in my building and was my next-door neighbor before I switched apartments–he’s just a fun guy.
It doesn’t seem so bad when you just look at the number, because it’s like, “Hey, it’s just three extra classes.” However, I’m subtracting a class and redoing a class and adding four more. It still means a lot more work for me every week. There’s an elementary school in Ikawa that’s doing the same thing, but the Ikawa ALT has a much lighter workload. I understand that this is in preparation for the elementary school English classes that will be starting before too long–I just wish there were a better way of handling this. At least my boss is on my side, and I know her hands are tied, so I’m really grateful that she’s pulling so hard for me to get an easier load.
Suffice it to say, I’m really not happy about this situation. I know it could be worse, but instead of just dropping this in my lap, I wish they could have checked to see how it would affect me.
(This just in: something in the news where they mentioned “nishi nihon,” “chuugoku,” “shikoku,” and “tori influenza” in the same sentence. Ooh. It also reminds me of when I was doing animals with my shougakusei and held up a picture of a chicken, and one boy blurted, “Tori influenza!” It was priceless.)
Anyway, I’m off to Paparagi to unwind for a while with friendly faces, and then posing with my violin for Chalice so she can paint us later this evening. My regrets about not staying for a third year are now officially out the freaking window.