Wow, today was rough. But at least it’s over.
I slogged through my two eikaiwas–for some reason I find it a lot more challenging to teach classes of adults, maybe because they’re all adults and not like my peers. We have a few new people in each–and Sleeping Lady did not come today, which was a huge relief.
As soon as those finished, I ate lunch really quickly, then went to the elementary school, since I didn’t know what time the class started. It turns out I had almost an hour till my class, so I had time to relax and chat with teachers and the kyouto I was already friends with–but there was a bit of a fiasco with the laminator, with two of the hand-drawn world flags I’d made last year getting caught inside (seriously, they went in and just didn’t come out, and it’s a small unit, like 12″x3″x3″) and a teacher burned two of his fingers when trying to extract the laminated B4-sized page (two A4-sized flags in a B4-sized laminating sheet; it came out completely folded up accordian-style). The nurse had to tend to him and he was running his hand under the sink’s water for a solid 15-20 minutes. I feel kind of guilty about that.
I also met the teacher who’s teaching the 5-6nens–she’s just a couple of years older than me, but she’s married and already has two kids. She was really sweet, though. She’s actually from ECC Junior and not from Kumon; that’s actually her last name, and we all were confused.
Anyway, then came the schoolwide introduction in the gym–the kocho had kind of interviewed me in the staffroom, and she introduced both of us and then we did our own self-intros, and then the first-graders left for the day and it was on me to lead games with the rest of the kids. I played two games, which actually went over really well with students and teachers alike, thankfully! (Huge thanks to the JETjapan LiveJournal group for giving me some very awesome suggestions yesterday.) Playing in the gym as compared to a small classroom made a huge difference.
After that was the introductory class for the 4th-graders, which went really well, and the kids are a really good group (there’s one who’s been attending an English juku and was really eager to speak up as often as he could; that kind of situation is tough, where you want to encourage his wonderful English while doubly encouraging the rest of the class to not feel shy about speaking up). I felt my blood sugar taking a nosedive in mid-class and I had to fight to keep my energy up and my focus together, but I slogged my way through the rest of the class successfully.
I came home and went to lie down for a bit, and ended up sleeping for nearly 2 hours. The usual westie crowd went out for okonomiyaki for a couple of hours, and the lady actually brought out vegetable oil for me to use instead of (non-veg) lard, which was cool. Starting classes this week really wore all of us out, so we called it a night after that.
It’s raining now, but hopefully it’ll let up–the weekend-long, nationwide AJET Tokushima Touch Rugby Tournament kicks off tomorrow (heh, “kicks off”–pun not intended). There are over a dozen teams coming from all over Japan–I think the other Shikoku prefectures are sending teams (Ehime definitely is), and most of the rest come from Honshu, though there may be one from Kyushu or something. It’s quite a long way to come for people anywhere east of Kinki/Kansai or maybe Chuubu, so it’s mainly western Japan that comes out, but it’s still a really cool thing, to have so many ALTs from all over Japan congregating less than 30 minutes from here! I’ll be cheerleading for Tokushima (theoretically, though Brian, a former Radical Cheerleader, is actually making pom-poms), so if you read this and are going to be there, come say hi!